Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Simple Sweater Refashioning

This lavender merino sweater suffered from a common Thrifted Sweater Syndrome (indeed, probably what doomed it to the thrift shop in the first place): the sweater bunched into the ribbing at the waist and wrists. Right. No one wants that blousy sweatshirty look going on in their sweater.

Fortunately there's an easy fix. Thread up the machine with matching thread, run a line of straight stitching just inside where you want to cut, then with sharp scissors carefully cut off the offending waistband. Then zigzag over the edge, and you're finished and secure. If you want a little lettuce-edged ruffle, pull back slightly on the sweater as it goes under the needle. If you want a flatter edge (I did here), feed it gently and steadily under.


On to the midriff! The sweater was okay without any further work, but I wanted more interest, and a more shapely middle. Silk embroidery ribbon from the stash, and a regular big-eyed needle. I knotted the ribbon and, working from the side seam in, did a simple running stitch to the center, with plenty of ribbon hanging out. Repeated from the other side.


Now I can cinch the underbust for a little shaping, or, conversely, pull it all out without any damage to the sweater. No commitment, just some fun!

15 comments:

Rebecca said...

Beautiful! And yes things can be saved from their thrift store fate! Two weeks ago I found a fool plaid brown, white, and red skirt! Gorgeous wool, but it need a new hemming and the waste band needed a fix! Now after fixing its beautiful! love thrift store clothes restored!

Polly said...

This is a great tutorial, and I'm going to have to copy it soon. I loathe those banded sweaters, but sometimes see them in the prettiest of colors!

Regan Family Farm said...

Keep the tutorials/ideas coming! They are so helpful to the creatively challenged (me!)

Sharon said...

Nice save - and thanks for the tute! Isn't it great to be able to look at something someone thought was past its prime and find new life?

Anonymous said...

This refashioning is such a good idea. I've done the straight sewing, cutting and zig-zagging with polo neck sweaters. They don't suit me, but look just fine when given the above treatment. I like the stitched in ribbon. A pretty idea.

Sonya, Australia

Laryssa Herbert said...

Thanks for these great tips!

Anonymous said...

Love this idea! But does the ribbon go all the way around or just in the front? Thank you for all your sewing advice and tips <><

Mac an Rothaich said...

Brilliant and fun to read:)

Heather said...

I just did a thrifted sweater fix with some silk bias binding and it was so much fun! Yeah for redeeming the merino - since it doesn't felt very well, your fix is the best idea! Have you gotten on to felting thrifted wool sweaters yet? Highly addictive!

BlueCastle said...

Very creative! I never would've thought you could cut into a knitted sweater that way. Thank you - you've just given me more inspiration.

Very Verdant said...

Great ideas. I am so inspired every time I read your blog. Thanks for sharing.

Lisateresa said...

Very cute!

pinelopikappa said...

Wonderful, I wish I had your talents! I am getting to learn sewing right now, and your blog gave me the idea to start with housedresses. Mine will be a tunic-dress. Very inspirational, your blog.

Would you share your method of making dresses? Does it take you long to make one?

Cheers!

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Ana Smith said...

Thanks to your inspiration, I did a bit of sweater refashioning of my own last week. I found a sweater and a dress at the thrift store that happened to match wonderfully. The only problem was that the sweater was a long sleeved pullover. So, I cut off the bottom half, cut off enough of the sleeves to make short sleeves, and cut up the middle to make it an open front/cardigan/shrug. I used your zig zag technique which turned out so cute! I also cut small slits all around the neckline and threaded some narrow ribbon through.

Thank you so much for your tutorials and ideas. I wouldn't have ever thought to do this with Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse. :-)

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