Maybe Matilda: A Belated Spring Sweater Refashion

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Belated Spring Sweater Refashion

Do you ever have something totally crazy and hilarious happen to you and you know it would make, like, the blog post of the century? But you're afraid to write about it because it involves some acquaintances who may or may not read your blog and could possibly be offended if they read it? And you're trying to decide which is more important to you . . . maintaining a casual acquaintance-ship or writing a hilarious blog post? Well, that, friends, was my weekend. And while I try to figure out if I can/should make that blog post happen, you can read this unhilarious one instead.

I kind of forgot I had this project waiting in the wings to be posted until I stumbled across one of these photos today. I can't neglect my poor little forgotten project any longer--I'm sure it's feeling left out and depressed, waiting for its moment to shine. Here you go, little project, enjoy your 15 seconds of fame!

Little Girls' Spring Sweater Refashion
One of my best friends has a sweet little girl who just turned 3, and I wanted to make her something fun for her birthday. She's such a cheerful, spunky kid, so I wanted to make her something just as cute and happy as she is. 

We couldn't convince her to try it on for me at her birthday party, but who can blame her when she's surrounded by dozens of other presents to open? I'm impressed she could even pause long enough to hold it up so I could snap a picture of her with it--I would have been attacking all the other gifts if I were her.

Click read more below to see how I made it!

What You'll Need
- a simple sweater (I bought mine for $2 or $3 at Walmart . . . I know, I'm so classy)
- ribbon in a few different colors
- some buttons

I was the lucky winner of a sampler pack from The Ribbon Jar a few weeks ago (my ribbon flower belt won the "Better with Ribbon" linkup that week at Color Chic!), and I loved all the beautiful colors that came for me in the mail:

I had picked up this plain little cardigan at Walmart a super-fancy and expensive boutique a day or two before my ribbon arrived with the intent to refashion it somehow, but I couldn't think of anything until that ribbon showed up in my mailbox.
As soon as I saw the ribbon, I was picturing a bright, spring-y field of flowers, and thought I could recreate that on this cardigan for my little friend!

I cut a few lengths of ribbon to be stems and leaves for the flowers, ran the raw edges over a flame to seal them, and pinned them along the bottom of the sweater, varying the heights and leaf placement.

Then I picked one of the funky stitches on my sewing machine and sewed straight down the center of the stems, making sure that I was catching the leaves with my stitches.

I used these instructions at Ribbon Flowers to create the 5-petal ribbon flowers--mine definitely didn't come out nearly as cute as the example flowers on the site (how on earth did they get them so dang perfect?!), but hey, it's for a 3-year old . . . I doubt she cares.
I stitched the flowers at the top of the stems and hand-sewed a colorful button at the center of each flower, then replaced the button on the cardigan with a brighter one, too.

I thought about hacking off the sleeves so it would be more of a warm weather item, but I ended up just leaving them as is so she could keep wearing it into the fall and winter. How considerate of me, right? That move was totally motivated by selfless concern for her chilly arms and definitely not laziness or the need to finish it fast so we wouldn't be late to her birthday party.

I think it's so sweet and fun, and I'm glad I received that ribbon so I could make it--I would probably still be sitting here wondering how to refashion that sweater if it hadn't arrived and gotten the ol' creative juices flowing! 

I'll (probably) be linking up this project to Skip To My Lou, Today's Creative Blog, Sassy Sites, The Train to Crazy, and Sew Much Ado! Check out their linkups to see tons of great ideas!


  1. So cute! Reason No. 5,001 that I need to have a little girl already. :)

  2. Absolutely adorable!! I agree with Krista - if only I had a little girl to make one for. :) Love the funky stitch detail on the stem - it adds such a charming detail to the already cute flowers!

  3. How cute! The ribbon turned a plain sweater into such a cute, fun present! And you can tell she loves it :) don't tease us...I'm dying to hear your story from the weekend!!!


  4. Adorable!!

    I think you should write this hilarious post...the suspense is killing me. :P

  5. What an adorable gift! I know I would LOVE one for my daughters. Great job, you are crazy talented!

  6. SO CUTE! Nice to see such a creative use of herringbone! Glad you won!

  7. Cute sweater! Do you have another one to sell on your Etsy store? I have a 3 yr old girl ;-)

  8. I love this little sweater. It's so happy. If I had a little girl I would buy it from you in a second... so I agree with Heart and Haven... you should sell it in your ETSY store.

  9. So pretty and cheerful! (BTW...I have many unwritten posts exactly like that...most of the time I'm too afraid that everyone else won't think it's as funny as I do. So it never happens. But someday I'll just let 'er flow....)

  10. Love the sweater up-do...and the new blog header! Both look great!

  11. you made the $2 sweater look like $50 well done!


  12. You are a bloody clever clogs! You are ACE!!!!

  13. eeee! love this! the bright, cheery colors are great.

  14. You make some more...put them in an Etsy shop and I'll buy least 2 of them! Deal? :) Fabulous!

  15. Hmm, now I am super curious! =) I love funny stories! But, I totally understand if you decide not to post it. Sometimes random people read your blog and you have no idea! Also, the sweater is adorable. It looks like she really loved it too, so I'd say that's a job well done!

  16. This is darling! Also, just post it. I love hilarious blog posts!!

  17. CUTE!!! I hope you'll share this at the scrappy saturdays link up tomorrow! @]

    Excited to find your blog!

  18. I love this and just featured it on my "13 Sweater Re-fashions". Thanks for sharing.

  19. So adorable! Thanks for sharing the idea.


Thanks for commenting!

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