Remove the ribbed band from the bottom edge and sleeves; either leave or remove the neck ribbing as desired. Apply either purchased or custom made binding to the center front edges, bottom hem, sleeves, and neck edge (if you removed the neck ribbing). If you have left the neck ribbing on, you do not have to use binding that is cut on the bias because there are no curved edges to go around. If you want the binding to show on the right side, you will use double-fold binding. If you plan to turn the binding to the inside, use single-fold binding.
Front Button Placket
Remove the ribbed band from the bottom edge and the sleeves, if desired; leave the neck ribbing attached. If you have removed the ribbed band at the bottom, finish the hem as desired (turn or bind). Measure the length of the front edge from the top of the neck binding to the bottom edge, being careful not to stretch the edge. Cut two strips of fabric 2 1/2” wide by the length you measured in the last step, plus 1”. Example: If your sweatshirt front measures 16 1/2” long, your fabric strips will need to be cut at 2 1/2” by 17 1/2”. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing that is 1” by the length you measured in the last step. Example: If your sweatshirt front measures 16 1/2” long, your interfacing strip will need to be cut at 1” by 16 1/2”.
Press the strip in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together. On one long edge, press 1/4” under to wrong side. Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the strip just inside the turned under edge (with the same amount of fabric showing at top and bottom). Pin the un-pressed long edge of the strip to one of the center front edges, right sides together. Sew 1/4” seam. Press seam allowance to the center front. At the top and bottom, fold the strip back on itself so that the pressed edge just slightly overlaps the seam edge (you will be folding opposite the crease you already put in, this is temporary) and pin. Sew seam across short edge of folded strip close to the finished garment edge at top and bottom (this creates the finished edge at the top and bottom edges of the placket). Trim seam allowance and turn placket right side out. Make sure the corners are crisp and pointed on both the top and bottom edge. Pin or baste the folded edge to the inside of the sweatshirt so that it just covers the seam line. Hand stitch this edge down or carefully stitch in the ditch from the front side so that it captures the edge. Apply desired closure
Once you have converted your sweatshirt to a cardigan using one of the above methods, you can start working on adding decorative elements to suit your fancy. Using seasonal fabric, you can cut out shapes such as leaves, snowmen, trees, pumpkins, eggs, rabbits, shamrocks, stars, whatever strikes your fancy and appliqué them to your finished cardigan. Check back soon for some free appliqué patterns you can use for various holidays.
For embellishment ideas, read one of these books!
Sweatshirt Remix: Transform Ordinary Sweatshirts Into Extraordinary Fashions
Fashion Sweatshirts - Tots To Tweens