RL Cashmere Refashion


17 Nov RL Cashmere Refashion

I often read and hear conversations about whether one really saves money sewing clothes. It’s all relative of course. With the exception my two Susan Khalje garments and Mother of the Bride dress, I’ve spent very, very little on clothing.
Personally, I love comparing what I’ve spent on sewing and refashioning clothes to what I would spend buying similar garments.

Case in point:







Time to get to work ………….

Ralph Lauren RefashionThere’s nothing better than a boyfriend sweater for casual cold weekends IF it fits. Hubs never wore this Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater he received as a gift 10 years ago. Being more attracted to tailored clothing it wasn’t his style or size.

HELLO 🙂001 facebook_cover (1) 2

What an easy fix! The original hem of the sleeves and lower edge of the sweater are a simple turned hem making alterations a snap. After measuring and marking new seam lines, I:

  • split the existing seam with scissors
  • pinned along the new seam line
  • basted in place to avoid slipping
  • stitched the new seam line
  • and finished the edges with the serger.

For the sleeves, I applied Steam-a-Seam the moment I cut the excess length, then turned the edges. I used a very narrow zig-zag stitch for the sleeve hem which proved to be a better choice than a twin needle. The sweater length was perfect after the arms and sides were altered and I left the dropped shoulder seams.


The entire process took 1 1/2 hours to complete.
My jeans are a Doncaster refashion project from my first RTW Fast blogged here. I made them skinny but not super skinny as seen in the Polyvore photo. The scarf………. we all know it’s not a Burberry 😉 I bought it for $5.00 last year off the street in NYC on a cold, windy day. Hubs gave me the TB boots in 2013 for my birthday.
Put it all together and here is my Weekend Getaway ensemble. I spent a grand total of $5.00 and saved $1090 compared to the similar look above.


Sew Your Own Clothes, Save Thousands of Dollars and Look Like a Million Bucks.


  • Rhonda Lane Gatti
    Posted at 15:28h, 17 November Reply

    Great look and very creative.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:10h, 17 November Reply

      Thank you, Rhonda 🙂

  • boutis
    Posted at 15:34h, 17 November Reply

    I’m off to raid hubby’s closet! What a great re-style.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:13h, 17 November Reply

      Hi Boutis!
      I think lots of good things can be found in men’s closets. Have fun:)

  • Bernadette O'Brien
    Posted at 15:42h, 17 November Reply

    Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:13h, 17 November Reply

      Many thanks, Bernadette 🙂

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 16:12h, 17 November Reply

    You do indeed look like a million bucks! I wish I could write more in response to your great refashion but I’m off to raid my husband’s closet!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:14h, 17 November Reply

      Have fun, Cissie!

  • Ruth Forrester
    Posted at 16:14h, 17 November Reply

    That’s the kind of sewing I like best! Excellent look. Isn’t it amazing that the scarf alone costs more than boots?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:18h, 17 November Reply

      Thank you, Ruth!
      It’s unbelievable that the scarf is more than anything else in the photo. Being a Brit, might you know why?

  • Ally - Design Rewind Fashions
    Posted at 16:30h, 17 November Reply

    What a great looking week-end casual outfit! My daughter is 4′ 8″ and almost 16 – she could use that sweater re-adjustment technique to help her get some sweaters that actually fit. She is in the process of sewing & altering 5 outfits for a school project (due in March) showing people who are below 5′ tall how they can still look great and not look like they are wearing a sack – or clothes found in the children’s section. She will be glad to learn how easy this is! Thanks for sharing!

  • Marysia Paling
    Posted at 16:53h, 17 November Reply

    Fabulous outfit and I would love to know how you tied your scarf………….I enjoy playing with different ways of wearing them.

    Ah the scarf price……………………..its the much coveted designer label…………insane!!

    Your re-makes and look far superior to the RTW in my humble opinion.

  • CarolinasCallin
    Posted at 17:32h, 17 November Reply

    What a fun project! Love what you did to that RL sweater 🙂 Thinking of a few I’ve given away that could have been ‘re-habbed’ …rats! Oh, well…will save this idea if I can find anything in DH’s closet without an LSU insignia on it 😉

    Thanks for sharing another quick and easy solution!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 21:57h, 18 November Reply

      Hi Cheryl! This was almost too easy and would make a great thrift shopping project if DH’s closet doesn’t produce 🙂 Many thanks!

