- Embellished cardi: Target + Amy Butler fabric + a little DIY
- Navy top: Target
- Denim pencil skirt: Banana Republic Factory
- Gray knee socks: mom’s from college
- Boots: Steve Madden Iriss
I adopted this little green cropped cardigan from one of my sisters-in-law, but shortly thereafter it developed a little hole in the shoulder. Rather than throwing it away, I thought that it would serve as the perfect base for trying my hand at cardigan-embellishing. I started with this Blushing Bouquet cardigan from Anthropologie as my general inspiration:
A few simple steps:
1. Select a fabric with a strong print. Iron on a length of fusible web to the back of your fabric.
2. Cut out the pattern you want to applique. I tried to get a variety of sizes of flowers and leaves from my fabric.
3. Lay out the cut-outs on your cardigan. I wanted mine to go all the way around the neck, so I couldn’t lay everything out at the same time. Instead, I selected a few flowers as anchor points and ironed those into place.
4. Keep ironing the cut-outs onto your cardigan until you have the desired look. And… ta da!
A Few Notes: Any time you adhere a woven fabric to a knit, you lose the stretch of the knit. So, if you need your cardi to keep that stretch — particularly around the bust, for example — then refrain from appliqueing embellishments there. Also, be sure to follow the directions on whatever brand of fusible web you purchase for best results. And finally, I think this is going to be a handwashed laundry item from here on it. But I think it’s worth it.
If academia doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll just become a full-time cardigan embellisher. I know that, given time and supplies, I could very well make something like this or this or this. And look how many fabulous — and often surprisingly easy! — ways there are to fancy up your cardigan using ribbon or just scraps of fabric!
- Lace bits!
- Wee little bird appliques!
- JCrew look-a-like ruffled cardigan!
- (Archival Allure tries out two options herself.)
As always, we’d love to see what you’ve come up with yourself!