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Using Crochet to Upcycle Old Clothes



I have had this robin's egg blue cardigan since 2008. (Fun fact, Old Navy has a small tag on the inside seam that tells you the year and quarter that garment was sold, which is how I was able to carbon date this particular sweater.) I loved the color and the cut and I wore it as often as I could.


Unfortunately, while out wedding dress shopping with a friend I snagged the cardigan on a hanger and caused a giant run in the sweater. I didn't have the skills to darn the sweater, but I knew I loved it too much to just throw it out. So I tossed it in my closet, always meaning to do something about it, but never actually doing it.





Honestly, I all but forgot about it until a few days ago.


I've been in love with embroidered cardigans since I first saw them. It's folksy and vintage looking and I've wanted to try it, but my embroidery skills are rudimentary at best. But I recently thought... hey, maybe I can crochet flowers on instead!


I had a plain black hoodie that I got as a sample when ordering logoed sweatshirts for work. It was fine, but ultimately plain and boring. It needed a good jazzing up.




Originally I had intended to do Irish crochet, with it's beautiful 3-d flowers, but while searching for my book on Irish crochet I found a copy of The Workbasket from 1947 that had a design for a floral spray half collar. I loved it.




My original intent was to do a large statement piece on my sweatshirt and then a smaller design on a different cardigan. While digging through the closet to find my cotton thread stash I found the light blue cardigan and knew I could use the appliqués to cover the hole.


I used a thicker #2 weight cotton on the sweatshirt to make a large statement piece to the sweatshirt. I think it makes it really fun.




On the cardigan I used mercerized cotton #10 weight and fewer flowers to make a subtle accent to the shoulders.






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