Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Rescue or Update an Investment Sweater

BEFORE: The neckline was ripped!
I rarely shop in Bloomingdale's, I'm more of a Macy's girl. I guess I've always considered Bloomingdale's just a bit more 'uppercrust' then I view myself though it's probably an unjustified assumption of the store on my part. Truthfully, when I worked in the city, I was never located in Bloomingdale's neighborhood and was probably never motivated enough to go out of my way to shop there. Macy's has always had lots of great sales!

Being on Staten Island, the closest Bloomingdale's is located in the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey. This is a fantastic mall but I only shop there once or twice a year usually around Christmas. On one of my rare visits, I splurged and purchased a Bloomingdale's classic charcoal gray cardigan. It wasn't cashmere but 100% merino wool and based on the price I paid I thought it would last for years. By the second winter of its life, the neck band was unravelling and I actually had a moth hole in the sleeve near the cuff! Of course it was too old to return it so I put it away until I thought of a clever way to revive my sweater.

This winter season, fur is a must in any fashionable wardrobe and that gave me an idea on how to fix up my purchase. I thought if I could find a thin fur strip, I could hand sew the fur onto the neckline, cut the cuffs off and trim the now three-quarter length sleeve edge with the fur. I went to my favorite trimming store (M&J Trimmings in Manhattan at 6th Ave and 37th Street). The fur was about $25,00 a yard, certainly more than I wanted to spend. I opted for much cheaper trim ($5.99 a yard) found in JoAnn's Fabric store on Staten Island. They didn't have gray but black would work just as well.

AFTER: Fur strip hides the defect 
and dresses up my sweater!
See my before and after photos. I used a light elastic on the sleeve ends to make sure that the sleeves were able to be scrunched up. You can also change out buttons on any sweater to give it a new fresh look. Substitute rhinestone or pearl buttons for plain ones. I decided that I liked mother of pearl style buttons that came with my seriously compromised sweater, The fur looks great (actually much better than my photo) and I look forward to wearing it this holiday season. 

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