Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

DIY Anthropologie Annika cardigan tutorial!

I love this cardi.  So cute.  So preppy, kind of Jackie O, but with an Anthro-ness that makes it wearable for everyday.
It's only $88, which is not bad for Anthro, but I knew I could make it myself.  I took a plain navy sweater from Gap and transformed it with this tutorial--I'm sure you can do the same thing with an old sweater from your closet, or hit up the Goodwill and grab some ribbon while you're out!  It's a very simple transformation, trust me.  Here's what you'll do:
  • Plain sweater. I recommend a crew neck to get the 60's look, but it's up to you.
  • Cut off the buttons.  The Anthro sweater has a zipper, so feel free to add one before you trim it, but I went the easy way and used hooks and eyes for closure.
 Save them to use on something else later!
  • Get out your ribbon.  This is from a 5-yard spool of white grosgrain from the Dollar Tree (whaa!?)--super cheap, but I do sort of wish I had had a higher quality one.  Of course the Anthro original uses a strip of woven wool blend like the sweater, but grosgrain or other textured ribbon is much easier to find!  To start with, tuck the ribbon under about 3/8" at the hem on one side and start making small pleats up the side.  Luckily the pleats are not symmetrical and are not even an equal distance apart from one another, so just do them here and there where it looks good.  All the pleats should face the same direction (up), though, in my opinion.  *Be careful not to stretch the edge of the sweater; you don't want it longer on one side or stretched out and 3-D from the rest of the sweater.*
  • Do something handy at the neck corner--this is the tricky part.  Just try to make it look good.  The Anthro one has a much nicer corner but it's got to be a million times easier to turn this corner with a stretchy band.
  • Continue pleating up toward the center back.  I did a handy box pleat at the back to switch the direction of the pleats.
  • Continue pleating around to the hem on the other side, where you will pin under a hem in the ribbon.
  • Find where you want your fake pockets to go, and fold the sweater in half/mark with pins to make both sides symmetrical.  You can follow the weave of the sweater to make sure they're straight and on-grain.  Pin about four pleats in, including the edges.
  • Go to your machine (or do it by hand, I guess!) and sew down the length of the pleated ribbon.  Anthro's seam is off-center, and I tried to do this at first, just using my seam allowance guide at about 1/2", but my ribbon was only an inch wide so my seam is down the center!  It's fine either way, as long as you sew through the thick edge of the sweater where the buttons or buttonholes were.  Sewing through the thin body of the sweater will weaken it and stretch out.  This is a risk for the fake pockets, but just don't strain them when you wear it.
  • Sew hooks and eyes down the center of the sweater.  I used the old buttonholes as a guide and put hooks where they had been.  Traditionally, women's clothes fasten right over left and men's fasten left over right, but no one really cares anymore.  I put my hooks on the right side and my eyes on the left. *With this method, you change the center front of the cardigan by the width of the buttonhole carrier, since when it buttons the center front is the middle of the carrier where the button is anchored. But to do this transformation, you have to use the button carrier to anchor the ribbon, so you make it off center by a fraction of an inch.  Make sense?  Kind of confusing but the point is, it should be fine.
  • Once you sew your eyes on the other side, you should be done!
Eh?  What do you think, any ideas for how you'd do this at home?


  1. great job, looks so adorable!!!

  2. love this!! thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. LOVE IT! What a great DIY. It's one of your best.

    I did an embellished sweater DIY a few weeks ago.

  4. It's perfect! I feel very tempted to try this :)

  5. Cute! I have that same sweater from Gap but in a light grey. I'll have to try this out as soon I get done moving this week.

  6. oooh how lovely!
    that cardigan is one of my favorites ;)
    thanks for sharing this!

  7. Christina6/07/2010

    Oooh I would totally do this in tulle. I bet it would look even better!

  8. super cute! it almost exactly the same.

  9. Wow - it really looks like the real thing - great job!

  10. I love how it turned out! :)

    I think that I would try the zipper... I'm all about trying zippers... maybe an invisible one? I think the zipper w/ the ring is super cute in the original...

    ... also, as you pointed out, a higher quality ribbon might be nice... could you use a wider one and fold it over the edge? Just wondering... I love the idea and want to go out and buy a cheap sweater!

    GREAT tutorial! *love*

  11. This is freaking brilliant.

  12. I just recently started reading your blog. I just wanted to let you know that you have completely inspired me to take up sewing clothing for myself again. I am dusting off the machine today! Thank you for your wonderful tutorials!

    Sarah Z

  13. I love this idea! It's a little hot for a cardigan in Texas right now, but I think I'm going to need one of these once winter finally gets here :) Thanks for the tutorial - it's definitely going on my to do list!

  14. Cute! Cute! Cute! ~HLT

  15. Anonymous9/11/2010

    I love it! Thanks for the tutorial!

  16. I had saved a link to this post and finally tried this tutorial on a favorite but unravelling black cardigan. The grosgrain pleats were perfect and allowed me to fix and conceal problem sweater areas. Now my favorite sweater of the season! Thanks so much! Kate



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