    Posted at 17:53h, 17 November Reply

    Just love what you did with the sweater, but won’t your husband want you to buy him a new sweater?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:04h, 18 November Reply

      LOL! He has more clothes than I have and was ready to see it go 😉

    Posted at 18:00h, 17 November Reply

    Just want to say I recently found your blog though Sew Today magazine which I subscribe to here in London UK. Your blog is incredible and you have inspired me to make my clothes. Something I used to do when I wasn’t working full time. I only had 2 slip ups when I was abroad last week and bought a dress and a 3 piece outfit but apart from that I am finally using my stash of fabric up. So far I’ve made a gorgeous Donna Karan skirt with the most complicated 3 piece raised waistband where me and my mother who is a great seamstress spent 2 hours puzzling over the instructions and I ended up sewing it all by hand, only to wake up in the middle of the night and had my ‘aha’ moment where I realized that had I attached the lining afterwards, it could all have been sewn on the machine, so now I’m going to make it again in a different fabric! Next is a swing jacket, a Chanel inspired suit and an evening dress with matching jacket. Can’t wait to get started!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:07h, 18 November Reply

      My goodness, Suzanne! I’m delighted to read I inspired you to sew again – you’ve got some terrific projects in queue. Many thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  • Tia Dia
    Posted at 18:03h, 17 November Reply

    Great post! I love doing the sewing math like this, too. Even special occasion garments can be done for a lot less than a RTW cost when you sew. You look cozy, chic and warm!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:11h, 18 November Reply

      Many thanks, Tia Dia! I believe special occasion clothes may prove to be the biggest savings 🙂

  • Martha Ann Murray
    Posted at 18:29h, 17 November Reply

    What a great re-do! I already have 5 pair of pants in the sewing room that have to be refashioned. The wide legs are flapping in the wind! Maybe I can find a way to redo an expensive dress bought for #2 child’s wedding 20 years ago!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:12h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Martha-Ann! I have a feeling you’ll figure out the dress refashion, and good luck with the pants 🙂

  • Angela
    Posted at 18:29h, 17 November Reply

    Love this! I am even beginning to think that sewing is less expensive than Target. I recently spent $90 on three tops/cardigans for my daughter at Target (average $30 each). At that point I realized that sewing these (although much slower;) would have been less expensive and definitely better quality. Keep up the good work!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:13h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Angela! I agree with you. The hard part of course is finding the time but the savings is in the sewing for sure 🙂

  • Fran Giacobbe
    Posted at 18:31h, 17 November Reply

    Wonderful! You are just…so…smart!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:13h, 18 November Reply

      Ah……. thank you, Fran! 🙂 🙂

  • Myra
    Posted at 18:40h, 17 November Reply

    I absolutely adore your beautiful and very creative outfit! You’re so right Sarah, you can save and I have, thousands of dollars by sewing your own clothes!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:17h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you so much, Myra! There are so many ways to look at savings. To me, I ask What would it cost to make and what would it cost to buy? Lots of savings possible for sure 🙂

  • Melissa Schulze
    Posted at 19:04h, 17 November Reply

    WOW!!! what a great refashion. Love it~

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:17h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Melissa!

  • Doris Sayer
    Posted at 19:13h, 17 November Reply

    Wonderful remake, I would never have thought of this, I could cry, I gave lots of new unworn sweaters belonging to my husband to the charity shop, I will think twice before doing that again.
    Love your inspirational posts, I’m already waiting for your next one.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:19h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you so much, Doris! I’ve given away a lot of refashion possibilities too ;(

  • Vernelle Nelson
    Posted at 19:18h, 17 November Reply

    I agree that just about anything you can make will save you a considerable amount of money, even with the rising cost of fabric. When you consider the declining quality of the fabric and the inferior workmanship of most RTW, you simply cannot find better quality than your own sewing room. This is why I have purchased nothing except lingerie for the last three or four years. Any RTW that has come into my closet was a gift. I even make my own bathing suits and use the scraps to make matching caps. The women in my water aerobics class are lining up to have me make suits for them as well.

