My first tutorial

I refashioned this sweater for my sister’s Christmas gift.

In addition to the sweater this was all I needed. A button, a hairband and a strip of fabric.

First I cut the sweater up the middle.

After pressing under one side of the strips of fabric, I pinned it to the sweater right sides together.

And positioned the half hairband where I wanted the button to be.

I then sewed the strips onto the sweater and folded it over and pinned in place.

Then sew all around the strip on both sides.

Now you’re ready to sew your button in place.

And wahlah! You have a cardigan. I’ll have my sister send me a picture of her wearing the sweater and I’ll post it later.

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About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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73 Responses to My first tutorial

  1. Jan says:

    I absolutely love it!

  2. Heidi Netland says:

    This cardigan looks very nice on my mom! You are sooo stinkin’ creative! Keep up the good work!

  3. Barb says:

    Very cool, Beth. I love seeing the process.

  4. Sallyhp says:

    That is awesome! I love pinterest, too, but I haven’t looked at it for refashioning…what a great idea. You made this look really simple!

  5. Sherry Riley says:

    Love the colors of the sweater and fabric you chose!

  6. Pascale says:

    Love your ideas

  7. I’ve been refashioning sweaters for awhile now and so far I’ve made the tendency for sweaters to get wavy when sewn on a machine work for my design but it would be nice to know how to sew on a sweater without creating the “waviness”. I’m assuming that you used the strip of fabric so that the end result would be straight rather than wavy? Was that the only “trick” that you used to get a straight edge to your cardigan?

    • Yes, I didn’t do anything else. I’ve found that when cutting up the middle of a sweater it doesn’t get as “wavy” as it does when cutting the bottom of a sweater.

      • Stacy says:

        I found your blog through pinterest and loved looking at the photos. As a new stay at home mom, I am just looking around for inspiration to get my first sewing machine. Not knowing a lot about sewing, I had one question for you about the cutting. I thought that the sweater would unravel when you would cut up the center. But, you prevented that. Did the sewing of the fabric strip prevent the yarn on the sweaters from becoming frayed?

    • Nanni Schlfld says:

      I’ve found a SUPER way to make cut fabric look so straight and finished! Super fast too! Works on any weight fabric. After cutting, simply iron a strip of fusible webbing, the kind that comes on a roll about 1/2″-3/4″ wide you can get at any Walmart, on the inside edge. Keep it from sticking to the iron by using a strip of parchment paper over the strip. Peel it off easily, fold over again and reiron. The teeny bit of added stiffness to the edge gives a perfect straight edge every time on the refold.No wavys ever. Looks perfect, almost factory. I run an additional seam in matching color over the fold just for longevity for washing. It doesn’t have the contrasting look of what’s shown but sure blends in if that’s what you want. Also may make a tad smaller than the original way with added fabric.

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  10. kellycy says:

    Wow this is a great idea! Thank you for sharing! I look forward to more posts like these.

  11. Kerri says:

    The picture with your husband pinning made me smile; many times I have recruited my husband to do the same for me.

  12. NanaDoll says:

    Reblogged this on momtoldmetowriteabook and commented:
    I just love the redo of this sweater! What a great way to make something new out of something old!

  13. shazronnie says:

    That looks fab! How clever!

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  15. rhonda says:

    You do awesome stuff… I want to do stuff like this too… New to sewing, but, excited about trying 🙂

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  17. Great job. I might try this one!

  18. Alyssa says:

    Maybe this is a silly question but I’m not terribly skilled at sewing….after you cut the sweater up the center, do you have to hem it at all to keep it from unraveling or is that why you sewed some fabric to it? I have 2 sweaters I’d like to do this to. Thanks.

  19. Do you lose much in width when you do this? I got a couple of sweaters at a thrift store that fit pretty well, but I want to make them into cardigans. I’m nervous that cutting up the middle and then adding the fabric might make them quite a bit smaller. Thoughts?

    • Hi Lori,
      Actually you only lose about a half an inch when you add the fabric strip. Have fun with this!

      • Lori says:

        I did it! I did it! I did it! WOW….I think I’m hooked. This is a wonderful and dangerous thing to know how to do 🙂 I think I just became best friends with my local thrift store. BTW, I’m a fellow Oregonian. 😉

        • Hey Lori! I’m so excited for you! I really should put a warning on this site. Caution: Once you start refashioning, you may not be able to stop! 🙂 I’d love to see pictures of your sweater! If you’d like, you can send some to and I’ll put it on the Your Projects page.
          Have a great day!

  20. Chris says:

    You are truly gifted! I have sewn forever, and some of these ideas are no-brainers for me. BUT, so many are not! They are absolutely genius! We’re you able to actually find a dress form that is your double? That would be great to have!

    • Hi Chris, thanks for the nice encouragement! I really appreciate it. The dress form is from Joanns. I wish it was an exact double. I can get it to be my measurements, but not my shape. Maybe someday I’ll be lucky enough to get a body double. Until then, this one will have to do.
      Happy sewing!

      • Kathy says:

        My daughter did her senior project by designing and making her prom dress. She worked with a master seamstress who taught her to make a form her size. With only panties on she was wrapped several times with cellophane then covered with duck tape. Then cut up the back and peeled away. Then stuff the form and attach to a stand. A little labor intensive but it worked!

  21. franci says:

    Absolutely stunning and wonderful! I am going to remodel that navy sweater that I bought 7 yrs ago and never worn it and wear it with pride! Thanks for your wonderful ideas!

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome! I am an avid thrift store shopper, and can’t tell you how often I find a sweater I like, but don’t want a pullover style! Who doesn’t love a good cardigan/sweater? Also, I’m allergic to wool-so my choices are always more limited, I’m definitely trying this!

  23. Charlotte says:

    You are amazing! I love bargains and now I can find more! Thank you so very much.

  24. L in NL says:

    This is a great idea! I have some old pullover sweaters that are too nice to get rid of, but I just don’t wear pullovers anymore (too warm …. 😉
    I will definitely try this!

  25. Shirley says:

    I’m a beginner at this. How wide should the fabric strips be?

  26. Cale says:

    Clever idea! Best tutorial.I study from You-How to. Thanks a lot! kiss from Serbia

  27. michele says:

    how can right sides be together but the fabric ends up on the inside? confused.

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  39. Rann says:

    I think I would mark the center with chalk or a washable marker, then sew one strip of fabric butting it up against the line. Then align the second strip against the first strip, and then cut up the center of the sweater.

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  41. Anonymous says:

    I recognize that cute fabric. Bought it a few years ago and haven’t made anything with it yet.

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  43. Normita says:

    Felicitaciones!! Por el sueter, te quedó muy originar.Dios te bendiga

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  45. Diane says:

    Love your ideas. You are very creative!

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