Cashmere + Harris Tweed

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!




Filed under Sewing

38 responses to “Cashmere + Harris Tweed

  1. this is so amazing! I wish I could sew well enough to do this!


  2. Alice McGary

    Lovely job and beautiful combination of fabrics. Love the selfie.


  3. S Geiger

    So creative.
    You can never deny that man is your brother!


  4. seweverythingblog

    Agree with you about not “ruining” a nice vintage piece which may have historical value..
    I love your cashmere/tweed re-fashion! I’ll have to knock-off your J Crew knock-off. The edges of the tweed look beautifully flat. Did you turn the edges under, or is that a raw edge?


  5. Thanks for sharing your sewing tips, Lizzie….you did a wonderful job. Personally, I always appreciate your photos showing the details.


  6. seaside

    You have taught me so much. I see clothing from a completely different perspective after reading your blog the last few years. Thank you.


  7. Loved your post & recreation. Agree 100% Two great finds & a great idea (pockets) to inspire me further. Thank you!


    • I really puzzled over the pockets. I thought about removing the bottom band of the sweater and using it to bind the pockets, and I also thought of using bias binding. But I went with the method you see, which was really simple.


  8. Very, very clever, Lizzie! And I just bet it is super warm, too!


  9. Marianne isaacs

    That looks great . How did you finish the edges of the tweed before attaching it to the sweater? well done.



    Great work!


  11. I just love how your sweater turned out! I’m inspired! Thanks for sharing! .Jill


  12. What a wonderful refashion! I love that you added pockets and just built on top of the sweater. This is one of those garments that looks good on the hanger but looks even better on – really nice job!


    • Thanks Brooke. Seems like on the J. Crew version the two pieces are actually cut and attached, with just one layer in the front. It just seemed simpler, not to mention, softer, to just put the tweed on top of the cashmere. That made the pocket work without any extra bulk as well.


  13. Great sweater! Thank you for your thoughtful perspective on repurposing. And… my, you are one talented lady… 🙂


  14. It looks fantastic! What a great job and I’m very impressed.xb


  15. And now someone will collect this years from now as a Vintage Lizzie!


  16. That is fantastic. Great job. I like the idea of working with Harris tweed and cashmere! We recently had an opportunity to see a few beautiful sweaters that were made in Scotland. Names like Clan Douglas, Pringle, and a few others, like Brooks Brothers. They were very, very nice. I can just imagine the warmth of your new J. Crew knock off. Thank you for sharing this!! Keep going Lizzie! 🙂


  17. Very cute, and I love the silk finish on the pockets.


  18. Teresa

    Such a great idea Lizzie and the end result looks fabulous and so very warm!


  19. Lizzie, I *L O V E* this! (You had to know I would.) What a fantastically cool usage of items that might not otherwise get worn. And that photo of you and your brother is just adorable!


  20. Pingback: Vintage Sewing, Anne Adams 4926, Hat | The Vintage Traveler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.