How To Shorten A Knitted Cardigan?

Here are some ways to shorten a knitted cardigan:

  • Cut away the hem: Start by cutting away the hem of the cardigan15. Be sure to cut it a few inches longer than you want it to be.
  • Fold the cardigan: Turn the cardigan inside out and lay it flat on a level surface. Fold it in half vertically so that the two sides match up5.
  • Pin and sew: Pin the two sides together, leaving a seam allowance of about 1/2 inch. Sew along the pinned line, then cut off the excess fabric15.
  • Graft the knitting: To shorten a knitted cardigan without cutting it, you can use a technique called grafting. Use a separate circular needle for each row and pick up through the right-hand leg of the knit stitches. Then, graft the two pieces together using Kitchener stitch3.
  • Tailor the cardigan: If you are not comfortable cutting or grafting the cardigan yourself, you can take it to a tailor who can adjust the length for you4.

Preparing to Shorten the Cardigan

Shortening a knitted cardigan can be a great way to breathe new life into a piece that may otherwise sit forgotten in your closet. Before diving into the process, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. You will need sharp scissors, sewing pins, a measuring tape, sewing needles, coordinating thread, and a sewing machine or a serger. Make sure you have all these items within reach before starting the project.

Once you have all your materials ready, it’s time to make a plan. Assess the length you would like the cardigan to be and consider any style preferences you have. Do you want a cropped cardigan or just a slightly shorter length? Taking a moment to visualize the final look will help you make accurate decisions during the process.

Measuring and Marking the Desired Length

To determine the new length of the cardigan, try it on and pin up the excess fabric to the desired length. Take a step back and assess the proportions. Is the new length flattering? Does it still maintain the overall balance of the garment? Make adjustments as needed until you are satisfied with the pinned length.

Calculating the amount of fabric to be removed is crucial to ensure accuracy and prevent any unwelcome surprises. Measure the distance between the original hem and the pinned length. Take this measurement and multiply it by two, as you will need to remove fabric from both the front and back of the cardigan. This will give you the total amount of fabric to remove.

Using a fabric marker or sewing pins, mark the cardigan at the determined length. Make sure the markings are clearly visible, as they will guide your cutting later on.

How To Shorten A Knitted Cardigan?

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Cutting and Removing Excess Fabric

Before you start cutting, it’s important to secure the cardigan to prevent any shifting or stretching during the process. You can do this by either carefully pinning the fabric layers together or by using sewing clips, whichever method you find most suitable for your cardigan.

Using a pair of sharp scissors, carefully cut along the markings you made. Take your time and be precise to ensure a clean, straight line. Remember, it is always better to cut conservatively at first and refine the length later if needed.

Once you have made the cut, carefully remove the excess fabric. Check to see if any stray threads or uneven edges need to be trimmed for a neater finish.

Finishing the Raw Edges

To prevent the cut edges of the cardigan from unraveling, it’s important to trim and finish them. Trim any loose threads or uneven edges with scissors, ensuring a neat appearance.

There are multiple ways to finish the raw edges of your cardigan. One option is to use a sewing machine or serger to serge or zigzag stitch the cut edges. This will help secure the fabric and prevent fraying. If you don’t have access to a serger or sewing machine, you can also use a hand needle and thread to manually sew a blanket or whip stitch along the edges. This will provide a similar effect in securing the fabric.

After finishing the edges, take a moment to press the seams. Use a steam iron on a low setting and press gently, being careful not to stretch or distort the fabric. This step will give your shortened cardigan a polished and professional look.

How To Shorten A Knitted Cardigan?

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Reattaching Ribbing or Hemming

If your cardigan had ribbing or a hem on the original bottom edge, you may want to reattach it to maintain the original look and style. To do this, you will need to measure and cut a new ribbing or hem piece.

Measure the length of the bottom edge of the cardigan and add a small amount of ease for stretch. Cut a strip of fabric with a width that matches the original ribbing or hem. The length of the strip should match the measurement you took, allowing for seam allowances.

