Monday, February 22, 2010

recycled sweater tutorial - shawl collar

Recycling is so much fun! After cleaning out my closet, I found some things that needed updating and a few more that need to be added. After shopping with a girlfriend in a couple of fabulous boutiques, I was inspired to make some of my own designs rather than shelling out hundreds for them.
So here's one of the projects:

I found this dress in my closet during my spring cleaning, and decided that it wanted to look less like a nightgown and more like something spectacular, and warm. This great brown sweater in my stash was already felted, and it was just the right color for a collar to make the dress warm and cozy. How to do it? Here you go!

Fold the sweater and layed it under the dress to see how it would look. Figure out how you can make one continuous piece with the sweater you choose. This one was a turtleneck sweater.

Cut the turtleneck off the sweater.

Cut the body off the sweater, just below the arms, and trim the top into a rectangle. Then cut the arms off, making a straight cut rather than an angled one.

Lay the pieces together and make sure they are close to the same size.

Fold the rectangle with right sides together and serge or sew with a stretch stitch.

Slide one of the sleeves into the tube you just made and stitch them with right sides together, being careful not to stretch it too much. Repeat with the other sleeve and turn right side out. If you decide to taper off the end of the sleeve, it's easier to wait until you attach it.

You should have a nice long collar piece ready to be attached. The sleeves had a nice finished edge, so I made that part of the design.

Pin the collar piece inside the dress.

Stitch with the dress on top and collar on bottom. I stretched the collar piece a little, since I wanted to be sure it wasn't loose. Ribbed sweater have a lot of stretch, so you can use them like you would ribbing (like the bottom or sleeves of a sweatshirt). I used a zig zag since it is a stretch stitch. There might be another stretch stitch on your machine which looks like three rows of stitches next to each other.

Here it is! After trying it on, I decided that it would make a better tunic after all, and I cut straight across the bottom. Since it's cotton jersey (like a t-shirt) it won't unravel. And the sweater probably won't shrink if I wash it in cold, but I think I'll try to wash it on delicate with my other wool goodies.

Special thanks to my favorite sweater source, for once again, providing the perfect sweater for my project!

This was another shawl collar added to a long sweater, which I made skinny and cut off the sleeves. It's incredibly warm and comfortable with leggings and a turtleneck!


zanekathryne said...

Wow, Victoria. I think it is time to start on that book!

You inspire me with your creativity and the forethought required to document it too!

Resweater said...

I love it! They look great! I'm going to have to add that to my list (you know... the mental list of projects you are dying to get started on!). Thanks for the mention too :)