Monday, September 5, 2011

Restyling a baggy sweater

I have a knit sweater that looks completely awful on me because it bags out on the sides and in the back. I also wanted to make it a short-sleeve sweater. For this project, you will need a sewing machine, pins, scissors, matching thread, a seam ripper and a dressmaker's pen.

First, I'll deal with the baggy sweater.

I tried the sweater on and pulled at the sides to see how much I needed to take in on either side. I want for it to be even so I took one inch on both sides and marked it with a dressmaker's pen. I took the sweater off, turned it inside out and started to pin where I had marked. This is pinning on the inside and I followed the natural lines of the cables on the sweater to keep it even. I pinned from the bottom all the way to the end of the sleeve.

Then, simply, I sewed on the line of the sweater to take it in with matching thread, backstitching where I started and ended, and also on the armpit. I did the same to the other side, taking it in the same amount then sewing down.

I tried the sweater on again and the sweater definitely fit better but it seemed to pucker at the back. So, I looked at the back and where I could take it in. I turned the sweater inside out again and looked at the back. I followed the lines of the back of the sweater and took in two further tucks, both evenly spaced from the sides.

I pinned the tucks like so and then sewed each of them down.

Next, i looked at the sleeves. I wanted to make this a short-sleeve sweater so when I tried the sweater on, I marked where the sweater hit my elbow and marked it with a dressmaker's pen.

I folded the sweater at the chest so that I had the two sleeves facing me. I made sure that the shoulder seams lined up properly then I cut the sleeves evenly where I had marked.

I then did a zigzag stitch around the cut edges of each sleeve to keep it from unravelling (this made the edge rather frilly but no one would see it):

I then pinned the sleeve under about 1 cm and pinned it into place. I sewed it down, again with the zigzag stitch.

I did the same to the second sleeve as well.

This is the end result!

And it fits so much better now!

Estimated time for this project: about 40 minutes. This was mostly in the measurements and the pinning.

  • I originally cut the cuffs off and I wanted to sew them back onto the cut part of the sleeves but when I pinned the two together, I had a lot of extra fabric. I am actually thinking of doing gathers or tucks and retrying it. 
  • I didn't take in the cuff on the bottom of the sweater, that already fit perfectly. So, I gradually let the sides out.

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