Once you have cut the new ribbing or hem piece, fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch or serge the raw edges together to create a loop. Press the seam open.

Next, align the raw edges of the ribbing or hem piece with the bottom edge of the cardigan, matching the side seams. Pin or clip the ribbing or hem in place, making sure it is evenly distributed around the cardigan.

Using a sewing machine or hand needle and thread, stitch the ribbing or hem to the cardigan, using a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch. Be sure to stretch the ribbing or hem slightly as you sew to ensure a snug and professional finish.

Finish the edges of the ribbing or hem by serging or zigzagging them to prevent fraying. Press the seams once again to give the ribbing or hem a clean and crisp appearance.

Blocking and Shaping the Cardigan

After making alterations to your cardigan, it’s a good idea to wash it before blocking it to the new dimensions. Follow the care instructions on the garment’s label or, if the yarn allows, hand wash it using a gentle detergent. Gently squeeze out excess water, being careful not to stretch or wring the fabric.

Blocking is a process where you shape and resize the knitted piece to the desired dimensions. Lay the cardigan flat on a blocking mat or on a clean, dry towel. Use your measuring tape to ensure the cardigan is aligned to the desired measurements and gently adjust it as needed.

Allow the cardigan to air dry fully. Avoid hanging it while wet, as this can cause the fabric to stretch. Once dry, the cardigan should now have a refreshed shape and fit.

How To Shorten A Knitted Cardigan?

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Adding Necessary Adjustments

Now that you have shortened your cardigan, it’s a good opportunity to reassess any other adjustments that might be needed. For example, if your cardigan has buttons, you may need to make some adjustments to the buttonhole placement. Try on the cardigan and mark where the new buttonhole positions should be, ensuring they align with the cardigan’s new length.

If your cardigan has pockets or other features, check if they still align with the new length. Sometimes, when shortening a cardigan, pockets can become too high or lose some of their functionality. Consider whether you need to reposition or omit any features to maintain the overall balance and functionality of the cardigan.

If you removed buttons during the shortening process, now is the time to reattach them. Use thread that matches the original buttons and securely sew them back onto the cardigan using a needle and thread. Ensure they are properly aligned with the buttonholes.

Adding Personal Touches

Shortening your cardigan also presents an opportunity to add personal touches and make it truly unique. Consider adding embroidery or other embellishments to the cardigan. You can create intricate designs or simple patterns, depending on your skill level and personal style.

Another way to personalize your cardigan is by incorporating contrasting colors or yarns. You can add a contrasting color to the ribbing or cuff edges, or even create color-blocked sections by adding a contrasting stripe along the body or sleeves of the cardigan. Let your creativity shine and make your cardigan one-of-a-kind.

How To Shorten A Knitted Cardigan?

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Trying On and Assessing the Fit

Once you have completed all the necessary adjustments and personal touches, it’s time to try on your newly shortened cardigan. Put it on and take a close look in the mirror. Pay attention to how it fits and falls on your body. Are you happy with the new length? Does it still flatter your figure? If any further adjustments are needed, make note of them and decide whether you can make them yourself or if you need professional help.

Styling and Enjoying the Knitted Cardigan

Now that your cardigan fits perfectly, it’s time to experiment with different outfits and styles. A shorter cardigan can be incredibly versatile and can be effortlessly paired with high-waisted skirts or pants, dresses, or even over a blouse or shirt. Let your personal style guide you and have fun creating new looks with your newly shortened cardigan.

Remember to care for and maintain your knitted cardigan properly. Always follow the care instructions on the garment’s label to preserve its shape and color. Handwashing or using a gentle machine cycle with a mild detergent is usually the safest method for knitted items. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric and instead gently squeeze out excess water before laying it flat to dry.

With a little bit of time, patience, and creativity, you can transform your knitted cardigan into a perfectly fitting and stylish piece that you’ll love wearing for many seasons to come. Enjoy the process and embrace the opportunity to put your own personal touch on your wardrobe staple.