Thursday, March 17, 2011

Felted Lei Cardigan Knock-Off

Last year I saw this cardigan by Field Flower at Anthropologie and completely fell in love.  Then I looked at the price tag: $118.  I do have a small pile of beautiful sweaters from Anthro that I've purchased (all on sale!) over the years, but this sweater looked like one I could try to create myself.
What's a girl to do?  Well, I managed to make my knock-off, though it did take some shopping and perseverence.
As luck would have it, I headed over to Ann Taylor Loft and found this lonely sweater on the sale rack for $19.99.  It was a medium petite, which is not my normal size, but I had to make it work.  It had most of the details of the Field Flower cardigan: long sleeve, slightly cropped, concealed buttons and a ribbon running along the inside of the button band.

First thing to replicate was the color.  I bought a box of Rit Dye in Teal and got to work.  I followed the directions exactly and only used a teeeeeeeny bit of dye, maybe a teaspoon.  I still had most of the dye still in the box.  The sweater turned a lovely shade of pale, minty green.  Now, I was in business.

Next I had to find some cream color felt to cut out flowers.  I headed over to Goodwill and picked up a men's wool sweater from Abercrombie and took it home and felted the crap out of it.  I used a template I found online to cut out what I counted on the original sweater as 14 flowers.
Last item was to replicate the green trim that runs up and down the sweater.  This was the hardest part.  Joann's had nothing that worked.  I went to a great local fabric store and found a roll of chiffon in a not-too-dark green and bought a yard (which ended up being WAY too much).  I cut strips of the fabric, folded them in half length wise and sewed up the side.  Then I turned it right side out, turned in the bottoms to make a long, finished piece.  Then I attached it to the sweater while pleating and bunching along the way.  Using the Field Flower sweater photo as a guideline, I sewed two strips on the sweater.  Then I attached the felt flowers I had cut with some different colored buttons and a bright yellow thread.  The original flowers were attached with some embroidery thread and other small pieces of fabric, but the buttons seemed to work well for me.

I wore it last Mother's day for the first time and love it.  It's a totally fun addition to my wardrobe!!


  1. That's amazing! Good for you.

  2. Oh my goodness! It is perfect! Amazing job on recreating it. Yours is just as cute, if not more cute, as the original.

  3. It's gorgeous Amanda! I so often see something in a shop and think "I could make that" and then never get around to it. I am so glad that you actually did it - it's very inspiring!

  4. Love this! Great job!

  5. Wow. That sweater is made of awesome. So impressed!

  6. Great job! I'm very impressed with your version.

  7. Anonymous1:30 AM

    I think yours is cuter than the Anthro one.


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