Upcycled Cardi Challenge, Part II: Sleeves

I took the advice that was in the comments on the last post, and started with the sleeves. I love how they have turned out, it really makes me excited to tackle the main body!

Anthro sleeves 2

The embroidery takes a while, but I love the result. I’m so excited to finish this cardigan, and I’m especially pleased that I’ll be able to wear it both while I’m demonstrably pregnant and afterwards, when I (hopefully) get my figure back.

Anthro sleeves 3

In answer to some of the questions that arose from the last post:

1. I think I’m going to stick with straight fronts, since I don’t feel that the original cardigan is long enough to have flattering angled frontsΒ  (even though I’m planning on attaching the knitted trim lower down, so the cardigan will be at least a few inches longer than it currently is).

2. I’m not going to keep the buttons on the front, I’m not concerned about being able to do it up at all- I think the embroidery with cover up the button holes on the other side, as well.

3. How I cast on- long tail cast on. It’s my preferred cast on. But I’m a lefty, so I basically cast on backwards.

4.Yup, I have a cat named Yarn. She is a total lap cat, and needs lots of
snuggles. I have two cats, the other is Gatsby, who is very chatty and
never fails to greet me at the door whenever I come home. Sometimes he
just looks at me and purrs. They are spectacular felines. I also have an adorable hedgehog.

anthro sleeves

So, the next challenges: I’m not sure if I’ve done the embroidery long enough on the sleeves, but I decided to leave it as-is until I finish the body trim and embroidery, and see how far up I want it. I’m also considering adding some additional embroidery along the front edges (to cover up where I’ll be cutting off the buttons, and the old button holes). What do you think? is there such a thing as embroidery overkill?


  1. Tanis   β€’  

    I love how this is turning out so much!

  2. by Annie Claire   β€’  

    Wow, it’s coming along so well! I love it! cant wait to see it finished.
    [I agree with adding a few more embroidered stitches to the sleeves]

  3. MelissaHB   β€’  

    It looks wonderful so far. I’m completely envious. It’s really creative and I can’t wait to see more progress and the finished project πŸ™‚

  4. opportunityknits   β€’  

    Such a pretty refashion of the Anthropologie cardi πŸ™‚ I’ve just realised that it’s a good idea for lengthening sleeves that are too short.

  5. Erin Kate   β€’  

    Oh my gosh it looks so much like the original! I’m super impressed! I definitely want to try it now, I’ll have to find a good cardigan for it. πŸ™‚ How did you attach the knitting to the fabric?

  6. Helen   β€’  

    Very inspiring! It is looking good so far.

  7. Kristen   β€’  

    This is so inspiring!! Gorgeous cardi.
    Also, I would very much like a hedgehog. But I feel my cats are firmly in the no-small-animals camp.

  8. PixieSam   β€’  

    This is looking wonderful. I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. You can always add some more embroidery to the sleeves once you’ve finished the body.

  9. Danette   β€’  

    I love these sleeves! No embroidery overkill as far as I’m concerned.

  10. delighted   β€’  

    Forgive me if others have already suggested this, but if you really want angled fronts, couldn’t you also use short rows to make the knitted trim angled?

    Anyway, it’s so fun to get to watch you tackle this project! I’m starting to feel inspired to mod a cardigan of my own! πŸ™‚

  11. emi love   β€’  

    Looks like it’s off to a great start!

  12. Jacey   β€’  

    The sleeves look amazing! I guess you could eventually reach embroidery overkill, but I don’t really think you need to worry about it. I’d do the bottom, and then step back, check to see what you think it needs. This will be a great upcycle!

    Also, I’m a lefty, too! And I love the name yarn for a kitty. πŸ˜‰

  13. elephantJuice   β€’  

    Yay for lefties!

    The cardigan is looking fantastic. I love the embroidered knit stitches, they look so cosy and puffy! I’m looking forward to seeing more.

    Also, Quillis is adorable! I love hedgies, I often see them around my house but I had no idea you could keep them as pets. It always amazes me how fast they can move!

  14. eliza   β€’  

    oooh, it’s looking good! i think your plan sounds solid, and i can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  15. Kristi ~ ArtSea   β€’  

    Wow! I love your progress, it’s so beautiful! I don’t think that more embroidery will hurt the arms. But I think it’s wise to wait till the end, good call. Now question, am I assuming correctly that you trimmed off some of the sleeves before attaching the new ones?

  16. Jolene   β€’  

    Coming along great — can’t wait to see the FO!

  17. duni   β€’  

    holy wow this looks great! very inspirational. i have a hard time altering anything beyond a basic hem. not a lack of skill, just a general discomfort (although i don’t know why).
    i’m glad you are sticking with the straiht fronts. i think it will look better in the end.
    and no- no such thing as embroidery overkill. πŸ™‚

  18. smunch   β€’  

    I love this! It looks great and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  19. Lindsey   β€’  

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to see it completed! Completely random question-you have amazing skin! Any tips?

  20. Jane   β€’  

    It looks totally, awesomely good. I am so impressed at how close you came to replicating the original.

  21. Katie   β€’  

    I am loving it! Very inspiring!

  22. Katie   β€’  

    It looks great! I think the embroidery will look great trailing up the front of the cardigan. It’ll really help tie it all together. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  23. Johnston4kids   β€’  

    I was really looking forward to seeing how this turned out as I have a sweater that has a dog chewed sleeve. I have kept it with this sort of thing in mind but no idea where to start. Now I think I’m ready! Thanks!

  24. grandmastatus   β€’  

    It looks so awesome. I don’t think you’re near the overkill department just yet, maybe a few more “rows”.
    Can’t wait to see it done!
    What kind of needle are you using?

  25. Gynx   β€’  

    I can’t wait to see this done! I’ve looked in my closet for a cardigan to do this to, but I don’t have one I want to mess with. As soon as I find one, I’m definitely doing this! Thank you for sharing your process.

  26. Jenny   β€’  

    It looks like it’s coming along great! I’m excited to see the final product!

  27. Sarah   β€’  

    Wow!! I am impressed, love the contrast in colours, this is going to be gorgeous!!

  28. heartlikeakickdrum   β€’  

    It looks amazing! I actually like it more than the piece you were inspired by and can’t wait to see the finished product πŸ™‚

  29. yvette   β€’  

    This looks fantastic…

  30. Michelle   β€’  

    Julie, Can you please advise how you are starting? Do you knit onto the sleeve or make a cuff and stitch it on. I am thinking about starting this project, inspired by you, but I am not sure if I should knit on or stitch it on. Help please.

    RavID: RainMomma

  31. Liz C.   β€’  

    Awesome. I love how this is turning out. How creative!!

  32. Kat   β€’  

    This is looking so cool! Did you just sew the knitted parts onto the ends of the sleeves? I can’t wait to see the finished product. I may have to make my own for this winter. It looks so cosy!!!

  33. CanarySanctuary   β€’  

    Stunning. Wow, this is so perfect. I think I need to absolutely copy cat you. Fantastic job! I love it.

  34. Rachel   β€’  

    This really is beyond awesome. Thank you so much for sharing all the details. I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses…because it looks fantastic so far!

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