DIY: Floral Applique Embellished Cardigan

March 5th, 2010 § 38 comments


  • 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

End Notes:

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!

As always, we’d love to see what you’ve come up with yourself!

Tagged , ,

§ 38 Responses to DIY: Floral Applique Embellished Cardigan"

  1. Marie says:

    I love this DIY and MUST try it! You picked the greatest color and pattern for the florals.
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  2. MsAmanda says:

    Cute, cute. So fresh and springy!

  3. Sally says:

    Holy moly, lady, it turned out beautifully!

  4. Faux Naïf says:

    this is just marvelous! honestly, it looks so beautiful – like something out of a swish indie boutique. well done!

  5. Jenny says:

    That is beyond cool. So crafty, yet easy enough that I could probably pull it off.

    Thank you for this!

  6. Jane W. says:

    Wow!! Beautiful color combination. I lurve Amy Butler.

  7. Jade says:

    Love the applique! The whole outfit is awesome!

  8. Kristena says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for linking to my revamp too. This reminds me that I need to get crackin’ on my spring wardrobe! :)

  9. Wow! This is the most amazing DIY I’ve seen without a single thread involved.

  10. MET says:

    This is so cute! I love the fabric you picked to make the embellishments from.

  11. EmilyKennedy says:

    Whoa! That’s so freakin’ COOL! I don’t think I knew about fusible web iron-on stuff. RADNESS!

  12. Kimberly says:

    I have been loving the look of a striped tee with flowers on it ( I was planning a DIY but was trying to find flower iron-ons. But with this idea I can make my own!! Woot-woot!! Thanks for the great idea and love the cardigan!

  13. Madeline says:

    This is a fantastic DIY! I have been in a do it myself mood lately, and I am *always* in a cardigan mood.

    I really want to do this sometime soon!

  14. tess says:

    hi just found your blog, I am immediately intrigued by your premise, a fashion inspired academic, since I may go into academia myself and I’m from the midwest originally (MN). I love your blog already from this post. what a great sweater and I can’t believe you made it yourself wow! great job! can’t wait to read more. would you like to trade links?

  15. sabrina says:

    I am totally speechless, E.! I don’t even like embellishments on my clothes ordinarily (attempt to buy “classics” that will last many season) but this is a perfect project for a thrifted cardigan. So easy but look at that payoff! I will totally try this soon.
    The rest of the outfit is also beautiful styled. Another academichic win!

  16. Cindy says:

    There is fusible knit interfacing available, and I’ve used that to applique t-shirts. The downside is that the applique has to be sewn down instead of ironed on, but the garment doesn’t lose it’s stretch.

  17. Sunday says:

    genius! you’re so creative!

  18. Vanessa says:

    This so cool! I really want to try this one out!

  19. design_SMITH says:

    I actually have the same cardi from target (in same color) which I usually wear with a strapless summer dress … now you’ve got me thinking about how to embellish it. I love the DIY pieces!

  20. angie~* says:

    You picked out the perfect colours for your floral fabric! Very nice! I like the little flower at the back!

  21. Clare says:

    Oh my gosh, this is GENIOUS! I love it, and I totally want to try it, too.

  22. kristen says:

    Brilliant I tell you. Absolutely brilliant.

  23. WendyB says:

    GREAT work! It looks wonderful.

  24. That looks gorgeous! I wish we have fusible web here :(

  25. Linguist Barbie says:

    Ok, this was just the kick-start I needed. I had a pretty grey sweater that had felted down to doll size in the wash, and a deep craving for the rosette-embellished cardigans that AT Loft is selling right now (see:

    Out of those two elements, plus a pink *Target* cardigan (approx. 2/7 the price!), a procrastinatory Saturday, a needle and thread, and some spare buttons and beads, came this: . I wired the rosettes to each other, and to two safety-pin backings, so I can take the whole thing off before washing, and so it can go with other sweaters, too!

    Thanks for the impetus … and for a much more relaxing day yesterday than I would have had if I’d been working on lesson plans! ;c)

  26. Goannatree says:

    What a fabulous idea! It looks great!

  27. Wao, it turned out beautiful!! Congrats!

  28. Lily says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It’ll be the next crafty project my sister and I do together. Such a wonderful way to revamp my student budget wardrobe, which is looking a little plain of late.

  29. yublocka says:

    Wow I have never seen anything like this before. What a wonderful idea – LOVE it!!!

  30. m says:

    this is an awesome idea! i am going to have to try this! thanks!

  31. kellty says:

    Turned out super cute! I may have a new weekend project now!

  32. [...] of heavy rain comes to be. For this week’s floral venture I’ve returned to my floral embellished cardigan with its big, overlapping Amy Butler poppies. With a gray tank, cuffed skinnies, and yellow patent [...]

  33. [...] I added one little decal to the pocket and one to the top right side of my new shirt. I attached them by hand-stiching all along the border of my decal to secure it to the shirt. Another alternative would be using a no-sew adhesive tape to attach your embellishments, as E. did with these flower decals on her cardigan. [...]

  34. Morgan says:

    Just did this and love it! Can’t wait to try something else!

  35. [...] hand me down from SIL, embellished by me Dress: Banana Republic Factory Belt: Gap Outlet Pumps: Steve [...]

  36. [...] worn it in a good long time. Enter craftiness! Inspired by the cardigan applique-ing skills demonstrated by E. of academichic (but feeling wary of the iron and my propensity for burning myself with it), I [...]

  37. Anna says:

    Nice color combination. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>