Updated: Jul 29
It’s soft and versatile and comes in a range that can be worn all year round. From the thickest woolen knits to the lightest crochet cottons the humble cardigan is the one piece of clothing that I just can’t have enough of. It’s my all time favourite, my go to comfort piece, my "I need a hug" or I just need to add something else to my outfit piece.
They can be that extra layer of warmth over your winter outfit or just a touch of whimsy or glamour over a sweet summer styling.
I always have a big, long, bulky one that can fit over the top of everything for when it’s super cold and I just need comfort. It’s a bit like wearing a daytime dressing gown. If I need to duck out to do some errands on a cold day I can just snuggle in to my cardigan, wrap it over whatever I am wearing and head out the door. If I’m feeling the need I can dress it up with a colourful scarf or some bright beads and bangles.
Then I have a range of the smaller more fitted type cardigans that add a layer over a long or short sleeve shirt. These can be for warmth or to add interest to an outfit. Sometimes I will wear a contrasting colour cardigan unbuttoned over a plain top to add a block of colour and sometimes I will just do up a few buttons at the waistline over a loose blouse to give my body more shape. These are also perfect for spring and autumn when I want to get a few more wears out of my current favourite summer dress. Throw a mid weight cardigan over the top and off I go.
I also have a couple of super lightweight cardigans that are perfect for summer evenings when I'm not sure if the air conditioning might become a little cool or there is a storm in the air bringing a cool change. These are great because t they can be rolled up and squashed into a handbag just in case you need it.
I do have this one cardigan though, that I love the colour of, but it is just a bit too small and it doesn't have a great deal of stretch. I am now thinking about how I can turn it into something that I can wear comfortably and still enjoy it's beautiful coral orange colour. I'm thinking sleeveless with some embroidery.
My apologies for the poor photographs
So I began by cutting the band off the bottom to shorten the cardigan to above where it was pulling around my butt. I immediately overlocked each edge that I cut so that it would not begin to unravel. Alternatively, you could use an overedge stitch or zigzag stitch on a sewing machine or fold the edge to the wrong side and hand hem it.
Next I decided to cut the sleeves off, but I thought I would leave a the top cap of the sleeve there and see how the fit was.
I tried it on and took a video of my thoughts but unfortunately I can't work out how to load here. I was happy now with the fit around my body and my arms and I decided that I might add some pockets cut from the sleeves.
Once I was happy with the style and placement of the pockets I decided that I wanted to turn my new little spring cardigan into it's own statement piece. I have been hand embroidering designs onto it to hold the hems and pockets in place.
I am not finished yet and I don't really know how much I will embroidery I will add. I just do it when I am resting in the evenings. I have searched for embroidery stitch ideas on Pinterest, but mostly I am sticking to a few basics like blanket stitch and feather stitch and french knots.
I am really happy with how it is turning out.
I will post some pictures of the finished product when it is done.
All this to say, don't underestimate the value of a cardigan. They are a great way to add styling to your wardrobe pieces as they can add layering and warmth as well as adding fun colour combinations and fit to your outfit. They can be a great comfort piece for when you just need your clothes to hug you softly or they can create drama when you play with sizing, like putting a giant cardigan over a fitted dress or pulling in the flow of a loose fitting blouse with a small, fitted cardigan. As always, the options are endless, and just as I did last week with the black pants, I could create a photo library of my favourite looks wearing my cardigans.
Why not have a play with your cardigan styling this week and come up with your own cardigan featuring combinations?
Thank you for reading, I appreciate you.