Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Retro Restyle: Cashmere Sweaters

I love sweaters.  They are part and parcel with the whole sheep and yarn hobby.  Some day maybe I will do a proper write-up on my sweater addiction, but not today.  Today I have a story of two oddball sweaters that never were circulated in the daily wardrobe.  One started out life as a men's XL v-neck in grey, the other was a women's L crewneck in red.  They were cast-offs, one too big, too baggy, the other too tight around the neckline and stained on the lower cuff. Eventually they were taken to the sewing room and  left folded in a pile, waiting for redemption.  Individually they were not particularly exciting, but together they created something beautiful. 

Both were cashmere, afterall, and so demanded respect, but they just couldn't compete with my go-to argyles and cardigans.  After some thought, and a little bit of shivering on cold winter evenings, I decided a cozy bathrobe was just the thing.  Both sweaters were split down the center front.  Cutting the red sweater straight across from armpit to armpit, the bottom half was sewn to the bottom of the grey sweater.  I did the same technique with the cuffs, simply cutting and swapping.  I considered adding a belt but decided against it and left the closure as a simple hook at the neckline.

Do not be afraid to cut and sew sweaters.  I typically stay-stitch or use an iron-on pellon to reinforce before I cut.  Fraying is not a problem unless the sweater is a loose weave. I also top-stitch my seam allowances for added strength.  All stitching was done with a regular needle using a larger stitch, approximately 8 per inch.

The cashmere bathrobe was indeed cozy, but still needed something to make it more exciting.  I cut a large circle from the red scraps and top-stitched it to the back.  My son traced his hand (he's left-handed just like me) and I used Heat 'n Bond to add his handprint to the red circle.  Who doesn't appreciate a pat on the back once in awhile?  Or as I tell my husband when he hugs me, "Place hand here and press gently."

After a long day of doing, there is nothing more comforting that wrapping yourself in a giant cashmere sweater and tucking your feet under you on the couch.  A hot cup of tea helps immensely, too. 

Stay warm!  Winter is on the retreat!


  1. That looks very cosy! And the handprint on the back is adorable :)

  2. Repurposing the sweaters into the robe was a nice idea! How cozy is that! I'll have to keep that in mind if I run across cashmere sweaters needing a new life. Spring is just around the corner here in Oregon, but the chill is still in the air.


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