Here's what I started with. A flesh tone wool cardigan (J.Crew) with the most lovely little buttons that I thrifted sometime last year (ish).
As you can see from the bottom right photo, it also came with some small holes in the front. They were all localized to this side and within a fairly small space and one had already been mended (though that came undone and I had to fix that one again). I closed up these holes using similar colored thread and a thin needle by gathering up the loose loops of the fine knit and gathering them around the hole so that when I pulled everything taut and tied off the thread it closed the hole right up. This is a pretty visible mend, though it didn't much matter as I was planning on camouflaging it anyhow.
So, I gathered up my supplies...the sweater (obviously) and some stabilizer (thrifted $.25), and black embroidery floss along with a sharp embroidery needle.
|I did, in fact, start with much more embroidery floss ;) This was taken after completing the project!|
I laid my little squares of stabilizer on the backside of the front panels one at a time then stitched my shape of choice, first where the holes had been mended, then continued from there to incorporate them into an overall layout that was "uniform" but imperfect :). I'm going with a V shape...
As you can see, (2)I placed the stabilizer, (3)inserted the needle from wrong side out then back to the wrong side at an angle, (4)pulled the floss through and (5)checked the front of the sweater to ensure that it looked good. Next, (6)I started the needle back down at the bottom of the V and angled out in the opposite direction, (7)pulled it through, (8)checked it, and finally (9)knotted it in place. I did this over and over and over again (about 40 times per side of the front of the cardigan).
Now look over your work, and admire! I still need to decide if I'll line the front of the sweater now, and if I do I'll use a pre-washed muslin hand-sewn in place tacking it down from time to time to the stabilizer in between the two layers. But we'll see. I plan on wearing it buttoned up, however for variety of use, I'll need to line it.
I adore how the tiny V's look line mini hearts now all over the front of this cardi, and though the color before didn't look great on me, with the simple addition of the contrasting black embroidery it has become so much more flattering (even on my winter skin!).
A little pop of color on the lips and this is Valentine's Day ready (whether the husband and I get to go on a date or not). Any signs of mended holes are completely gone and this sweet little number is ready to be added into my wardrobe rotation! I think I'll be trying it on over brightly colored camisoles to see what a pop of color underneath will add, as well.
No major changes to shape or size or even function (as it has remained a cardigan) but its use value has skyrocketed with a little mending and camouflaging :-). And I am pleased!
Here's one last look at the before and after:
Hope this helps you see the potential in some of your clothes that start to go holey...there is hope for them yet! Or for a boring sweater or cardigan that could use a little pop!