Some months ago I was given this Uniqlo cashmere jumper to recycle in any way I saw fit. At first glance it seems good enough to wear, although it had lost its shape somewhat, so I put in in my wardrobe with the intention of wearing it.

I kept reaching into the wardrobe every time I needed a jumper and pulled this one out, but always discarded it in favour of something else. Then, when I noticed a couple of holes near the hem, I knew I was never going to wear it as it was, so decided to reinvent it in some way.

Not having any firm idea of the finished article in mind, I ordered a selection of supplies from Minerva Crafts in the hope that inspiration would strike.

Wide Velvet Ribbon, soft drapey Chiffon Fabric and Mother-of-Pearl Buttons in various coordinating shades of pink plus some matching Sewing Thread arrived in the post and I decided to just pick up a pair of scissors and see what happened. I had nothing to lose, after all, as the jumper was no good in its present state.

Luckily, inspiration did strike and I literally sheared the jumper in half at the centre front. It was now a cardigan.

Cutting a horizontal line at waist level, I was able to remove all the holes and was left with the best of the cashmere.

At this point I placed it back on the dress form inside out to make alterations easier.

A little shaping was added by taking the seam in at the side waist edges and the neckline was changed from a round neck to a V-neck. I also reduced the too-long sleeves to mid length.

I joined together two 8" deep lengths of organza and ran a row of gathering stitches along the top edge. Using the selvedge as the hem meant no further finishing was necessary, which was just as well as I didn't fancy doing such a long narrow hem on such fine fabric.

I used a French seam to join the pieces so it measured twice the circumference of the cardigan hem.

I did have to do a tiny bit of narrow hemming on the short, opening edges of the cardigan.

The gathering stitches were pulled up and the resulting ruffle pinned and stitched in place.

The layers of chiffon and cashmere were zig-zagged together at the seam and the excess trimmed to create a neat finish.

Turning the seam up towards the cardigan, I top-stitched using a long narrow zig-zag stitch to allow for a little stretch.

The centre front opening edges were turned in, pressed and pinned.

Starting at the shoulder seam, I pinned the velvet ribbon along the V-neck and down the front opening of the cardigan.

Both edges of the ribbon were stitched and buttonholes evenly spaced on top.

I love how mother-of-pearl shimmers in the light - perfect for buttons on this cardigan.

Finally, time to tackle the sleeves.

I bit the bullet and narrow-hemmed some more organza for the sleeve hems.

A French seam made a circle of fabric, again twice the circumference of the sleeve hem, which was then gathered and attached in the same way as the bottom ruffle.

Stepping back and taking a look, I decided that no more was needed - it was finished. 

I toyed with the idea of adding ribbon to the cuffs to match the bottom ruffle, but thought better of it. What do you think - should I add ribbon?

So even the back is interesting with the ruffle and velvet ribbon continuing all the way around.

Well, it's certainly different!

The shapeless, ill-fitting jumper is no more and the slightly fitted outline is much better.

The original jumper was nice enough, if a little boring, but I know I'm going to enjoy wearing the new cardigan more. It's a bit of fun and suits my personality much more - those ruffles!

Looking at these pictures now, I'm feeling it needs sequins. Pink ones stitched randomly to the organza ruffle.....watch this space!