Hello gang! Hope you had a great weekend, although the barbeque weather we were promised here in London did not deliver by any stretch of the imagination! No matter, bad weather often means guilt-free sewing weather, so I hope you took advantage.
Before I dig into today’s new sewing adventure, let me tell you about my fabulous Sunday (I’m actually writing this on the train on my way back). We had a Bees 3 meet-up in Birmingham and it was so much fun! We get together every once in a while to catch-up, get group hugs (yes, we are still really good friends!) and occasionally fabric shop.
Today it turns out, we did all three! Btw, Paul gives the best hugs in the world, hands down! Neela managed to corrupt GBSB alumni Lauren (season 1 finalist) to join us for lunch and then we descended upon her unsuspecting fabric shop to fill our bags and empty our wallets for a good cause – feeding the fabric stash, of course! And we had a blast! Lauren’s shop and sewing studio in Mosley (a suburb of Birmingham) is one of the most beautiful shops and craft spaces I have ever been into!
The fabric itself is a jamboree of colours and of really great quality (and I could not help myself to buy a few bits and pieces), but it was the space itself that really won me over. Lauren and her husband practically rescued this incredible turn of the century mock Tudor house and lovingly restored it into a cosy, yet well organised shop and studio. I just wanted to stay there forever and fondle the beautiful fabric! If you are in the area, do stop by, really worth a visit to stock up on fabric, haberdashery from Prym and patterns.
Right, so now on to the actual sewing part…
I was thinking that I haven’t posted a refashion in a while now, so here we are, a post on this little cropped number that I extracted out of an old cardigan that never made it out of the wardrobe, as I felt it was too frumpy.
Here are a few quick steps in case you’d like to revamp any of your old cardies too.
1. Measure & mark
How cropped you’d like the cardie is a question of taste! I wanted mine to sit just above the waist, so I can wear it with high-waisted trousers and skirts. In hindsight, it could have been 1-2 cm longer, but no biggie, I will get plenty of use like this too.
Pinch out the amount of fabric that would bring the ribbed edge to the desired height and pin just above the ribbing on both sides of the button band.
Take off the cardigan and mark with chalk or fabric pen on top of the pins. Then measure the distance between the top of the ribbed edge and the mark. Add 0.6 cm (the width of the overlocker seam allowance), so that the new stitch line sits exactly where the ribbing joins the smoothly knitted fabric. In my case it was 9.6 cm. Then measure and mark this distance all around. Then measure 0.6 from the ribbing and mark it.
Button up and check that both ribbing line and upper line meet on the button stand. Adjust if necessary. Depending on the positioning of the buttons and how much fabric you are removing, you might want to re-adjust to make sure the spacing of the buttons is even and/or you are not cutting though buttons and buttonholes. I ended up with a bit of a misalignment, but it doesn’t bother me
2. Cut out the excess
Cut above the ribbing and at the line you just market above it. You have now removed the excess fabric.
Rejoin the ribbing to the remaining fabric
Pin the ribbing to the main part of the cardigan, taking special care at the button stand to make sure everything matches perfectly.
The button stand will be thicker and therefore harder to go over. You might want to start from the centreback towards the edges, coming out at the button stand, instead of starting there, as the two layers might not overlap perfectly. Be careful not to sew into the ribbing, but have the needles fall exactly where it finishes.
Overlocker tip: the tails that are left at the edge of the cardigan will unravel if you cut them off. Instead, use a loop turner to pull them through the chain an out of the way. You can also use a bodkin or a large needle to pull them through.
And there you have it, a nice little cropped cardigan! I have a few more candidates in my wardrobe for this refashion, can’t wait to get chopping on them as well!
You will notice in the pictures a new member of my sewing family. It’s the big brother of my beloved Hildi, a Pfaff Coverlock 3.0. He is a new addition to my sewing family, courtesy of Pfaff UK. I was honoured and pleased as punch that Pfaff UK have recently asked me to be their brand ambassador. I was really happy to recommend their amazing machines before (and boy, have I ever provided gushing reviews in my characteristic manner), but now that I have got a bit of training and guidance from their specialists, I can actually provide some useful information too.
I know that people are weary of bloggers promoting various products, so I promise I will not inundate you with any such things. I will keep my views honest and disclose any freebies etc. I have loved Pfaff for a long time and I’m just glad that I get the chance to learn more about their other products, get to test some really good quality machines and tell you about them.
The coverlocker was on my wish list for a long time now, so I am really happy I got a chance to play with such a great machine. I have only just started using it and with the support of the lovely ladies at Pfaff UK, I hope I’m on my way to become a confident user! I will be sharing my journey with you guys and any tips and tricks I will pick up on the way.
So this little cardigan refashion was the first full project I attempted with the Coverlocker (I really need to find him a name, any suggestions?). It took me less than an hour one afternoon and I think it came out really cute. I will definitely be wearing it more than the old cardigan.