Sunday, January 15, 2012

J. Crew Merino Cambon Cardigan Inspired DIY

When I first saw the Merino Cambon Cardigan, I was drawn to the contrast detailing as well as the color combination of black and tan.  I tried it on in store (see post here) but the fit wasn't ideal and the price wasn't good enough to justify buying it.  I remembered that I had an old tan sweater at home so I decided to try DIY'ing my own.

J. Crew Merino Cambon Cardigan and my DIY version

Overall, I think I captured the general look but there are 2 fails on my part.  
  1. The original sleeves on this sweater are very long and have a slight flare at the opening.  When looking at this picture, I think I need to shorten or slim (maybe both) the sleeve.  The problem would be how to bind it afterwards if shortening.  Adding more black trim seems overkill.  So maybe just slim the flare?  Any thoughts here?
  2. I trimmed the opening very closely when I should have tried to extend the placket.  Since the original sweater was fitted, cutting it open and trimming it automatically means I've made it much smaller and unable to button.  Whoops!  Live and learn.  This will have to be worn open.

Sweater Refashion: from turtleneck to cardigan.

What I did: Lopped off turtleneck, cut down the middle, trimmed neck and center with the "wrong" side of black satin fabric (didn't want the shine but did want the structure / firmness of this fabric), and then added non-functional "pockets."

If you decide to try this, all you really need is an old sweater and some fabric.  It gives you a nice, new look for free.  I'd recommend using the trim to extend your placket unless your sweater is large enough for a closable overlapping placket. 

What do you think I should do with the sleeves?  

50 comments:

  1. I don't think another trim around the sleeves would look odd to be quite honest. I wouldn't make the trim quite as thick as the collar. Awesome job on restyling a sweater!

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    1. Thanks for your input! I'm still trying to figure out what to do although it's clear I need to do SOMETHING :)

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  2. Oh wow. Good job! It looks really similar.

    :)
    Carrie
    http://readmylifeascarrie.blogspot.com/

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  3. Maybe you can shorten the sleeves and slim them? I don't know how easy it is to do that - as I'm a sewing noob. But what a transformation! I don't think I'm game enough to try that yet :) Great job!

    katattack2000.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you! I definitely need to try a few things to see how it goes :)

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  4. Nice DIY. I am also always drawn with anything with contrasting details for cream/tan and black.

    www.justpatience.com

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  5. awww i think you did an overall great job! i do agree with you about the sleeves, but i'm sure you can fix it up and it will look fabulous!

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  6. If only I could sew I'd kick the shopping habit (no, that's a lie but it sounds good in my head). About the sleeves, slim and shorten them. To kill off the frayed ends just fold the sleeves inwar and sew in the same color (maybe even fold outward and sew in the same color). Overall you did a great job and I'm sure you'll get a lot of use out of it, even if it's worn open.

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    1. LOL! I used to think that too although it has curbed my consumerism a tiny bit :)

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  7. Oh wow! I think it looks better than the JCrew Catalog pic! Since the front part is now smaller, it sits better and no bunching!

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  8. wow what a great idea for DIY lovin te color combo
    http://fashberries.blogspot.com/

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  9. That is an incredible transformation!! You are amazing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Michelle! A little trim can make a big difference :)

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  10. I would measure how much you want to take off of the sleeve, then trim off 1/2 of that amount. Then slim the remaining portion, trim the new seam allowance, press it open, then turn the hem under and top stitch it down with a twin needle. The twin needle hem will allow the natural stretch of the sweater fabric.

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    1. I've never used a twin needle before - thanks for the suggestion and the detailed instructions! You're the best!

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  11. Wow, this is an incredible transformation! I love what you did with it...as for the sleeves...I am clueless when it comes to sewing and alterations so I don't have any recommendations that wouldn't sound incredibly ignorant on my part. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do though, i am intrigued!

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    1. Thank you, Elle! I'll definitely be playing around with the options - I'll keep you posted :)

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  12. Oooh, great job!! Looks just like the original, and for FREE too! Can't beat that! I think you should shorten the sleeves for sure, but I'm not good with any other creative suggestions. I like Bessie's suggestion too! :)

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  13. wow, you did an amazing job! it looks identical! i do love the sleeves because instead of a polished look, i actually think it'll look great with a button shirt or a long shirt with jeans. it'll give it a little more of a casual look, but i do love the sleeves. you inspire me to try sewing! after i move and settle in... hoping to find time to explore some DIY projects to take on. :)

    hope you had a great weekend. :)

    jasmine

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    1. Thanks so much, Jasmine! You are always so kind to me :) Hope your moving is going well!!

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  14. super cute! I love the black and tan color combination as well :)

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  15. What can't you do SPG? Your DIY's are always jaw dropping for me...I am always in awe of your talent.

    I think if you slim and take up the sleeves- it will looks amazing! And if you decide to add the trim, I don't think that it would be over kill at all. Either way- I am sure it will look fab:)

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    1. Aw, thanks Annie! There's plenty I can't do, but it doesn't hurt to try :)

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  16. if you watch the Lying Game, you'll see that Emma wore this cardigan. :D

    :)
    Carrie
    http://readmylifeascarrie.blogspot.com/

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  17. Oh I love that. Great DIY. You always do an amazing job!

    myminibag.blogspot.com

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  18. I don't dislike the flare at the end, I would leave it this way. I like it!! You did an amazing job!

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  19. Wow - super impressed - that looks amazing!

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

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  20. Love the cardigan. Good job on the DIY!

    xo

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  21. Thoughts from a newbie sewer (more like, not a sewer at all), so do take it with a grain of salt!

    The side-by-side before/after pic is great. In the before, I like how the "soft" sleeves looked with the cowl-neck. In the after, you did an amazing job with the transformation, but the sleeves do seem kind of out-of-place with a stiffer-looking, jacket-style type cardigan. My choice of words are horrible, so hopefully I described it ok. I do agree that adding more black trim on the sleeves may be too much... what about rolling them up like the model did with hers?

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    1. I didn't know you were sewing! Please do share your projects! Your explanation makes total sense - the sleeves now just don't "fit" the style of the sweater anymore.

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    2. Oh NO, I'm sorry I misled you! I'm not a sewer because fixing a couple fallen buttons here and there do not count, lol. You are my inspiration SPG, if I ever do sew for real :)

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  23. Hi, love this idea. How about make the sleeves a little bit shorter and add the black trim to your sleeves?

    I also love to DIY some stuffs. check out my blog.

    http://mixandmatchfashionstyle.blogspot.com/2012/01/home-made-duvet-cover.html

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  24. I'm super impressed, it looks amazing. Once you slim the sleeves it will be perfect!

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