I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not always a fan of “re-purposing.” I’ve seen too many projects gone wrong, and too many nice vintage pieces ruined to wholeheartedly embrace the movement. Of course, there was a time, back in the 1970s, when I did my own share of damage to the vintage supply, so I try not to judge too harshly.
Still, I do encourage all re-crafters to take care to know what their materials are, and if they are better left alone. Even a damaged dress from a very important designer may have historic value.
But I’m always on the lookout for great textiles in garments that are in unwearable condition. For the project above I took a nice but stained and unlabeled cashmere sweater, and a gent’s Harris Tweed jacket that was holey and cheaply made and combined them for a pullover with a tweed front.
Back in October I saw such a sweater/tweed combination at J. Crew. I loved the idea, but hated the not very cozy wool, and the made in China tag. But I kept thinking about it, and decided to just make my own, only that mine would be cashmere and Harris Tweed.
I had the sweater already. It was one I’d bought just to layer for cold day walks because of some dark marks on the front. But it was a very high quality cashmere, super soft and no pilling. The style was, frankly, boring.
But it had all the hallmarks of a high quality product, including full fashioned (knit to fit instead of cut) sleeves. There was no label in the sweater, but I’m just betting it came from Scotland.
I went in search of a tweed, and was happy to find a 1960s jacket. Besides the Harris Tweed label, there was a Penney’s label. A look at the interior construction shows how corners were cut to save money, but it is interesting that Penney’s was using such a high quality textile.
The jacket was so damaged with holes that I had to piece three sections to make the front of my new garment. The texture and the plaid make the seams hard to see.
The only change I made to the sweater was to make vents at the sides through the bottom band. I secured the edges with a blanket stitch.
I carefully centered the tweed on the front of the sweater. I then began the process of attaching the two pieces to one another. I used a backstitch, which due to the texture of the tweed cannot be seen on the front.
I made the pockets by facing a slit with a piece of silk. I then turned it to the inside and secured it.
To finish, I continued attaching the tweed to the cashmere using back stitches along the edges. I’ve really quite pleased with how it turned out, and it is getting a lot of wear.
My little brother liked it so much that he just had to give it a squeeze!
Looks like someone needs to clean their mirror!