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La joie c'est le partage
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Sweater Re-Fashion Tutorial

I am trying to accomplish some things around here that I've been meaning to get to for so long. Things desperately need to be organized, unused items need to be donated and this bag of sweaters in my closet...they need to be re-purposed. I love each one in that bag, but for whatever reason, they don't look quite right anymore. Let's be honest, they're just old. They're in great shape though, so I thought I would try to freshen them up with fabrics and trims. Give them new life and then see if I like them any better. If not, I will get rid of them. Anyway, I got working on the first one this morning and liked it enough to share what I did.

Here is one of the sweaters. It's a great sweater but needed some jazzing up.

I found an old T-shirt...way past it's prime...and decided to cut it up to make some ruffles and a flower for the sweater.

First, cut straight up the middle of an old sweater. We're going to make a cardigan with this one.

Now, cut the bottom hem off of the t-shirt and then cut a total of five strips out of the shirt. I made each of my strips about an inch and a half wide.

Now, cut open each of the side seams so that you have five really long strips. Take one of the strips and set it aside for the flower (which we will make later). Take two of the remaining strips and sew them together to make one super duper long strip. Take the last two strips and sew them together to make one more super duper long strip. These will be the ruffles.

Okay, time to make the ruffles. Adjust the stitch length on your sewing machine to the longest length. Now sew a straight line right down the middle of one of your super duper long strips. Do it again for the second strip. When you are finished, separate the top thread from the bobbin thread. Now gently pull the top thread as you gently gather the fabric into a ruffle.
Hint...when your ruffle is the length that you want it, tie off the top thread and the bobbin thread on each end so your ruffle doesn't come unravelled
When your ruffle is complete, pin it to one side of your sweater as shown above and then do the same thing for the other side and other ruffle.

Let's move on to the ruffled flower.
Take the one strip you have left and sew another straight line down the length of the strip. Instead of sewing down the middle though, you're going to sew along the edge. Gather this one into a ruffle too. As you can see in the above photo, it's going to be a lot shorter than the other two were.
Now...before you do anything else, reset the stitch length to normal on your sewing machine. Do it now so you don't forget later.
To make the flower, simply roll the ruffle up (just like you would if you were quilling paper) and hand stitch it along the bottom as you go. Stitching it will hold it all together nicely when you're finished.

Here is the flower when it's done.
Now you're all ready to sew the ruffles onto your sweater. After you sew them on, you can either sew on your flower, or use a safety pin to attach it to the sweater. I used a safety pin. This way I have flexibility when wearing it. I can easily take the flower off or leave it on.
Enjoy your new (old) sweater!!
Now go find an old sweater in your closet and see what you can create. It's fun!!
xo and God Bless,
~~~You must go and check out Ruffles and Stuff~~~
Her blog inspired this little makeover and there is so much more to see over there!!
Linking up to...


Amy Kinser said...

Girl, this sweater is incredible! You did amazing!!! I can't sew but so wish I could because I would certainly do me one as close to this as possible. Love...

judi said...

what a cute repurposed cardigan! love the ruffle and the combo of colors.
go take a peek at anthropolgie.com at their "old" sweater throws. old sweater parts pieced together to make a cozy blanket for sofa or bed. also pillow covers are popping up all over made from sweaters...now one just needs the time to make them.
happy sewing!

claudia b said...

This is beautiful! I just love it! I'm putting it in my To Do file because as soon as I'm done with the house I'm so going to attempt this!

Mom of 5 said...

AWESOME!!!!! I love it!

d. reyné said...

I love this!
So clever! I have both of these type items that are just begging for a re-purposed life!
I will have to give it a go ...maybe even this weekend!

jewelsinthegarden +: ) said...

Kathleen, you are so creative! I love your new sweater! Wish I could think things up like that!

Anne Marie said...

i LOVE her site...always inspired when I go there...and you did a fantastic job on that sweater upcycle!!! wow! super cute!!

anne marie

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Cute! I love the color combination too!

Laura said...

Wow I'm impressed!!! What a great idea, you are so creative!

Burlap Luxe said...

Oh wow!! I thought I was the only one that did a crazy cut down the front of a sweater thing. I did not add a ruffle to mine, but I will Now!! :)

It looks so great and what a cool designer clothing shop look to it.

Thankkkk Youuu! soooo! much for your beautiful comment to my hand painted French tray ! You really gave me a boost in the artist department, your encouragement means a lot to me :)

Have a beautifully inspired week-end

Petite Michelle Louise said...

wow...i mean..WOW! Simply fantastic. J'adore! I'm off to the attic to dig out that old box of sweaters i don't wear! :)

Boho Farm and Home said...

Oh my goodness! that is the cutest thing I have ever seen!

Lindy said...

Love your "new" sweater. Great color combo and really cute design! Lindy

lisaroyhandbags said...

what a great idea! this look amazing! time to go rummage through my closet and see what I can ruffle... :)

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

This is such a wonderful idea. I'm such a cardigan junkie, this is great repurposing.

Anonymous said...

Love this!

Robyn's Nest said...

Now that's a sewing project even I can handle. And I've got plenty of materials to work with. My mother just finished a project turning a sweatshirt into a cardigan. It's pretty but a little "grandma-ish" for my taste. Your sweater idea is perfect for me and my personal style. I'm adding it to my list of "projects I wanna do" and let you know how it turns out.

Thanks for the inspiration! ~Robyn

Tammy said...

How clever! Love it. You really jazzed it up. I can see this being a great way to dress up or down. fun fun! Thanks for sharing!

Stitch a Wish Designs said...

Love this! I have some old sweaters lying around, I can't wait to see what I can do...I'll share too! Thanks for sharing, great idea!

Candylei said...

The color combination is wonderful. The turquoise really makes it pop. Love it.