Sunday, November 6, 2016

BLC Day 6: Empire Refash

Have you noticed that thrift store shopping has become trendy?  I wonder what changed to make this shopping experience "stylish".  I've had several recent experiences where I've voiced my admiration over something a person is wearing, only to hear them proudly proclaim it was purchased at a thrift store - and by young women, too!

I've supported The Salvation Army for many years, both financially and through donations, because I believe in their cause and the work they do.  About 2 years ago, I went to one of their thrift stores on New Year's Day because I wanted to purchase a supply of inexpensive white sweaters for a home dec project - more on that later.  While there, I was drawn to this red empire-waist pullover sweater.  I loved the color, the pronounced cable knits and the weight.  I could see this being a welcomed and much-appreciated layer of clothing on cold winter days.  And, because the store was holding a Half-Off Tag sale for the holiday, I was able to scoop it up for about $3 or $4.  Once I started wearing it, however, the sweater bodice felt constricting and the style almost maternity-like.

I went on Pinterest and found several sweater refashion images which inspired me, and because I still loved the color and knit, I thought I would like the sweater better as a cardigan than of a pullover.

I marked the center of the bodice top, and cut the entire sweater front down the middle.

No turning back now!

I didn't have a length of fabric to match the sweater color, but I thought it may be more interesting if the new cardigan facings were in a contrasting color, so I used the fabric remnant from the Frou Frou dress I made my daughter in 2010.

I cut and interfaced two lengths of fabric 2 1/2-inches wide and long enough to extend about 1-inch beyond the front edge lengths.

I pinned the facings to each sweater front edge and sewed them using my serger.

I turned the facings to the inside, pressed and understitched them to the sweater edge, and then folded the top and bottom edges under to finish attaching the entire facing with hand stitches.  Finally, I attached hook and eyes to the bodice edges so I could close the cardigan when desired.

My first wearing of this sweater was with this black knit dress by Banana Republic.  This was another thrift store find I picked up - complete with the original dress tags - for $12.  It has a low v-neck opening, and tasteful design detail where the bodice and waist meet.  I love the hand of this knit fabric and how this dress feels on me.

I partnered my cardi and dress with fishnet hosiery and leather boots.

I liked how the cardigan turned out, it's been getting more wear in its new form and I even received a compliment from someone.  I consider this refashion a win!

Be blessed!



  1. I am so impressed! That sweater is a beautiful find. And the cardigan idea is so practical. You look really great in that outfit and very well put together.

    1. Thank you, Delores, for your kind words; I so appreciate your taking time to share your comments.

  2. Yes, yes, yes! This is definitely a thrift store refashion win for sure! This looks so new, trendy and RTW!

    1. Thank you so much, Myra. This sweater has really become a favorite of mine.

  3. You look great and I think the refashion is better than the original. Looking good

    1. Thank you so much, Amy, I really appreciate the compliment! I'm quite fond of the refashion, too!!