Repairing a cardigan or any knitwear with rips around snap fasteners may seem daunting, but here is an easy solution to this problem – remove the snaps!
Snap fasteners (sometimes also called press studs) are convenient interlocking disks that snap together. But because they pull the fabric or knitwear around them whenever they are separated, snap fasteners can cause rips. That is precisely what happened to my thin black cardigan.
One option for fixing the rips around snap fasteners in knitwear is to replace them with new studs. But this requires quite a bit of work: First, you have to drill a hole in each stud until the two parts of the fastener come apart. And then you need to mend the ripped areas either by darning, patching or needle felting before you can attach new snap fasteners. Unfortunately, thin knitwear is rather vulnerable to tearing to begin with, so replacing the snap fasteners may not be a long term fix.
Instead, I opted to remove the snap fasteners. Here is how I transformed my old cardigan with tears into a dressier garment with a laced front!
Materials and tools I used:
- Seam ripper
- Felting needle
- Needle felting brush/sponge
- Wool roving in a color similar to the knit garment
- Lace, the length of the two cardigan fronts
- Sewing machine
|1. First, I removed the old snap fasteners by cutting the material around them with a seam ripper.|
|Here is one of the holes I made in removing the snap fasteners.|
|2. Next, I needle felted wool roving to fill in the holes.
Needle felt the roving thoroughly until the filled-in areas are nearly as thick as the cardigan.
|This is how a filled-in area looks when finished.|
|3. Lastly, I sewed a strip of lace onto the edge of each front of the cardigan.
I set my sewing machine to the zigzag setting with a stitch width of 5 and a stitch length of 1 (24spi). Note, the stitch width depends on the width of the area in your lace where you can sew. As shown in the photo, my lace had a solid band along one edge that is slightly wider than 5 mm (3/16″). That is why I used a stitch width of 5.
If your lace has two straight edges, I recommend that you sew along both of them.
Here is my newly transformed cardigan!
Another way to fix old knitwear is to needle felt designs onto it, as I did with the brown cardigan in the photo on the left. (Click on the photo for more information.)