Monday, 13 May 2013

DIY: Knitted jumper to cardigan

Now that spring is here and the temperature is sometimes gorgeously warm and sometimes there are still some chilly winds, I find my favourite wardrobe piece is the cardigan. It is the perfect layering item.

The before and after.

However, it is just me or are great cardigans harder to find than great jumpers? Especially when trying to find them in charity shops.

For a while I have been thinking about how to turn jumpers into cardigan. I had a go with a jersey sweatshirt and it turned out great just cutting in the middle. However, that was a dense woven jersey that doesn't fray. But cut into a knitted jumper and it will start unravelling faster than you can think "Shouldn't have done that".

So I consulted my best bud Google. And it came up with something called steeking. That involves some skills with a crochet hook, so let's face it, I wasn't going to do that. Time for some good ol' trial and error.

I found a gorgeous salmon pink jumper in a charity shop opposite my dentist last time I was there. But weird, weird shape. Like it was knitted for somebody with a looong torso, broad shoulders and tiny little arms. Perfect for this experiment! Read on.


  • Jumper
  • Binding (not pictured)
  • Scissors
  • Felt tip pen (not pictured)
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine (not pictured)
  • Needle and thread (not pictured)

Right, I seem to have lost my process photos (and which others I wonder?!), so all you get is a description. Luckily this is supersimple.

  1. Mark out the middle. This bit won't show on the final item, so I just used a felt tip marker.
  2. Zig zag a couple lines on both sides of the middle. The aim is that this will prevent unravelling. Cut between the zig zags.
  3. Sew on binding on each side. This can be bought ready made or be made. I made mine from left overs from this project.
While this is supereasy take care to not stretch the jumper when sewing. I did ok with one side, but the other definitely stretched, Ah well, still wearable. 

Also, buttons. Personally, I don't ever button my cardigans unless they are very fitted, so didn't bother to think of a way to add buttons. However, if you want to, I guess you could make the binding wider and sew button holes through the binding. It's a guess, let me know if you try it.

I feel like Ferdinand the Bull in this photo.

My dream life: living in pastels, wearing pretty shoes, smelling the flowers and reading books.