Gibson Girl Cardigan Refashion Tutorial

Turn an old, ugly, ill-fitting cardigan into a cute vintage cardigan any Gibson Girl would wear proudly!

Gibson Girl Cardigan Refashion Tutorial Before After

Knit sweaters and cardigans were a popular choice of Gibson Girls for casual wear and sports around 1900.

Related: The Edwardian Sweater Girl + 25 Free Edwardian Sweater Patterns

This is already my third Edwardian sweater refashion but this time I refashioned a cardigan instead of a sweater. Apart from the button closure, this Gibson Girl cardigan refashion is very similar to my last refashioned Edwardian-style sweater. Like my last sweater refashion, this cardigan also has a V-neck and bishop sleeves which were very popular in the early Edwardian era.

Related: Edwardian-Style Sweater Refashion – V-Neck & Bishop Sleeves

The before & after

The wool knit cardigan was too big and too long. Also the shoulders didn’t fit at all and the sleeves were too long.

Now the cardigan is the right length and fits at the waist and shoulders. Yay, I love how my refashioned Gibson Girl cardigan turned out! Here I’m wearing the refashioned sweater together with my short Edwardian wool walking skirt! 😀

Gibson Girl Cardigan Refashion Tutorial Step By Step

Antique Edwardian cardigan inspirations

The following antique Edwardian sweater cardigans were my main inspirations for my refashioned Edwardian cardigan: 1908 knit pattern for a cardigan with bishop sleeves & long cuffs, early Edwardian off-white wool knit cardigan with bishop sleeves & pearl buttons at the MET, 1900s painting of golf cardigan with V-neck, 1904 ad for knitted wool Norfolk jacket with V-neck, bishop sleeves & pearl buttons (left side, bottom right) and 1905 golf jacket with bishop sleeves.

Gibson Girl Cardigan Refashion Tutorial

Make the cardigan fit

Use a good fitting sweater or cardigan and cut the new armholes and side seams. With right sides together, sew all seams with two rows of zigzag stitches. Use zigzag stitches instead of straight stitches so that the cardigan is stretchable.

If your cardigan is too long like mine, cut the cardigan off at the hips. Use the leftover fabric piece to make cuffs.

Related: Edwardian Sweater & Tam Hat Refashion

Make the bishop sleeves & cuffs

Cut off the sleeves along the armhole seam. Then turn the sleeves around so that the top of the sleeves is now at the wrist and vice versa.

Use a good fitting sweater or cardigan sleeve as pattern and cut the top of the sleeve accordingly. Leave the sleeve wide at the wrist.

Now sew the sleeves into the armholes – again with two rows of zigzag stitches.

Use the leftover fabric piece you cut off to make cuffs. And gather the sleeves into the cuffs.

Finish the raw edges

Finish the raw edges at the bottom of the cardigan with a leftover strip of the cardigan. Use this knitted strip as if it were bias binding: turn both edges of the knit strip to the inside, making sure to enclose the raw edges of the cardigan and zigzag the strip in place.

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Gibson Girl Cardigan Refashion Tutorial Sewing Pattern

2 thoughts on “Gibson Girl Cardigan Refashion Tutorial

  1. Such a great idea with a wonderful result. I haven’t been able to source the sweater-type fabric that have been used to make these types I cardigans and sweaters. This idea opens up the option again.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom through your blog. The number of times I have referenced it for ideas and your linked original sources are too many to count.

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