Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

Lovely appliqué cardigan tutorial

I thought it was time for another tutorial! Today I want to show you a cute hand-sewing technique you can do to embellish a cardigan with a pretty look for summer.  I was inspired by this lovely thing from Anthropologie:
I don't love the sweater itself all that much, but the flowers on the side are just a piece of cotton hand-sewn invisibly down--I like that idea!  Easy and pretty.  So, I tried it myself--here's the tutorial!
  • Take a plain sweater, preferably cotton, that needs a little something extra to make it interesting!  This is an old one from Target.
  • Use a fabric that goes well in color and style.  The pinks in the print are close to the pink in the sweater, and it's a fresh summery print for the lightweight cotton sweater.  I have this darling vintage cotton print that I got from somewhere ages ago, probably Goodwill Outlet but I don't remember.  The apple and cherry print cracks me up--pretty sure they're not both in season at the same time, but... okay...
  • Carefully, with sharp, sharp small scissors, cut around the design you're going to use leaving 1/4"-1/2" extra fabric that we'll turn under.  If the design is simple, with few bends and curves, I'd use closer to 1/2" than I did.  Add little clips toward the design on all of the curved edges, so you don't get wrinkling when you turn under.
  • Carefully press under the fabric 1/4"-1/2", whichever you used when cutting.  You may have to add some clips on the curves and the indents to make it lay flat.
  • Position and pin the design on your sweater where you think you'll want it.  I didn't get too creative; I just stuck it where the Anthro sweater had a design, but you could use this technique on the hip of the sweater, or on the shoulder... wherever!
  • Carefully whipstitch the design down, making sure to keep all sides of the design flat so it doesn't pucker when it's done.  I caught about three threads of the appliqué with each stitch, so my sewing just barely shows on the top.


Great to pair with a summery skirt and top for going into air-conditioned buildings!


  1. Love it. Now to find a sweater in need of some love.

  2. Anonymous7/07/2010

    So sweet and girly! LOVE IT!

  3. Super cute! And you're right...I used to live in a big fruit agricultural town and cherry season is during the summer, apple season is in the fall. LOL

  4. Anonymous7/07/2010

    PLEASE, PLEASE come to Toronto, ON, Canada, and offer up a course or workshops. I'll be your student from start to finish.

  5. What a prefect little sweater! so cute and summery.

  6. So pretty - I found you through One Pretty Thing and have looked at a few of your creations before but... I am now a follower and since I have just bought my very own sewing machine (instead of ducking over to Mum's house everytime I wanted to sew), I will be taking inspiration from your creations.

    And PS, I just spent my whole work day reading every single one of your posts... Love it hard!

  7. This is an awesome idea! Now to scour the charity shops for a suitable cardi...

    Thanks for your kind words about my dress :)

  8. Great!!! I just noticed that Target has a bunch of cropped sweaters on clearance. I might have to go back and grab one. They are short sleeved and great for our California nights that can be a bit nippy even in summer.

  9. What a great Idea! I actually have a white cardigan in need of some spark! Thia may do the trick :)

    Natasha xoxo

  10. Love it! I love the color of the cardigan too. You always come up with great stuff.

  11. Anonymous7/17/2011




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