Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sweater Save

Cool, crisp autumn days are here once more and it's time for my closet change and closet update.  Put away the sleeveless summer items and pull out the cozy winter woolens and Polarfleece garments.  The cooler weather is energizing although I miss the extra sunshine already.  One of the benefits of this annual change is that I do get to re-examine clothing items and can easily discard something that I was hanging onto last year only to discover that I never or seldom wore it.  I'm not even sentimental about garments I've sewn since I have TNT patterns and some fitting skills that can give me new clothes at a fraction of what RTW would cost me.  
Refashioned RTW sweater

These two sweaters are my attempts to save what are otherwise non-wearables in my closet from last year.
I tried to "fancy up" this Ann Taylor RTW sweater one time already but never wore the finished product.  The bottom ribbing was simply too tight across my widest body part.  Here's how I proceeded:
  • gently cut the ribbing off the bottom, keeping it stable on my cutting table until I moved it to the serger.  I serged the bottom with 1.3 differential feed so it wouldn't stretch and then made a 3/4 hem.  Already I like the new length.
  • auditioned some tweedy fabrics in my resource center to become fringed edging on the front opening and the little pockets.  The first one was too flat and shiny and didn't bloom nicely on the bias.  The second fabric was a thin, pebbly texture with blues, greys and blacks, perfect against the black sweater and for wearing with jeans.  
  • cut 1 1/2" strips in enough length for a doubled fringe.  I pinned it in place, hand basted and then used a narrow zig zag, 3.5 stitch length and sewed it in two narrow rows down the center.   Used a toothbrush to rough up the bias edges and I'm quite pleased with the outcome.
Bottom ribbing removed
Hem basted in place
Grosgrain button strip removed
First fabric idea....too flat
Second fabric choice, much better "tweediness" and softer edges
Bias strips on garment front and inside edges

The second"save" is one about the garment color, not the style or shape.  I love these Draped Front Cardigans from Pamela's Patterns but I seldom wear this one.  That beige peach color makes me resemble a large cadaver when I wear it.  Again, some tweedy fabric in my stash.  First question was which weedy bias trim to use?  I was definitely drawn to the more tone on tone one but my ASG neighborhood sewing group seemed to favor the darker strips as did Mr. Lucky.  Ok, you folks win.  I did the same two layer process and now have a sweater to wear with a dark brown top and brown jeans.  And if it turns out I still seldom wear it, then it will go into the donation pile next year this time.

Still very tone on tone 

Greater contrast
 Here's hoping you have some friends whose opinions you trust and who can positively influence you.  Thanks dear sewing pals.  Even when we don't agree, it's always a fun discussion.

1 comment:

  1. Love the sweater! I love to sew myself - check out my blog at have a great day full of fun sewing :)


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