Thrifty Thursday Week 2: Emily’s Cardigan


It’s Thursday again, and as promised, I am sharing the missing component to the pants I made last week in order to complete an entire thrifty outfit. The outfit I made is…

Emily’s Gardening Outfit! I created this outfit based on an illustration in Brave Emily. 

This week I will show you how I made her pink cardigan, which in total cost me $1.25. You can see last week’s project, her corduroy pants, here.

This cardigan started with a trip to Goodwill, where I purchased a child-sized sweater that had the components I was looking for: a design in the fabric (to match the illustration), a light pink color, and buttons that would work for a doll-sized sweater. Yes, I did feel a little guilty that I was buying a child’s sweater to be cut up when it could be put to use keeping a little girl warm this fall and yes, I did round up my purchase to the next dollar at the cash register to support the mission of Goodwill to alleviate my guilt, and yes, I did get over it quickly.

I stared in concentration at the cardigan for quite a while before actually cutting. The only cardigan pattern I had on hand was for a Magic Attic doll, which is a much skinnier doll than American Girl. It didn’t really matter, though, because I knew I was only going to use the pattern as a vague guideline. The exact measurements were going to be off anyway since I was not going to be using all of the intended seam allowances.

The first thing I did was cut the sleeve from the actual sleeve, keeping the ribbing and finished edge in place.

I used the first sleeve as a pattern for the second sleeve.

Then I did the same thing with the front, using as much of the original garment as possible, this time specifically the collar, buttons, and button holes. I cut with lots of extra room in the margins, reasoning that it is much easier to make something smaller than it is to make it bigger. I did end up doing some trimming after I started sewing

I used the front pieces as a pattern for the back. This time I focused on getting the design in the fabric in the correct place rather than worry about using any of the finished edges.

I had Emily near by as I started sewing (I left the instructions in the envelope and just figured it out as I went) and sized it to her often, making adjustments as needed. It took some patience, but I am pretty happy with the final product! It is definitely something I will do again. Let me know how it goes if you try it too!

Now Emily won’t feel left out when Molly goes outside in her play clothes!

Good thing I have plenty of gardening for Emily to do in her gardening outfit!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. That’s so cool that you created a sweater for Emily based on an illustration from the book! It’s really cute. 🙂


    1. Emily says:

      Thank you! I think the illustrations have such great historic detail, so I plan to try to make even more of my favorite outfits from the books! I think it is such a shame that the new Beforever books don’t have any illustrations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rutvi says:

        WOW. Just WOW.


  2. Flo says:

    This is an amazing idea, it is fantastic! I love when you can reuse a piece of clothing and strategically place the pattern pieces to eliminate hemming, or in this case to rescue the design.


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