I bought one in purple, as I seem to have a lot of purple clothes either in my wardrobe or planned. Then, as it will be ages before I find anything similar again, I picked up a fawn one as well. The idea was that it would go with anything, but on getting it home there was no denying that it was a bit, well, dull.
It was just begging to be brightened up, and my initial idea was to use buttons, trim and lace. I have a substantial collection of pearl and shell buttons inherited from my grannies, but few of them are exactly the same, which limits their use as buttons. Rifling through my button box I found that I had so many buttons suitable for this project that I decided to omit the trim and lace, and limit the decoration to just buttons with holes in them (i.e. no buttons with shanks).
|The cardigan, and part of my button collection|
I knew that I only wanted buttons on one side of the cardigan, and was worried that the weight would stretch it out of shape, so decided to add a fabric facing, which I made from a lightweight muslin. I put the cardigan on Nancy inside out then (after checking several times that I was working on the correct side of the reversed cardi!) attached the muslin with a few pins, with the grain going straight up and down.
|The muslin facing|
After that I turned the cardigan right way out, pinned the muslin in place properly, and laid the front over my pin board. I played around with the buttons until I got a design I was happy with, and pinned them in place as well.
|Everything pinned in place|
Then I tacked each button on separately, and took out all of the pins.
|Buttons tacked on and pins removed|
The design consisted of three large buttons, with a smaller buttons scrolling around them. It didn’t look entirely clear, so I emphasised the scrolling with stem stitch in DMC number 5 perlé thread in ecru. Once the stem stitch was complete, I sewed the buttons on.
|The embroidery highlights the scrolling design|
Finally the facing was cut to shape, and the edges finished. Where possible, they were turned under and overcast onto the seams of the cardigan. Elsewhere they were finished with a narrow hem.
|The completed facing|
And here is the completed cardigan. It looks much less dull, and everything apart from the jumper itself and the wooden heart-shaped button came from my stash. Result!
|The end result|