plain old cardigan with bonus headband

Hel­lo there. Meet my new cardi­gan. (It was made before the hair­cut, yes.)

It has cro­cheted buttonholes.

It was made from a turtle­neck that was kind of ill-fitting. 

Sit­ting in my clos­et col­lect­ing dust for years, it was either donate or remake. I’ve been look­ing for a plain, sim­ple cardi­gan that I can pair with any­thing. So remake it is. Remake is always the more fun choice :D

There are cer­tain­ly lots of shirt to cardi­gan refash­ion tuto­r­i­al in the blo­gos­phere, but I thought I’d share my process too…

I used:

A turtle­neck (a reg­u­lar long sleeve shirt would work too)

Sewing nee­dle and thread

5 but­tons

DK weight yarn

2.35mm cro­chet hook (2.5mm would work too, 2.35 just hap­pens to be what I inher­it­ed from my mom)


First, I cut off the col­lar, which has a bit of ruf­fles and lace on it.

I then dis­cov­ered that with some stretch­ing the col­lar bit makes a pret­ty nice head­band! :D

While hap­pi­ly wear­ing my new head­band, I made a Y‑shape cut (can’t help but think of CSI. *shud­der*) in the shirt. 

To deter­mine the Y‑cut:

1. I put on the shirt and mark where I want the low­est point of the neck­line (i.e. where the three lines of the Y meet).

2. I then mea­sured the width of the bot­tom front and divide mea­sure­ment in half to deter­mine mid-point.

3. With tai­lor’s chalk I drew a line from mid-point to the low­est point of neck­line. Then from the low­est point of neck­line I drew a line each to the right and left neck­line at the shoulder.

Next, I fold­ed and pinned the edge 1/4″ along the front and neck, and then hand-sewed it in place with run­ning stitch­es. One could def­i­nite­ly sew it with the sewing machine, I just felt like hand-sewing that day. And I thought hand-sewn stitch­es add sub­tle character.

So, for the but­ton­holes, deter­mine how many but­tons you’d like to have and mark where you want them to be. We’ll be work­ing from the bot­tom up.

1. Thread a nee­dle with approx. 3 feet of DK yarn, dou­ble-knot the end.

2. Insert­ed the nee­dle through the hemmed/folded edge of the left front. The nee­dle has to come out on the fold, at the bot­tom point of the bot­tom-most but­ton­hole. Like so…

3. With yarn still thread­ed, tem­porar­i­ly set nee­dle aside. Make a slip knot with the cro­chet hook as close to the point where the nee­dle came through as pos­si­ble. Make 4 chain stitch­es with the hook.

4. Take hook off loop. Pick up nee­dle and insert nee­dle through the loop.

5. Pull the nee­dle and yarn almost all the way through, then tuck on the loop to close it, then con­tin­ue to pull through the rest of the yarn.

6. Insert the nee­dle 1/2″ up from the begin­ning of the cro­chet chain on the fold line of the front edge, and come out anoth­er 1/2″ up from where the nee­dle was insert­ed. (I messed up the first stitch. There should have been more dis­tance between the cro­chet chain and the next stitch on the fold line.) One but­ton­hole made.

Con­tin­ue to make stitch­es 1/2″ apart until you reach the next but­ton­hole mark. Then repeat steps 1–6 for buttonhole.

Row of but­ton­holes complete.

I hope the instruc­tions make sense. A close up of the but­ton­holes here might be help­ful… (feel free to let me know if you have any ques­tions though)

A very quick refash­ion that was done in an evening :D


Hap­py crafting!


4 thoughts on “plain old cardigan with bonus headband

  1. I LOVE the cro­chet but­ton holes…such a CUTE idea!! And isn’t it great when you can use every part of the orig­i­nal and noth­ing gets wasted?

  2. Cro­cheted but­ton­holes are a super awe­some idea! You are so clever, I’m def­i­nite­ly going to try this when I next need a buttonhole!

Comments are closed.