Hot! The “Kindy” Cardi

The Facts

Fabric: one old woolen school jersey, about $1 from an op shop
Pattern: none, I made it up as I went along
Year: now!
Notions: 6 mis-matched red buttons from my stash, ~$0.05
Time to complete: 1.5 hours, including invention time
First worn: to work last Friday
Wear again? already have and will again
Total cost: about $1.05

This week’s childhood challenge was a great excuse to pull out the old photo albums and take a trip back through memory lane. I love looking at old photos of my family, seeing how everyone’s changed and yet stayed the same. Always brings a smile to my face.

Trying to decide what garment(s) to choose as inspiration was a bit harder, though. If I didn’t have an ever-expanding bump in front of me, I would have been whipping up a corduroy floral skirt as quick-as-can-be. But one of those in a maternity style? Um, I think not.

One thing that jumped out at me as I was looking through the old photos was the prevalence of red cardigans in my childhood. For example, here’s me aged 2, with my grandfather out on his farm. Note the red cardigan I’m proudly wearing:

And here’s another, this time aged 5 with my grand mother, great-grand mother, and the middle of my three younger brothers. Once again, happily wearing a red cardigan:

There were plenty more. Me, aged 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, wearing a red cardi each year. Clearly, hand knitted woolen red cardigans featured quite strongly in my early life.

And just as clearly, I needed to try to replicate that this week!

Enter one old red school jersey from an op shop a while back. Ill-fitting, as school jerseys have to be (I think it’s a law somewhere about school uniforms in general?), but good heavy wool. It was too big, the band at the bottom was too narrow (causing an oh-so-flattering billowy effect around the stomach), and the sleeves were too short by a couple of inches. (See? Law of ill-fitting school uniforms strikes again.)

I set about removing the worst offending features, gleefully chopping off the overly-tight band at the base and the too-short sleeve cuffs. Sliced off the neck band as well for good measure, then cut it right down the centre front. The addition of 6 mis-matched buttons from my stash (I admit it – I didn’t have any matching ones in the right size/colour) and a bit of hemming with the trusty overlocker, and I now have a cozy cardi to wear this winter. It’s even got a bit of extra room to fit over the bump for a bit longer.

As for the photos? Another windy day in Wellington (which makes the child-like pigtails a bit hard to see) and an elastic-waisted skirt pulled up over my 18-week baby bump, creating a lovely line half-way up the cardigan. I’m all class this week, put together as well as any 3 year old who’s been playing in rain puddles. Hah.



Kat stumbled upon The Sew Weekly at the end of 2010. Inspired by Mena's creations and dedication to sewing each week, Kat stitched along with all the weekly themes for 2011. Through The Sew Weekly and the girls who contribute to it, she deepened her passion for vintage styles and started amassing a large collection of vintage patterns. Now she needs an excuse to try using them all.


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  1. Love the red cardi : ) Did one myself this week. I also love seeing your baby bump grow from week to week! Cute pics, cute story, good job : )

    • Thanks! :-) Looking forward to seeing your cardi. They seem like such a childhood thing (maybe because they take a bit longer to grow out of, perhaps? Hmmm…)

  2. Great reFashion and love the windy pictures outdoors, such a beautiful area to take pictures.

    • Thank you! It’s actually outside the hospital, not too far from the maternity ward (it seemed rather appropriate, considering how many children arrive there, haha)

  3. Yay for belly shots! I love to see a growing baby belly. :)

  4. Great refashion on the sweater. Isn’t it amazing how you can transform a pullover and make it a cardigan? You did an excellent job. Cute photos too.

  5. Love the cardi, and how did I miss that you’re expecting!?! Congratulations! That’ll teach me to go away for a couple of weeks.

  6. Aww look at little you! Such a cute idea. I love your mismatched buttons, they work perfectly :D

  7. Love your upcycling! I don’t usually add buttons when I turn a sweater or pullover into a cardigan. Since I like things a bit messy I leave it like it is. Maybe your cute sweater will help me stop being so lazy!

  8. There’s something very reassuring, comfy and calming about a red cardy. I love it, especially the mismatched buttons. Seriously cute.