    I love what you did with that cashmere remake. You certainly couldn’t have replaced it with a new sweater of the same quality without spending lots and lots of cash.

    Happy stitching.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:20h, 18 November Reply

      Woah! I am impressed, Vernelle! 3 or 4 years without buying…….. and your make bathing suits…… and caps?

  • Lisa G
    Posted at 19:34h, 17 November Reply

    how perfect that dropped shoulder looks are so in these days! cute outfit!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:21h, 18 November Reply

      Many thanks, Lisa! I like the dropped shoulder look too 😉

  • Laura Casey
    Posted at 21:07h, 17 November Reply

    This was such a good post! Nothing better you’re right than a boyfriend sweater-revamped….I’m going shopping in my DH closet right now!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:22h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Laura!! When I’m in the refashioning mood, nothing is safe in my house 😉

  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 21:23h, 17 November Reply

    Great remake of the sweater and I love the styling with jeans, scarf and boots. I’ve done the same with some of my hubby’s old but good cashmere sweaters; works great.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:22h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Mary!

  • Jessica West
    Posted at 21:51h, 17 November Reply

    Wow! “boyfriend” anything is my favorite!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:23h, 18 November Reply

      I agree, Jessica 🙂

  • Beata
    Posted at 22:17h, 17 November Reply

    Fully agree … I did not buy garment for myself for ages now… I have to check the prices to feel better 🙂
    Great remakes … though I am trying to avoid it 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:24h, 18 November Reply

      Thanks, Beata! Checking the prices always sends me to the sewing machine 😉

  • Mimi Berg
    Posted at 22:35h, 17 November Reply

    I have rescued a red silk Tommy Bahama camp/Hawaiian shirt from my husband’s closet and plan on cutting it down for me. He received it as a gift. It’s too big for him and he’s not really a red shirt kind of guy. But it’s a lovely heavy embossed silk and I LOVE camp shirts in great fabrics, as we live in south Florida. Camp shirts and linen knee shorts and pants are my uniform.

    I’ve tried it on several times and feel the collar and front buttons can be kept as they are. I’ll deconstruct and recut the sleeves, body and yoke, using a favorite camp shirt pattern I’ve made several times, then resew. Given all that I can save and don’t have to redo, it should only take me about 2 hours to remake the shirt.

    • Mimi Berg
      Posted at 22:38h, 17 November Reply

      By the way, I wish I needed sweaters here in the tropics. I love them, but alas, we only get a couple of sweater days a year, so I usually limit myself to cardigans. You did a great job with the pullover, though. Looks fantastic.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:27h, 18 November Reply

      Sounds like a winner, Mimi – good luck!!

  • Miss J
    Posted at 22:40h, 17 November Reply

    I love it! You look so fab. Good on you for turning your eye for fashion into garment reality!
    Hurray for being unique, well dressed, stylish and moneysaving!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:27h, 18 November Reply

      Many thanks, Miis J!!

  • Vancouver Barbara
    Posted at 23:38h, 17 November Reply

    Love your makeover of that beautiful-looking sweater. Great job. Love your $5.00 scarf much better than the Burberry. Someone else suggested you show us how to tie the scarf – I agree. A throw-away elegance in the way you tied it. It all looks SO GOOD together.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 02:11h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Barbara! I think I used a tutorial from this link to tie the scarf. 🙂

      • Vancouver Barbara
        Posted at 23:21h, 18 November Reply

        Thanks for the link. Your scarf looks the best of the lot. There’s plenty of inspiration on that board.

  • Natalie
    Posted at 00:14h, 18 November Reply

    Well done Sarah, the outfit looks amazing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:27h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you so much, Natalie!

