Mar 16

This week I want to show you how I’ve been updating my wardrobe for the spring.  I was particularly inspired by a dress I agonized over and finally purchased while we were on vacation.  I love the shape, color, fabric, etc., so I decided to use it as my muse.

I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe each season (or even each year).  But I can fix and/or refashion what I have and make clothes from scratch.

Today, I’m sharing an old cardigan that, unfortunately, was moth-eaten while in storage last year.  I’ve had this handy piece for nearly 7 years!  Other than the hole, the sweater still looks brand new (a testament to buying high-quality pieces to start with).  I appliqued some birds onto it today while listening to Arcade Fire.  Somehow that seems pertinent.  [I used the bird pattern from Lena Corwin’s Printing By Hand.]

The fusible webbing didn’t stick particularly well to the knit wool.  (You can see one of the birds sticking up in the next picture.)  So I hand-stitched around the edges with some silver embroidery floss (Thanks, Tracy!).

Here’s the backside of this little birdie:

I will probably darn the hole just to be certain it doesn’t get worse.

And here’s the final product:

This may not seem particularly spring-ish, but it coordinates with some of the other pieces I’ll be sharing this week, including the aforementioned dress.  And it’s always good to have a cardigan in your spring wardrobe!

This took a couple of hours start-to-finish, and (most importantly) I think I’ll actually wear it. ;)

76 Responses to “Spring Wardrobe Revamp: Cardigan”

  1. cloth.paper.string Says:

    oh this is so very inspiring! i’m rethinking my ‘to be felted’ pile…

  2. marné Says:

    So sweet! I just prettied up a cardigan myself.

  3. beki Says:

    what a clever idea! I’ve been thinking about doing some embellishing on a very plain cardigan that I’m currently knitting.

  4. misschris Says:

    Sew pretty! I love the patterns you used for the birds. What book are they from?

    This is so Anthro now, you know. It’s better than before. xo

  5. Tracy Says:

    nice! I love when I can use something perfectly for something else!

  6. elizabeth Says:

    So cute!

  7. stephanie Says:

    I am so copying this idea! My favorite cardigan has a hole and I’ve been trying to think of an applique that won’t make it look like a 2nd grade teacher outfit.

  8. Rebekah Says:

    I love the birds on this! This is such a great non-obvious way to cover up a hole

  9. dana Says:

    Okay, you’re seriously killing me with such cuteness! I love all of it!

  10. grace Says:

    this looks great! sadly, i have a few moth eaten sweaters so i’ll be doing quite a bit of this.

    do you know of a good darning tutorial by any chance?

  11. Darling Petunia Says:

    Okay, all the refashions are cute, and I shouldn’t even be asking this, but…

    Where’d you get the dress?

  12. Adrienne Says:

    Found you on Flickr; I love all the Spring items! I, too, love sewing to Arcade Fire, perhaps because they are such a creative band?

  13. Erin Says:

    How strategic of the moths to eat a hole in a prime place for such embellishment! :)

  14. Barbles Says:

    I’m in the process of embroidering an owl over a stain on a white cardigan I picked up at the Salvation Army the other day. Your sweater is very pretty. I Stumbled this page, but now I’ll have stick around!

  15. Lorilei Says:

    Oh so chic! You inspire me!

    And, if I may share: to keep moths (and other wool-eating buggies) at bay, use a bar of Irish Spring brand GREEN soap. Don’t store unwashed garments and place a bar in your woolens box when storing. I like to take the soap box and open the end and prop it in the corner so it stays upright. If it’s an especially large box, I use more. I found mine at the dollar store (3 for $1) and after a year or two and they’re not at potently fragrant, they’re back to being soap! Even the cardboard recycles. I am a sweater-holic and a friend taught me this!

