Sweater Refashion

Hello everyone!  So last week I posted the easiest craft from my "sisters crafting day", so now I'll post the most complicated one.  But don't get scared off!  It just takes a little extra time and concentration.  Really though, if I can do it, you can!

Here we go!

Materials Needed:

  • Old sweater
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread that matches the sweater
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape/ruler
  • 2-3 hours
Step One:
Cut the sleeves off of the sweater, cutting right along the seam.  Set them aside for later.

Step Two: Lay your sweater out on a flat surface, front facing up.  Measure the bottom of your sweater.  Mine was 14" across.  Find the middle point and mark it with a fabric marking pencil.  (Note - I don't own a fabric marking pencil so I simply use a white colored pencil.  It works great!)

Step Three: Use a flat edge to mark from the center bottom of the sweater, all the way to the collar.  Then cut along your line to open the sweater up on the front.

Step Four: My sweater had buttons along the top, so I cut them off and cut off as much excess fabric as I could.

I couldn't cut off the button holes or my line would have been uneven.  So I just cut off the extra fabric surrounding the button holes. They will be hidden later, so don't worry!
Step Five:
Starting at the bottom of the sweater, fold each edge in a half inch.  Make sure you are folding the fabric toward the INSIDE of the sweater.  Iron the fold and then pin it as you work your way up the sweater.  Don't cut anything yet!  Keep folding fabric under, iron and pinning all the way around the collar.  You will probably fold it under more than half and inch around the collar depending on what your sweater looks like and the look you are going for.  Carefully try on the sweater with pins in and adjust the fron until you get a look you like.  (Note - I waited and did the collar later, but it just created an extra step and made it look not quite as finished.)
I don't have any pictures of the collar. Sorry!  I'm still getting used to taking pictures while I craft!
Step Six:
Sew it up!  Sew along the inside of the fold (1/2" seam allowance).  Try to keep the distance you sew from the edge even all the way around to give the edges of your sweater a nice clean look.

Step Seven:
Take out the pins and try on your sweater.  It should look like a vest right now.  Decide how much fabric needs to be taken off the sides to achieve the look you want.  Place pins at the sleeve hole and the hem to show what to take off.  (Note - It is easier to have someone help you with this step.  I had my sister measure and pin for me.)  DO NOT CUT EXCESS FABRIC!
Step Eight:
Turn the sweater inside out and repin the marks.  Sew in a straight line from the top pin to the bottom.  Do this on both sides!  Before you cut the fabric off, try the sweater on to make sure you like the shape and width of the sweater.  Don't worry if you have to do some adjusting.  I resewed one of my side seams 3 or 4 times!  When you are satisfied with the look, cut off the excess fabric.
Just a reminder...make sure you are sewing with the RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER!  =)
Step Nine:
Now grab those sleeves again!  The sleeves were REALLY big and baggy on me.  To fix this, try your sleeve on INSIDE OUT and pin under the arm to a comfortable tightness.  Then draw a straight line from the pin all the way down the sleeve.  Then sew along the line you drew.  Turn your sleeve right side out and try it on.  If it fits well, cut off the excess fabric.
Repeat this step with your other sleeve.
Step Ten:
I wanted to make my sweater have 3/4 length sleeves so here is what I did...

With the sleeve right side out fold the cuff up over the sleeve.    Match up the seam under the arm and pin it!  Then sew along the bottom of the cuff (the part attached to the sweater).  Gently stretch the fabric as you go to make sure you don't get any puckers or wrinkles.  (Note - I pined mine all the way around to help me get it nice and even.)  Remove the pins and try it on.  Fold the cuff down to make sure the length is correct.  If you are happy, cut off the excess fabric.

Step Eleven:
Turn the sleeves RIGHT SIDE OUT and the sweater WRONG SIDE OUT. Match up the side seam on the sweater and the seam on the underside of the sleeve. PIN IT!
Pin the top of the sleeve to the top of the shoulder making sure that the fabric is even on either side.  Place other pins around the sleeve opening to hold it in place.  (Note - The fabric on the shoulder of my sweater hung off my shoulder a bit and would have made the sleeves sit down my shoulder a ways instead of on top of my shoulder like they should.  To fix this, instead of matching up the edges of the fabric when pinning at the top of the shoulder, I pinned the edge of the sleeve an inch in from the edge of the shoulder fabric and cut the excess fabric after it was sewn.  Sorry that I don't have a picture for this step!  If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.)
Step Twelve:
Sew around the opening of the sleeve.  Make sure you catch both layers of fabric.  I sewed it at less than a 1/4" to give myself as little fabric as possible on the inside.
Trim any thread and try on your beautiful masterpiece!
Here you go!  Hope you all find this useful.  I had a lot of fun with it and felt like a pro when I finished!  Have fun and show me pictures when you use it!