Cashmere Leftovers

This post is a rescue refashion. A bit of fabric rescued from the scrap pile of another refashion.

When I was in Michigan I stopped by one of my favorite refashion resources – the Charlotte Goodwill Outlet. We have Goodwill Outlets in Orange County but they are not as good as this one. I always find really good sweaters and this time after doing my first run through – where I through everything that I remotely like into my cart – while I was editing my finds I  noticed that I had lots of off-white sweaters and tan sweaters. Light bulb moment!  I can always use comfy sweaters when I’m in Michigan so why not combine these sweaters and make an off-white poncho and a tan poncho.

comfy but not wearable (yet)



I haven’t yet finished either poncho. What you see below is what’s leftover after blocking out and cutting the tan poncho. I had intended to toss the remains aside, maybe to be cut up into potholders or pillow covers but when I popped it onto my dress form I saw the  makings of a smaller poncho than the two I was working on. This would be a nice poncho to take back to California.

cashmere leftovers - you heard me right CASHMERE!

Before we go any further, let’s do a rewind. When I was planning out my original ponchos I used scissors to cut away the seams from the wrist ribbing all the way up the sleeve and down the side of sweater. Then I cut away chunks of the sweater which included the ribbing from the bottom of the sweater and the sleeves. What I ended up with was a poncho with a lot of right angles that doesn’t have the same line in the back as it does in the front but it works.

snip - snip

Below is a pic of the white sweater after the seam removal operation so you can see what the end result looks like before you start the poncho reconstruction. Yes I realize that this is not the same sweater I’m using for this refashion but I hope you’ll forgive me because I wasn’t even planning to use the tan sweater in a refashion at all – so we’ve got a two-fer going on here.

post seam surgery

Did you notice how I folded up the end of the white sweater? I thought it would make a nice kangaroo pocket. It would, but I didn’t end up going in that direction after all – but that’s another story altogether.

Back to the tan poncho. When I originally cut it up I was trying to get as much of the ribbing from the sleeves and the bottom as possible to use on the larger tan poncho I was creating, which left me with the smaller poncho above with a very different shape than I would have planned. But I liked it. Apart from some very jagged edges, I could take it off my dress form and call it done, but it didn’t feel finished to me. I decided that I wanted some sort of trim along the bottom edge. I took a field trip to Joanne’s Fabrics but couldn’t find anything that would work and besides I really don’t like buying new items to make my refashions work. I prefer to raid my own stash or go on a garage sale safari. After a good stash pile rummage I found this t-shirt that looked to be a good candidate. I had originally envisioned a lush fringe but since I didn’t have any fringe in my stash I think this t-shirt will do fine. More than fine. It looks as if it was made to go with the color of this sweater!

I think it's a match!


Starting at the bottom of the t-shirt I used my rotary cutter to cut 3 inch wide strips, then sewed them together into one long strip until I had enough to edge my poncho.

ready for a future refashion 🙂

Luckily this was a tunic length t-shirt so I’ll be using the leftover top for another refashion.

I pinned the t-shirt strip to the poncho with the right sides together and zig-zagged everything together being careful  not to pull as I stitched so that the seams wouldn’t be stretched out and ruffly. I also used this as an opportunity to fix the ragged cuts that I had made in the poncho since I hadn’t been concerned when I first made the cuts that I would need the rest of the sweater for another project.

ziz-zag seam closeup

I liked the poncho but felt like I wanted to jazz up the trim a bit. I first tried a twisted rolled hem.

hmmmm - don't think so


Then I tried just folding the trim under to create a finished edge.

hmmmm - not loving it


Okay, so I’m going to leave the edge unfinished, but I can’t quite call it done yet. The trim bunches up at the sharp angles on this poncho.

hmmmm - what's wrong with this picture?


An easy fix though. Just cut through the trim from the corner straight back to the end of the width of the trim.

getting better

just checkin'


If I had thought it through I would have mitered the corners, but since that’s not an option now I added some buttons at the corners just to give it a little more detail.

button #1

button #2

I won’t show you button #3 and #4 but let it be known that they are the same size as the first two buttons with a slightly different coloring and embossed design. I like it like that. I don’t think something needs to be perfectly symmetrical to feel balanced.


no more lumps and bumps

You can’t see the buttons in this shot but it’s late and I need to schedule this one to post, so you’ll have to trust me that the buttons added just the right little detail to finish it off.  I wore this poncho to a wind instruments concert and not only did it dress up my jeans a bit it was nice and cozy as I sat in the cold theater.

Update: I left this poncho in my truck one day and now it’s ready to grab whenever a day turns a little chilly. Since it’s become a favorite of mine I wanted to give you some pics of how it looks on a real body instead of my dress form.

My photographer - the one on the left.

Notice my slouchy socks? They're actually the sleeves of another sweater I used to make another poncho.


Okay, that’s it. I’m done posing. Have a great weekend all!



Black Cable Knit Crop Top

"Blah" sweater just minutes before being decollared.

I have had this little black sweater in my closet for years. I keep it there because I need little black sweaters that I can throw on over a dress or a tank top and jeans. The thing is that I never pick this sweater. There isn’t really anything wrong with it, it’s just kind of blah. So after years of folding and refolding the same sweater over and over I decided it’s time to move it to the refashion drawing board. My refashion drawing board is really my dress form. When I have no idea what I want to do with something I put it on my dress form and stare at it for awhile. If I still have no good ideas then I leave it there and I look at it from time to time throughout the day and generally by the end of the day I’ve come up with something.

This refashion went in stages though. First I pinned the collar under and the ribbing up under the chestal area to try to get an idea of how my idea to turn this into a crew neck cropped sweater would look.

crop it in the front


leave it long in the back

First step is to take off the collar. I started with a seam ripper but gave that up after two minutes. I’m not very patient with seam ripping. I generally only like to do it when I’m watching a television show, otherwise I just don’t have the patience.  So I took my sweater over to the sewing machine and did a tight zig-zag stitch just inside the line where I wanted to cut the collar off, then I cut the collar off. I was a little afraid to cut the bottom of the sweater before I was sure I had the line right so I sewed a looser zig-zag stitch right along the edge of the ribbing so that the zig-zag caught both the edge of the ribbing and the edge of the sweater just under the chestal region.

juncture where new ribbing seam tapers out to the back of the sweater



Once I tried the sweater on and was sure I like the line of the crop I turned the sweater inside out and carefully cut away the excess portion of the sweater so that the bottom of the sweater could lay flat. Done! Or so I thought. After putting the sweater away I decided that I didn’t like the button or the little v-shaped opening at the top of the sweater so away they went. Done! Not so fast! It’s still a pretty blah-looking sweater. I dug through my drawer of weird and wonderful closures and found these beautiful ivory-colored crocheted frog closures. Perfect!

two frogs ...



three frogs ...



five frogs - Done! No really. It's done.

I sewed snaps to the sweater and onto the back of each toggle so that I could remove them before washing.  And BONUS – if I come across some other toggles that would work with this sweater I can interchange them.