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How To Turn A Cardigan Into A Coat (and More Charity Shop Finds)


Now the excitement of Yarndale is over I can’t wait to start ‘making’ again.

I’ve got several crochet projects on the go but there’s nothing like a bit of sewing for an instant fix and, as Autumn is trying to oust our Indian Summer, I turned my attention to my Winter wardrobe.

That makes me sound like I rotate my clothes according to the seasons in an incredibly organized fashion. I don’t – they’re all hanging in the same place (except the ball gowns which have their own space). There are a few items that I like but don’t wear simply because they’re not easy to actually wear.

Confused? I’ll show you what I mean.

Take this John Rocha cardigan that a friend passed on to me, I suspect because she had the same problem. It sports an enormous shawl collar that makes the cardigan shift backwards so I find myself constantly hauling it back forward over my shoulders. It also has a kind of waterfall effect at the front which gapes so you need to wear another cardigan underneath to actually keep warm!!!


I had decided to donate it to the charity shop but then asked myself “What would Shawn do?”

Although this is a very modest refashion compared to her standards, it works and now I have a new garment at no cost!

Here’s what I did: –

1. Wrap the cardigan around until it fell the way I wanted it to and pin in place.

2. Sew two buttons to the left side of the cardigan (remember these from my Yarndale Booty?)


3. Cut a piece of scrap leather to use as a backing for your buttonholes. This stops the yarn from stretching out of shape and gives it strength.

4. Pin to the reverse of the cardigan and (right side facing) make two buttonholes on the right hand side of the front to correspond with your button placement.


The buttonholes are virtually invisible from the front and this is what they look like on the inside;

leather back

The finished coat is a real winner that will get lots of use which isn’t bad considering it’s been sat in my wardrobe for about a year now!


I love the cosy cowl neck and this proves my theory that eye-catching buttons really can make an outfit:)

I had a couple of other things to take to the charity shop anyway and, as is often the case, came home with more than I took in!

First were these ice-cream sundae glasses at £1.25 each which the boys will love;


Then I spotted this framed print of Harlech Castle for £2.99;


It’s already hanging in one of the spare bedrooms;


Most excitingly are these four pillowcases for 50p each – pure white and the finest crisp Egyptian cotton;


Initial thoughts are to make some napkins out of them – I should be able to get at least twelve which I could embroider or crochet to turn them into something quite special.

Any other ideas?

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

9 thoughts on “How To Turn A Cardigan Into A Coat (and More Charity Shop Finds)

  1. Wow! You are not going to be able to walk down the street without folks admiring your buttons!!!! I had no idea they were so huge! A fab upcycle!


    • Why, thank you kindly:) As it’s one of the few drab items I own, it needed a bit of a ‘wow’ factor added to it and I think these do the job more than adequately!


  2. I agree with Lucie,you’ve done a great job!! Love your cardigan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love those buttons! And no refashion is too small as long as it makes an unwearable piece into something you want to grab! 🙂 Great job and thank you for the shout out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, those buttons are HUGE!! They totally ‘make’ the outfit. It really wouldn’t be the same with ‘normal’ buttons.
    I love the waterfall hem and it looks amazing now as a coat. I’m so glad you’ll now wear it 🙂
    Oh and you did very well at the charity shop! Love the sundae glasses!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow!!! You’re not wrong about those buttons finishing something off – like everyone else I had no idea they were so large!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fab idea, love those buttons, I thought oh just a few buttons to keep the edges together but they look great pulling it in gives it much more shape!


  7. Pingback: Handmade Christmas Presents – Light At The End Of A Very Long Tunnel! | Sewchet

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