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 02:02h, 18 November Reply

    I just love the whole outfit and you’ve made me think about clothes that are past their prime in a whole other light. This is without a doubt my favorite way to challenge myself. It’s amazing how, with a little creativity, one can come very close to knocking off designer looks. Great post, Sarah!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:29h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Julie!! Fortunately, the sweater was in good condition to start with, but you are so right – knocking off designer looks is not so difficult 🙂

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 04:04h, 18 November Reply

    I love how you reworked the sweater! It is just awesome! I too believe that I could never afford the garments I sew in RTW. If I could even find them in my size! Love your refashions!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:31h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, Carolyn!! Finding RTW in size that fits well is an entirely different story 😉

  • Kim Hood
    Posted at 09:43h, 18 November Reply

    Imagination is a valuable asset. Your outfit looks fabulous. Well done.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:31h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you so much, Kim!

  • Mary Haire
    Posted at 15:16h, 18 November Reply

    Awesome inspiration thank you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:31h, 18 November Reply

      Many thanks, Mary 🙂

  • K Cullen
    Posted at 15:35h, 18 November Reply

    Love the refashion, have done several myself. I usually find them in thrift stores.

    I have been sewing for decades and always heard the statement sewing is an expensive hobby. It is if you choose, but I sew to extend my clothing budget and save money by making clothes with a much better quality that last longer than RTW.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:33h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you, K Cullen and I agree with you. We can make sewing as expensive as we choose. I love beating the price of RTW, not to mention sewing clothes that fit 🙂

  • Cheryl Lemmons
    Posted at 16:12h, 18 November Reply

    Sarah, you continue to be a inspiration. This post will send me to my closet to sort out those things that can be refashioned from those that just need the “ole heave ho.” My blogging has slipped . . . too many distractions. Hope to return to it soon. This new site looks fantastic. Keep sewing and keep blogging and inspiring. By the way, it was a JOY to get to know Julie and Dorcas.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:34h, 18 November Reply

      So nice to hear from you, Cheryl!! Many thanks for the comment and look forward to seeing what you made in Houston 🙂

  • houseofpinheiro
    Posted at 16:50h, 18 November Reply

    so elegant and chic.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 22:34h, 18 November Reply

      Thank you so much, Rachel 🙂

  • Virginia
    Posted at 15:29h, 19 November Reply

    You look so stylish and very comfortable in your outfit. That is the type of outfit I need for 90% of my life yet I get so distracted by “fancier” styles. Thanks for this posting, it helped bring me back to where I really live! Now on to “restyling.”

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:57h, 21 November Reply

      I hear you, Virginia 😉 I too get distracted by clothes that aren’t worn nearly as much as the ones in this post! Many thanks, for your comment.

  • Teri
    Posted at 15:30h, 19 November Reply

    I love the refashioning! Well done.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:56h, 21 November Reply

      Many thanks, Teri!

  • Ann Geocaris
    Posted at 12:49h, 20 November Reply

    Hi – In this blog entry I just took the link back to your jeans refashioning entry, and really enjoyed that one. Great, fun, entertaining writing AND informative. One question — When you made your expensive, jeans “skinny” did you cut fabric off both sides of the leg or just one side? I have a pair you’re inspiring me to try make more skinny. Thanks so much for your blog. You are a great inspiration on so many levels!!!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:56h, 21 November Reply

      Thank you, Ann! I removed the excess fabric from the inner leg which worked out well. Good luck 🙂

  • neucarol
    Posted at 15:19h, 24 November Reply

    Have you done a reno with ribbed hems? How did/would you handle it?

  • Molly Baross
    Posted at 17:21h, 03 December Reply

    I’m so excited to have found your blog!
    I’ve been re-purposing all my life but never had a friend to be inspired by.
    I’m a new follower in sunny California!

  • Glenda
    Posted at 00:16h, 15 December Reply

    Hope all is well with you and your family. Your blog is a true inspiration.

  • Tomasa Jimenez
    Posted at 00:25h, 15 December Reply

    Wow! Love how you refashioned your husband’s sweater. It’s wonderful!

  • Claire
    Posted at 22:02h, 15 December Reply

    You have inspired me to refashion a thrift store cashmere sweater–thank you. Best wishes to you and your family for health and happiness in the new year! And, thank you for inspiring us all with your beautiful makes. I always look forward to your next post.

  • Denise Reed
    Posted at 15:59h, 27 December Reply

    Wow what great savings, and a wonderful remake. Totally smart move.

Post A Comment