Do It Yourself: Refashion a Sweater

All you needs is a sweater that basically fits and just needs an update to make it wearable, a pair of scissors, and some bias tape.

I had this sweater my sister-in-law had passed on to me.  It basically fit but was just not quite the right shape.  Plus, after wearing it a few times, I decided it wasn’t quite the right style for me to wear often.  So, after a few months, I’ve finally gotten brave enough to do something about it.

First thing to do is to remove the tags.

Next, find and mark the exact centre of the front of the sweater.  Be brave!  Pick up those scissors and cut straight down the middle to open it up!  You could also use a rotary cutter (that’s what I prefer) but remember that you’re only cutting the front of the sweater.  If you want your sweater to be an open cardigan style and don’t intend to button it ever, you may want to cut away an inch or two of fabric from the centre when you slice it open.  Completely up to you.

Next, find the length that suits you best.  I had a convenient line to cut along to remove length by simply taking off the bottom ribbing.  If you don’t have that, then just measure and mark in several places around so that you can make your cut.

I also decided to round the corners at the bottom of the sweater.  Just use an old cup or CD, a clay flower pot from another craft, the kidlets’ toy dishes, or whatever you have on hand.

Next up, sleeves.  Try on the sweater and decide what length you’d like the sleeves to be.  I prefer to place a pin where I want the sleeve to fall on the inside of my arm.  Then I measure up from the cuff to my pin.  Now, I can measure and mark that distance from the cuff in several points around the sleeve so I can make my cut.

Now, the sweater is pretty much ready so it’s time to make some bias tape.  I chose to make 1″ wide double fold and I used my favourite Continuous Bias Tape Tutorial.

Once you’ve got your bias tape ironed and folded just so, you’re ready to start sewing it on.  Starting on one side of the neckline, sew bias tape to the wrong side of the sweater first.  Go all the way around to the other side of the neck and back stitch a little before cutting the ends to a good length.

For neater ends, I like to make a corner fold in the bias tape (a little like gift wrapping the ends of a box) and then stitch it down as I sew the bias tape on the right side of the sweater next.  Again, go all the way around and back stitch at the end.

Now onto the sleeves — just sew the bias tape all the way around each sleeve, pretty much the same way you did the other bias tape only meeting the ends instead of making nice square corners.

OPTIONAL:  At this point you could add cute buttons (and button holes) along the front or any other embellishments you’d like to make on the sweater.  I still haven’t made up my mind about adding this assymetrical buttons embellishment.  What do you think?  Would it be a more versatile piece without them?Now the sweater is finished and ready to wear!


About sdevisser

I'm just a home schooling mom who likes to create and who is trying to find my way through daily adventures with my family.
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