Posts Tagged ‘ alter ’

Can you change a turtleneck?

Stunner of a silk sweater. Perfect color. Love the little sleeves. Beads on one shoulder.

purple turtleneck before

But turtleneck?!

I’m wondering if it’s possible, without wrecking the sweater, to turn the turtleneck into a crew neck or jewel neck.

purple turtleneck before

Because this beauty’s going to waste as is…

purple turtleneck before

Could I stay-stitch the neckline I want, then gently and invisibly bind it?

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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

How to…widen sleeveless shoulders into cap sleeves

You know, for when you don’t want to be that naked. Which for me is almost always. I turned this bodice into cap sleeves with a few little lines. I’ve done this a few times now (once for this dress), and it’s really not hard. So you trace the front and back bodice pieces as you would, skipping the armhole curve. You mark the underarm, you know, where you’d cut it for sleeveless. Can you see the purple marker dots at the top and under the arm? McCall's 6164 making sleeve Then you basically draw a line out from the shoulder, extending it straight. And you draw another line up from the outermost point of the underarm, where you’d start the side seam. (This picture shows the other side.) McCall's 6164 making sleeve Sew the shoulder seam as directed in the pattern instructions. Sew the side seam also as directed, leaving the sleeve hole open. Hem that however you like to hem sleeves. Since this is knit, I basted 5/8″ along the raw edge, folded over on the basting, and stitched. Left the seam allowance as is. Knits won’t unravel. McCall's 6164 T Voila— cap sleeves.

Quickie refashion = new dress for me

First I saw this:

dress-black-wool-tag

And closed my eyes and saw this:

dress-black-

And with some scissors to take off the sleeves and some pins to bind up the arms and enough stitching to take in the sides

dress-black-wool-arms pinned

I made it happen:

dress-black-top

I like using seam allowances from pulling things in to bind edges lately. I love turning garments too big for me into cap-sleeved things that fit exactly right.

And I love throwing long, long pearls and a little sweater over this now-classic dress.

Cranky cranky cranky

My job’s had me in the worst mood lately. But since I actually have a job, and I collect a regular paycheck for doing what I studied to be, there’s no sense complaining. Maybe for a while, my sense of fulfillment will have to come from somewhere else. 

Sewing makes me happy most of the time, so I’ve been doing more of it to compensate. And looking cute at work helps too, so I wanted to finish this refashion of a vintage nylon blouse that was way too big and sloppy.

Navy dots on a white background. Little V-neck with an attached tie. Fits beautifully under a V-neck cardigan, too. 

blouse

This was a simple seam up both sides up to the sleeve. 

Anybody else try out a “finished” sewing project and then realize it needs more work? Happens to me all the time. Originally I left the sleeves as they were, to the elbow. Nope.

Taking them up was such an improvement:
blouse

How to… slim a sweater

I’m not scared to alter sweaters anymore, having practiced a bunch now, and I’m not even using a serger.

Here’s how to do a sleeveless shell I just refashioned from a giant silk sweater set:

Try the thing on. Measure how much needs to come in on both sides. Pin it up.

sweater set-red silk refashion

Line up the underarms and the bottom edge when pinning, ok? Stitch, using a good zig zag.

sweater set-red silk refashion

Trim close to the seam. I like to stitch the same way again finish the edges.

sweater set-red silk refashion

For the outer cardigan, or any sweater with sleeves, you do the sides first, then the sleeves. The amount you trim off the sleeves will likely taper as you get closer to the wrist.


sweater set-red silk refashion


how to… shorten blouse sleeves-3

I was playing with short sleeve a while back by making new short cuffs, and by resetting the whole sleeve to preserve the original cuffs.

Thrifted a long sleeved black cotton blouse this week because of the great wrap detail – a button plus tie with a cummerbund sort of detail – and decided, so I can wear it to work, to do the simplest shortening of all – a basic chop and hem – while watching the nightly news.

blouse black wrap before & after after… and before

You can see the long sleeve as a before, and the sleeve I shortened as an after.

Flip the blouse inside out to work with it. Mark where you want the short sleeve to end, cut straight across, and then hem using this failsafe method: Measure an inch from the raw edge, fold up wrong sides together and press. Then fold the raw edge into the fold, and press again. Tack with a few pins, then stitch with a basic straight stitch. I like to use excised sleeve #1 to mark and cut sleeve #2.

Doesn’t get much easier – unless you chop and wear, a la t-shirts.