Puritan Maxi Cardigan

As someone who’s perpetually cold, I’m a Summer person. I love the heat; can’t get enough… unfortunately, lately, in Indiana the last few summers have been very cool. We’ve had a few sweltering days of summer this year, but on the whole, it’s been cool. I feel cheated out of a true summer season…

All that to say, I’m not ready for fall weather.  As the autumnal equinox approaches, though…there’s no way out of it.

Quite “Puritan,” N’est-ce pas?

I bought this because I’m slightly addicted to anything black (even though I recognize that black may not be my best color). It looked warm. It actually fit really well… and it was only .99 cents. With Fall approaching I knew I’d get a lot of wear out of this.

I began by removing the shoulder pads

Velcro-ed right on to the fabric. No seam ripper required.
Velcro-ed right on to the fabric. No seam ripper required.

13 is my magic number when I’m shortening anything… but this was a bit longer, so I actually put a safety pin at the length I wanted.


Accounting for seam allowances, I marked fabric at 20″. I wanted it to be a little longer in the back so, using chalk, I marked it 19″ at the very back seam.


To finish the newly raw bottom edge I used the chalk again and measured an inch and a quarter.

Sidebar: Aren’t the white “wooly” fibers neat? Very fall-ish indeed.

I folded the raw edge under twice, “matching” it up to the chalk line.

Pin it down.

I used our Janome 8900 to sew it.


I try to sew on every sewing machine on display at our store (As a sewer and salesman it’s only responsible of me to know, through personal sewing experience, what each machine is best at)…. but I still have my favorites, and the 8900 is one of them! I seriously love this machine. It’s got so much work space. The built in walking foot will sew through ANY thing. Believe it or not, this material was quite thick, especially at the seams. AND, they’re doubled over from the new triple fold I added at the bottom, so the bottom hem is actually 5 folds thick at the seams. This machine sews through it likes it’s one layer of cotton.

This panel is just a short cut to the most frequently used stitches (and features of this specific machine). I chose D3.

D3 is a plain ol’ straight stitch that starts and ends with an automatic locking stitch. I, personally, prefer a locking stitch to a reverse. If you prefer a reverse to lock in your stitch, you would select D2 🙂

I put the fold of fabric in the center opening of the walking foot. This will put the stitch right on the fold.

NEVER sew over your pins 🙂


That’s all I did to update this garment.


I’m rocking (I hope…) 🙂 this look with my awesome Dansko “Tory” shoes. I bought them as a birthday gift to myself. I love them. I’ll probably write a review (unsponsored) in the next few weeks.

Skinny jeans are from LOFT.

This is not a paid endorsement from LOFT… this is just me explaining how much I love these jeans… As a petite and curvy gal, LOFT jeans are truly the only ones that I know will fit me perfectly every single time. I’m 5’2 and I’m much bigger from the waist down (probably 2 full sizes larger) than I am on top. LOFT has “curvy” cut jeans available in skinny, boot cut, straight leg, and flare. They even have tall, regular, petite, and “petite supreme” (5’0 and under…). It’s the one article of clothing I will happily splurge on and purchase new. Since the closest LOFT is an hour away, I can purchase them online without any apprehension because I know they’ll fit! Whether your fit struggles are similar to mine or not, I promise LOFT will be able to fit you no matter what your body type is.

Moving on 🙂

This kind of reminds me of something I pinned a while ago to my “Inspiration” board.

FreePeople.com “Maxi Cardigan” $78


I think mine looks remarkably similar! (And it was only .99 cents).



It’s super versatile… I could still button it all the way down and wear as a dress with some leggings and boots when it gets really cold outside…

…Or keep it casual with a graphic tshirt 🙂


“Refashioning” can sometimes be intimidating to the novice sewer… People think they have to completely disassemble a garment and turn it into something totally different than what it was originally, in order for it to be “refashioned.” And that’s not the case. Refashioning can be very simple. All I did was shorten the length on this knit sweater dress… and that gave it a completely different and versatile look that I’ll be able to wear all through fall. If you’re just starting to get into the refashion scene, keep it simple 🙂


13 thoughts on “Puritan Maxi Cardigan

  1. Love it! Looks fab on you 🙂 And if you think YOU’VE been cheated out of a summer, it’s a good job you don’t live here (in the UK)! I keep saying, if there was someone I could write and complain to, I would! Anyway – lovely new versatile piece for you wardrobe, and unintimidating for the beginner too. (although that machine looks a bit scary…)
    On the subject of the machine, can you please describe a ‘lock’ stitch? I’ve only ever used the reverse stitch… Thanks!! Gema x

    1. A locking stitch is another way to lock your seams, instead of reversing. Basically, the needle stays in the same spot (5 or so “beats” down in the material). It knots the thread on the underside (bobbin) side of the fabric. Instead of having an inch of backspaced straight stitching, you have a small dot of thread where it locked 🙂 next time I use it I’ll post a video 🙂

  2. Someone said black was back this season, so you’re perfectly on trend with your copycat Free People cardi, not to mention it’s cheap and warm. I’m seriously getting the appeal there.

    And one more thing: what makes you think black isn’t your colour? I think it looks great on you! That black ensemble of crop top and maxi skirt you did for the challenge was a killer, and looks gorgeous on you.

    1. Thank you, Sylvia!!! I LOVE black… several people have actually told me it wasn’t my color. Plus, I’ve had my colors/complexion analyzed and I’m a “Soft Summer” which usually favors pastels or anything muted (with the exception of some jewel tones…). I’m such a dork for knowing that stuff but it fascinates me 🙂 Thank you for saying that!

      1. That definitely does not a dork make. It’s good to know about these stuff. Maybe I’m a dork, too, for favouring knowing your looks and colours.

        But pastels and muted colours, on the other hand, have exactly the opposite effect on me – as in it makes my complexion look like the Corpse Bride’s. I really avoid those, especially baby tones.

      2. Hahaha, actually I’m just tanned. In reality my skin is very very fare, comes close to white, but I have a hideous yellow-grayish undertone, so that’s why I avoid soft colours – they make the yellow-gray skin tone pop.

  3. Yes – I’d love to see that in action (the lock stitch) – and I’m wondering if you need a special machine to do it… will my little manual do it? Sounds like a great alternative to the back stitch! 🙂

      1. Thought that might be the case… I’ve just got a little Janome 525s… might have to save that locking idea for when I’m a grown up 🙂

      2. I thought it looked like a Janome from all the pics I’ve seen in your tutorials. Janomes are awesome! No locking stitch but your 525 is a great machine. I’ve sold several of them through the years 🙂

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