How to cut a top from a sweater

I cut a cute knit top out of a boxy cashmere sweater using a pattern for the bodice, and pinning the sleeves.

To cut the pattern (here from McCall’s 6164) I marked the center of the sweater front with chalk, and traced each side, instead of folding the sweater and doing both at the same time. Got more precision that way.

sweater purple cashmere pattern

Did the same for the back. Marked the line with chalk.

sweater purple cashmere traced

The sleeves were trickier. The important part was the armhole part. I used the 6164 sleeve pattern piece to trim the top of the existing sweater sleeves into the right shape, first one side, and then the other.

Pinned the sleeves into place. Stitched. They were still baggy – the wrong shape for such a fitted bodice, so I pinned them tighter and stiched along the pins. Finished the seams, then trimmed the excess carefully.

This proved important because it gave me fabric to use for the neck’s binding.

sweater purple cashmere binding

sweater purple cashmere neck detail

I admit, this wasn’t a perfect science. The binding strips kept rolling up so it was hard to keep them even. And the back of the sweater started with a raglan detail in the knit, which carried over to the final cut.

Hope it looks like a detail rather than a flaw…

sweater purple cashmere back

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  1. January 30th, 2011

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