the best laid plans – future projects and cashmere sweater.

at the beginning of the year, I went through all the fabrics,/stash, and acquired charity shop buys and I made a plan to try and get through them.  Stash is about 12 x  half, 1 and 2 metre lots with 1 x 3 metre piece.  I divided everything by colour and then drew up some’ little ladies’ and had a plan for each month pretty much until August, and beyond.

For the most part this has been helpful to keep me focused and I can still update each month if any better options come to mind.  For all the remakes I have been doing – 50% have been trouble free and straightforward, and the other 50% have had to have a re-think, where there was insufficient fabric for the pattern (happens the most), or the design didn’t look right for the fabric.   Of these, most will go according to the new plan – however some do not. and these few are the ones I spend an obscene amount of time trying to make right before they work or I admit defeat…

May is not going to plan, at all, and I am having a week of it at the moment.  Two patterns I tried out on a whim are going a breeze, and one pair of trousers are going decidedly south (so they are being put away for the next while as they are breaking my heart) – and yet the piece I was supposed to be doing was still on the mannequin last Thursday waiting…..

refashion sweater to cardigan

its a pink cashmere sweater that came to a standstill – which is why this post is being posted a few days late…………When I got this sweater, I saw cashmere and the quality felt okay, and the size a little big, it was stained and had a hole in the underarm seam, and I bought it for 4euro.  When I got home, it went straight to the basin.   I am not too squeamish but I was surprised by how grubby this jersey was.   I did Home Ecc/Domestic Science in school, and amongst other things (like cooking sheeps heart…..), in one class we were taught how to wash a wool sweater.  At the time, I thought the nuns were leading me to a life of indenture and servitude and was not very impressed, whereas now I realised the value of these lessons (although I will pass on the sheeps heart!).  After laundering the sweater (and the dash of vinegar in rinse) it came up a treat and the cashmere got back its buttery softness – ah bliss!

I cut it to make a cardigan, trimming very little from the neck, cutting up a centre front, taking about 4 inches from sleeves and hem.  I hand hemmed using an ‘internal’  hand sewn zig zag stitch to keep it flat.  the thickness of the cashmere concealed the stitch (which was just as well as the thread is not an exact match.   

refashion sweater to cardigan

My original idea was to crochet and sew on an elaborate trim in orange like a matador jacket, for the neck, front and hem edges and the cuffs – a bit of a grandiose idea, and I even dyed some left over mixed-silk yarn (daft I know) from the poncho last year.  I crocheted a swatch in red and a swatch in orange as I was unsure of the orange, and in the end I didn’t think either would work as  ‘the elaborate border’ so went the more conservative route of a simple trim.  

Also as the yarn was originally 2 shades (and the yarn was made of 2 fingering weights, one linen pale, and one silk which was darker? I had to later separate them and used the darker silk yarn (and a 2.5 hook).  I stitched a blanket stitch on the inside in same colour embroider thread to hold the trim.   The cardigan is trimmed with some rows of single stitch, then one row fillet, and some single stitch.  I added a line of shells to the cuff.  A very simple re-do, but takes a bit longer with a 2.5 hook!


The other piece that fell by the wayside this month is my planned  galatzine coat.  I was going to use some dress linen but think the weight is too light.  I did a toile (the toile was cut from the lining pattern as it was intended on being the lining) from a sheet and put it in the orange dye (its pretty awful and came out a very lurid shade.).  The toile has a lovely fit, but as the entire coat is cut on the bias I will think about it some more, If I interline it, I could lose the quality of the linen, and I wanted a lighter weight summer coat.  I did put a post on we sew retro asking if anyone had made it (no one had) and there was the suggestion of just going for a heavier weight which I am now reluctantly agreeing with….I am thinking of trying a simpler coat with the linen…..

2 thoughts on “the best laid plans – future projects and cashmere sweater.

  1. Angela says:

    Eimear, I love what you're doing on your blog. Your remakes are so interesting to read about, even if some of them are not working out. How did you find so many gorgeous patterns? That coat is beautiful and hard to believe it's cut on the bias. If you still wanted to use the linen, could you try not cutting it on the bias? You might need another toile to make sure the fit is still ok.


  2. Eimear Greaney says:

    Thank you Angela, I am leaving the coat to one side, as I just need to think about it for a bit longer, as I dont want to waste the linen either – and I have another pattern which could suit this linen also and it has a sleeve shape that looks appealing. I think its the problem with stashed fabric, you hold onto it so long, you dither when it comes to actually making things from it! Since putting thisproject to one side, I had to take down a curtain here, and decided to make a coat from it (i have a weakness for coats). Vintage patterns fascinate me as the cuts and variety are much more interesting although some take up a lot of fabric, I also like the history they come with, whether it be the previous maker (the former owner of the Galatzine pattern didnt make the coat and left pins in the dress pattern where they had altered the dart) or the designer ……….and the detailing….


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