Refashion: Sweater to Kimono Cardi

So I mentioned in my last post (aka “that time I turned a cardigan into a sweater”) that I would most likely do the same in reverse at some point. Welllllll…..

Pretty straightforward this peops. Take a long baggy sweater and cut the panel out of the front like so. Round the back up close to the neckline ribbing, then straight down the front perpendicular to the neckline…

Pin inch wide grosgrain or cotton twill tape all along the raw edge on the right side..leave about an inch spare at either end for turning under later…

Stitch about a 1.4 inch from the edge of your ribbon all the way around. First with a straight stitch. Then with a zig zag stitch right up close to your straight stitch. The zig zag will secure the cut/raw edge of the knit and prevent it unravelling. If you zig zagged the raw/cut edge before applying the ribbon, you run the risk or stretching the fabric out, resulting in a curly edge. The ribbon stabilises the edge first. Bingo! No curly edge…

Flip the ribbon band to the inside and pin and stitch in place, (turning both loose ends of the ribbon under first!) Stitch in the ditch or just in from the seam…

The sleeves on this were pretty shot….

So they got lopped off and hemmed….

…and that was it really! The main purpose of this was to demonstrate the use of grosgrain ribbon to create, essentially,  a stabilised button band. I left this cardigan loose and open because that’s what I like. But with this technique you could just as easily convert a sweater to a fully functioning button through cardigan by adding snaps, studs, toggles or proper buttonholes. A technique to play with, no?!

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestGoogle+


  1. Katka January 17, 2015

    Oh :), I like it! I love recycling.

  2. Tiffany January 17, 2015

    Very nice! You have definitely given it a new life.

    • Portia Lawrie January 19, 2015

      Thanks Tiffany. It was such a nice knit…would’ve been rude not to 😉

  3. January 18, 2015

    This is very inspiring, off to check cupboards for old sweaters!

  4. charlotte January 18, 2015

    Im always so inspired by your refashioning!

  5. Helen Made January 18, 2015

    What a great idea – I need to try this next time I see an oversized jumper in the charity shop.

  6. LauraP January 18, 2015


  7. Suzanna Forsythe January 19, 2015

    I’ve been thinking about making a loose cardi recently and was contemplating how to hem the front edges, thinking that twice folded would end up far too bulky – grosgrain ribbon is the perfect solution, I don’t know why i didn’t think of it! Thank you!

  8. Diane January 19, 2015

    So happy to have found you, I love this idea, Thanks for sharing this tutorial. Off to find some sweaters in my stash


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *