Monday, February 1, 2016

Upcycled Cashmere Seamwork Oslo Cardigan

One of the great joys of winter is cuddling up in cozy sweaters! 

When the Oslo, from Seamwork Magazine, first appeared, I wasn't convinced. I generally don't go for the grandpa-cardigan look. But as the chill of winter started to sink in, an oversized cardigan sounded really good!

In a particularly amazing thrift store run, I came up with three black cashmere cardigans. None were really wearable... one had some holes in random spots, another was quite felted. But after a good steaming in the dryer (which I'm really, really hoping does a number on any remaining unwanted fauna), I deconstructed them and managed to piece together most of the pieces of the Oslo. In the picture below, you can see some of the extra seaming. Mostly, I think it looks acceptably intentional. The seams are just a bit more puckery than I would like, but the best I could do under the circumstances. This was all pre-serger (I made this in December), so I seamed together pieces with my sewing machine, using the walking foot to help minimize stretching. I then did a faux-coverstitch by zig-zagging over the seams with a very wide zig zag stitch.

I had to resort to another piece of wool in my stash to do the outside collar, but the rest of the sweater is 100% cashmere. I cut the cuffs and the inside collar (the cozy part against the neck) out of the fluffy felted black sweater. That is by far my favorite part of this sweater... I just love those fluffy cashmere cuffs and collar against my neck and wrists.

This still is not the world's most flattering sweater, but it is soooooo cozy!

I'm a tiny bit foggy on the details, but I believe I sewed a Medium, even though I'm technically a large (40 inch bust). This was based on the experiences of other bloggers... I wanted comfy, but not humongous! I also slightly reduced the width of the collar, due to the width of the sweaters I was using. 

This is a very fabric-hungry design... I have only tiny scraps left over. Definitely a decadent project to do in cashmere.

I actually really did want to do the button closure, but after a quick test on a sample, it was totally clear that buttonholes through this stretchy, thick fabric just weren't going to happen. Bound buttonholes would be lovely, but too much of an investment of time, too late in the process! So perhaps I'll seek some sew-on snaps or something... or maybe magnet closures? Ideas anyone? 

The other thing about black cashmere-- it is a pilling, lint collecting mess! I am willing to overlook such minor aesthetic faux pas in favor of incredible coziness, but I admit that I mostly wear this sweater when I know I'll be spending the afternoon alone in my studio or on weekends at home. 


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  2. What a wonderful way to stay warm in the cold weather! And you saved some sweaters from landfill, so it was a "good deed" too. Hope you enjoy your cozy sweater for many years to come.