Monday, August 13, 2012

Red Riding Hood

...along with requisite "wolf" hehehe.
This is the latest in my attempts to make usable things out of things not being used....
I pulled out of my bag of toss-outs this oversized cotton cardigan along with another old Tshirt tossed out by Tim.  I've struggled with this cardigan... the cheerful warm tomato-red colour is a plus but the boxy shape and massive size has always been a problem.  Since day dot, really...  I bought it in 2001; my first mail order purchase whilst we were living in the US.  I was a mail order newbie, and just assumed naively that a small/medium would probably be my size.  When it arrived: well, it was ridiculously big!
Lesson learned!  Incidentally, the lesson ultimately learned was "don't buy mail order, ever"... but that's a whole other story  ;)
Anyhoo I did not think or know at the time how I could go about returning stuff... so it stayed.  The armpits hung down below my bust level and I had to wrap it half again around my body and tie a belt over, to keep even halfway warm in it.  Stylish, not.  It's basically been in the camping/washing the car and/or the dog in category since new, and then migrated to my re-fashioning bag at least a year ago.
Using my own trusty custom fit Tshirt pattern as a guide; I cut up the cardigan, re-sized the pieces and sewed it all together again: only keeping the shoulder seams of the cardigan intact, since they were already nicely re-inforced.  Also I kept the neckline band and the wrist bands untouched and intact, and the lower band is also original although taken in with the side seams. When refashioning something new outa something old, it is a good idea to keep and incorporate into the finished garment as many of the factory finishes as possible; it ends up looking a lot more professional and pulled together.  Plus makes it a heckuvalot easier.
I'm slightly obsessed with hoodies lately.  Hood = cool, right?  Right!
The red Tshirt was getting pretty fragile and the fabric was not going to hold up to anything heavy duty, but since a hood is something that just hangs there decoratively most of the time and is not "worn" very much, so I thought the fabric might hold up to the task.
Now my hood pattern from KwikSew 3667 is drafted to fit a crew neck, and my cardigan has a deep V neck.  But it is pretty easy to add on an extra wedge section while cutting out, so the hood will fit onto the V neckline...
I overlocked the lower edge of my hood and simply stitched in the ditch along the outside of the cardigan.
I removed the original buttons off the cardigan (green plastic, which I never really liked either) and sewed in a matching red open-ended zip.
I did have fancy plans to sew on a few decorative pockets cut from the Tshirt also, but after a coupla attempts I had to concede defeat; the Tshirt fabric was really too fragile and they looked muchos hideous.  So the cardigan remains pocket-less.  :(
Yah, so hopefully the hood might hold up for a while yet.  We shall see.  To be honest, I'm still not head over heels in love with this thing, despite its cool new hood.  Y'know how sometimes something just doesn't push your buttons, even though it ticks all the right boxes?  It's "my" colour, it's got a hood, it fits nicely (now).  It's got a hood.  Did I mention the hood?  Hoods are cool.  I kinda love the hood.
Well, I guess I'll look a tad more stylin' around the campfire than I was before.
I'm counting this one a minor league win.

Hoodie; my own design, with modified hood from KwikSew 3667, made from an oversized old cardigan and an old tshirt
Tshirt; charcoal and black striped cotton jersey, details here
Skirt;  charcoal stretch jersey, details here
Scarf; details here
Tights; voodoo
Shoes; Django and Juliette, from Zomp shoes


  1. Great recycling. I love the color. And hoods.

  2. You are so good to hang onto clothes for that long looking for an redesign opportunity. It looks great. I love that the hood and the cardi are different fabrics.

  3. It looks great. Hopefully it'll grow on you a bit! And yeah, hoods are great.

  4. What a great refashion!!! Like you, I'm feeling a little hoodie obsessed, too. I'm working on one right now. :)

  5. I love those photos - on the way to grandmother's house! Good job for (again) finding a way to transform those old clothes. I had to buy a RTW cardigan recently on a trip to the US because it was unexpectedly freezing (!) and the only two options I could find were a) too small and b) huge. So I went with huge so that I would at least be covered up. :)

  6. Great job! Good to be able to turn something old into something new again.

  7. What a great refashion. I think I'd have thrown the cardi out years ago! I am impressed.

  8. I love that tomato colour. It looks really lovely with it's smart new hood.

  9. What a great idea. And you have a hood :))

  10. Hello, wonderful shares. Thank you :)))

  11. Great re-fashion! And your wolf looks like she would simply lobby directly to share your picinic basket!


  12. Hi Carolyn, I thought it was you that day, but then at the last minute I wasn't positive and I chickened out of saying anything! I was with my friend after walking the boys to school and stopping at the shops on the way back. I actually live on the street you saw us on! How funny that I was wearing the ombre skirt that day - a bit of a dead giveaway to my identity!! I'm sure we will cross paths again. Hopefully you'll be wearing those gorgeous spiral leggings so I can have a closer look at them :)

  13. You make such lovely clothes and gives us followers of your blog lots of inspiration :)

  14. What a perfect refashion - I keep pulling out my unused sweaters & stuffing them back in the closet when I can't quite figure out what to do with them - you just gave me some inspiration - thank you! :)

  15. Hmmm... why don't you really like it still? I think it looks great on you! It's funny though how sometimes something just isn't right, even though it 'should' be! These hoodies have inspired me... they look like fun! Now, just to dig out something to make it with...

  16. Another great job! I think if I just come and go through your closet, I can save myself a lot of sewing :O).

  17. Aussie Aussie Aussie - yes yes yes!
    (sounds wayyyy better, don't you think?)
    Well done in true spirit, Carolyn!!!

    LG, Gerlinde

    Btw.: for the shown item in the previous post, I'd have glady lend you my way shorter legs!
    (and duck and run fast ;-) !)