Refashion: Slimming boxy purple cotton sweaters

Lousy purple is IN this season.

Boils my blood to no end since I’ve loved purple for many long years so I’m already sick of everyone looking like me. Went to a wedding last weekend in a fave purple dress — there were at least four other women all purpled up. Grrr.

A smart lady in my life said to shut up and stock up so when the trixies moved on to teal or yellow or whatever, I’d be all set. It’s pretty good advice. Since I haven’t bought retail since August 2007, I continue to stockpile purple at the Salvy.

Purple cardigan - before

This winning XL cardigan is a stunning shade, a solid lightweight cotton and sweetly long. It was too wide and shapeless though,

Original buttons are boring 

and the buttons were terrible.

1. Try sweater on inside out. Pin up sides. Fit, repinning as necessary.

2. Using a zig zag stitch, sew up the sides.

sweater purple cardigan side seam

3. With sharp scissors, cut off the sleeves at the shoulder seams.

sweater purple cardigan cut sleeve

4. Find the middle of the top of each sleeve. About 1 inch, 1 1/2 inches on either side of the middle, baste about 1/4 inch from the edge. Pin the bottom of the sleeve to the bottom of the armhole, and the top to the top. Keep pinning from the bottom.

5. Pull the basted threads slowly from each side until the sleeve fits the armhole with a little gathering. Pin, fit and sew.

sweater purple cardigan gather sleeve

I stitched in a little folded netting to support the little puff. 

sweater purple cardigan sleeve close

sweater purple cardigan buttons

I also replaced the original boring brown buttons with vintage yellow domed buttons, after much debate between yellow and pink.

The purple acorns and green discs wouldn’t fit. Boo.

sweater purple cardigan after

So much better now.

And check out a similar slimming sans sleeve enhancements. Such a fantastic cotton knit with a boatneck and cheeky sneaky silver buttons up the front of one side, before:

sweater purple cotton before

And after:
purple cotton sweater after

The change is subtle; the fit is just better now that the sides have been slimmed.

    • Robin Peinado
    • November 26th, 2008

    I really like all the stuff you do, thanks for the tutorials!

  1. You inspire me! I have been feeling the urge to grab everything out of my closet that doesn’t fit right and make it fit!

  2. Hey, I wanted to make sure you got my response to your question so I figured I’d just write on your blog!
    Here is what I used for the photo necklace and where to get it.
    *mini photo frames: Dollarama (which means it is probably a Memory Makers knockoff, they tend to do that a lot)
    *Liquid Glass: Close To My Heart (google and find your nearest rep) but you can find Diamond Glaze at a good craft store and use that instead. Other people have suggested Mod Podge or even clear nail varnish (you’d have to really coat that on and let it dry for ages though)

    The chain is just from a necklace I already had and removed the tacky old charm from. You could find something in a thrift store, I’m sure! and of course the photo, i just printed it onto regular paper on my computer because it was an experiment but you could use an actual photo just the same. Or even printing out pictures of old pinup drawings or whatever would be super cute and trendy!
    one tip though, i found that sepia tone, while it looks cool, became very hard to tell what it was unless somebody told you. And up the contrast a notch, because being small and then perhaps a bit blurred by the layers of glaze (use a few, you really want to turn that paper/photo into jewelry) it really doesn’t hurt.

  3. Thanks for your advice on Turkey… I figure nothing will come above knees, and tops will be modestly cut with coverups/buttondowns available daily. Are sandals acceptable? I was going to ask for Chocos for my bday if that is the case…

    Your blog is awesome. Thanks for reading mine!

    It’s nice to see someone else who liked purple before it was cool…

  4. Sandals should be fine. But be ready to look at the Turkish shoes, too. Purple is the very best.

  1. June 21st, 2009
  2. June 21st, 2009

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