  16. 7 quirky, random money savers | Bohemian Revolution Says:

    […] Recycle a moth eaten sweater by stitching elegant patches worthy of a designer (yes, you can make these yourself) over the holes. [Via Feeling Stitchy.] […]

  17. Week of Links #6 « TrailerTreasure Says:

    […] Thimbly Things: lately been revamping her clothes into new wearables and also posted this great fix for moth holes! […]

  18. Jan Says:

    I know just the sweater to use this tutorial. I was thinking of covering the holes with buttons, but now, definately birds! And please, where did you get the dress?

  19. robin Says:

    Wow, what a great fix for a darling cardigan. I would even like those birds on a cardigan that doesn’t have a little hole! Very creative and cute. –Robin

  20. Rachel Says:

    Oh I *LOVE* this! The birds are so sweet. Just darling and so much better than before I think! I’ll be linking.

  21. Jan Says:

    You’re right that a hole in this garment is a testament to its original worth. I was told by my tailor (while I was taking him yet another sweater to have a hole rewoven) that the moths like the really good wools the best. Ergo, cheap sweaters = no holes. Expensive sweaters = holes. C’est la vie!

  22. Sandra Says:

    Just darling! I love the templates you’ve used. So simple, but so classy. Gerat job!

  23. April Attack Month « SAAAAAM Says:

    […] hand and machine applique on old clothes that need a little […]

  24. susan Says:

    i love it when people can come up with ideas like this!
    i have a favorite shirt that is white cotton, but it got a few holes in the wash
    i couldnt figure out what to do…now i do!!
    thank you so much for the inspiration!

  25. alissa Says:

    this is precious! you’re so talented, i love it! cute blog

  26. Kristena’s “Wardrobe Adjustments” come full circle | thimbly things Says:

    […] a chambray dress from Gap inspired me to get a little sewing-machine-happy.  You can see it again here coupled with a seemingly unrelated cardigan […]

  27. Stacey Says:

    A few things….

    1. I just recently discovered your blog and I love it.
    2. I have the shirt version of that fave dress of yours.
    3. I was just thinking about how I do some of my best crafting while listening to Arcade Fire. What a coincidence!
    $. Love the new cardi.

  28. yellow warbler Says:

    That’s a great idea! I sometimes find good quality knitwear in charity shops, but most of it has a few holes here and there, so I might actually buy some now and pretty them up! Thank you for sharing.

  29. Océane Says:

    It’s so cute ! Very beautiful ! I have not such lovely ideas . I think i should do the same for ma favourite cardigan !
    Sorry for my poor english…

  30. Blowing off some steam… with a Hot-Air Balloon! | thimbly things Says:

    […] For this project, I was inspired by a hot-air balloon zippered pouch in Zakka Sewing.  (And you might recognize the bird from here.) […]

  31. Руслан Says:

    И как автору не влом столько времени на написание статей тратить, мы конечно очень благодарны, но вот я на такой альтруизм не способен :)

  32. DIY: Floral Applique Embellished Cardigan : academichic Says:

    […] Wee little bird appliques! […]

  33. A Cupcake For Moose Says:

    I am so impressed! Gorgeous and fun and completely unique! I would wear this sweater all the time if I were you! :)

    -Rachel from A Cupcake for Moose

  34. walking away from purchases… « Girl in Landscape Says:

    […] cardigan revamp by Kristena Derrick at thimbly things is my number one inspiration at present. I have some beautiful scraps of Liberty Tana Lawn that I […]

  35. Make time for mending.. tonight! | Says:

    […] (via thimblythings) […]

  36. darn it all! | the knit cafe Says:

    […] more creative solutions for filling in  moth holes  have a look at this.  Pretty patches from thimble things Crafty solution with needle and thread from Tsia Carson can be found in her book […]

  37. Inspired By: Creative Mending Techniques « Says:

    […] about some other creative mending tutorials that I’ve come across. This next one is on how to re-vamp an old cardigan, via Thimbly […]

  38. Easy Quilt Patterns Says:

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    […]Spring Wardrobe Revamp: Cardigan | thimbly things[…]

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