Embellish Knit Month: Day 11

November 14, 2010

So a lot of you have been asking for a more detailed explanation on how to resize a sweater. Since this is the most basic part of embellish your knits month how could I not address this?!
This sweater I found at Community Aid for $1.50. It's from Ann Taylor Loft and I didn't think it really needed any embellishment to look good so it made a perfect candidate for today's redo.

All I did was take it in the sides and sleeves. If this is all you need to do to a sweater then this tutorial will help lots!

1. Turn the sweater inside out and put it on. Pinch the sweater at your underarm and pin where it hugs your underarm.
2. Pinch the sleeve where it hugs your arm. Pin.
3. Pinch at the bustline. Pin.
4. When you are pinning make sure that the seam is in the middle of your pins (ie make sure that both sides of the sweater are even at the body and sleeves.
5. Keep pinning the whole way down the side of your body. Do the same for the opposite side. Remove from body carefully because there are pins.
6. Sew a line of stitches along where your pins fall. Take them out as you go. Then lay flat on a hard surface.
7.  Cut off excess. Turn right side out and wear!

30 {comments}:

Hashi said... Best Blogger Tips

Although it's obvious from the pics, you don't actually say to stitch it :-) Thanks for all your wonderful inspirations.

MaryR said... Best Blogger Tips

I am a new reader to your blog and am loving the knits month - you've created some really beautiful cardigans from some hideous sweaters! Thank you for the tutorial here, too - although I think you missed one step and that was the re-stitching the seams that you pinned. :)Thanks for all the inspiration

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

you missed the sewing step ;)
I like to do this with my hubby's sweaters when they almost inevitably shrink up short on him in the wash. He's 6'5" so if he loses even the tiniest bit of length it's too short for him, but turns out as a super-long sweater for me. Then I use the scraps to add some tone-on-tone embellishments (since he's so tall and has very broad shoulders he has to wear XL sweaters, so theres lots) and away I go!
Sometimes if you're starting with a man sweater you have to move the shoulder seam though, or it looks strange.

Anna @ Blissful Whimsy said... Best Blogger Tips

So there is no sewing???

rhilborn said... Best Blogger Tips

Not to give you a hard time but I assume you meant to lay out flat, SEW, then turn right sides out, and wear:). I love this series! With my constant bust shape changes from nursing, not nursing, pregnancy, it seems like cardigans are the first item that I lose in my wardrobe. I have stayed the same size overall so finding a way to upcycle some sweaters is right up my alley!

Teri said... Best Blogger Tips

I think you missed a step: 5 1/2 where you sew the seam where you pinned. Great tute-I've been doing this for years. A serger helps, but it can be done on a regular machine with a stitch for knits then a straight stitch. Love your creative ideas!

Jodie said... Best Blogger Tips

It is a bit obvious, but you did miss a step in between 5 and 6--to sew the fabric where the pins are. :) Just FYI.

Bumble Baybees said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome!!! I always find cardigans at the second hand store but they seem to be boxy or really big. I have thought about resizing them, but was too intimidated!!! Thank you!!!

Adventures in Dressmaking said... Best Blogger Tips

Very cute! I love the red and white stripe. On something that big I might have taken the sleeves off, and then taken in both the side and the sleeves and trimmed some off the shoulder. It's almost too wide for the shoulders when you make it smaller. You could also make some self-fabric embellishments with the extra from the side seams!

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said... Best Blogger Tips

really helpful tute - but I think you forgot to include the sewing step...woops! Happy Sunday :)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

think the most important step of sewing the sweater was left out...

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Ah yes. Of course. Sorry about that. Changed it.

Added this sentence at 6:
Sew a line of stitches along where your pins fall. Take them out as you go.

MJ said... Best Blogger Tips

This is great! I have recently been given some knitwear from a friend who is two sizes bigger than me so this is perfect :)

acmcs said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, you do amazing things with sweaters! Is there any hope for sweaters that are too short? I seem to run into this problem a lot with otherwise great sweaters.


stephanie joy said... Best Blogger Tips

for reals?!?!?! it's that easy?!?! oh man... thrift store, here i come!!! ;) i love easy peasy stuff! thanks!

Popbabe7 said... Best Blogger Tips

Do you need to zig zag stitch to prevent seams from fraying??

Rachel said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I kind of thought that was how to take a cardigan in, but it is so nice to have confirmation. There are a couple I need to take in.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I do this to just about everything! The one difference is that, when pinning the clothing on my body, I like to use safety pins so I don't have to worry about jabbing myself as I take it off (or worse, pulling out a pin!).

Christine said... Best Blogger Tips

Do you have any tips for how to stitch so that the knit doesn't become stretched out? Is my tension too high?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Christine & Popbabe7,
Here's a great article about sewing knits:

magdamagda said... Best Blogger Tips

good job! the sweater must be thanking you for having given it such an exciting new life!

Kathryn said... Best Blogger Tips

I've said it before, but man do I love this month of embellished knits!! Thanks! :)

Andromache said... Best Blogger Tips

I LOVE this one! its super cute with the little yellow belt. Everything looks good on you!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Do sweaters not need to be serged/hemmed?

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Any extra measure to ensure that the fabric does not unravel or get moved around helps. But mine have held up despite the fact that I haven't. If you do not have a serger you can always do a zigzag stitch.

Popbabe7 said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks Kathleen for the great link!

ElleX said... Best Blogger Tips

Lovely!!!! Thank you so much for the explanation!

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said... Best Blogger Tips

I just bought a few at Goodwill and they aren't as fitted as I would like so I am going to try this!! Thanks!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I am trying to take up a t shirt that is way to big and I have it pinned but the shoulder area seems like it is still to big- is there something I can do for that?

Love all our ideas!

Fam Leenaerts said... Best Blogger Tips

As mentionned before, if the sweater is really big the shoulder seams look weird. You can see it with the cardigan you've maid here, it bulges at the chest and the shoulder seams are not on your shoulders. This would work better with sweaters that are too wide, but fit approximately at the shoulders. Otherwise I love your ideas, they will also work well with sweaters or cardigans that fit but are too classic (i.e. boring...)

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