More sweaters! When I ran across this one I *loved* the color and the silk/cashmere fiber content. It was only slightly too large for me so I couldn't dramatically remake it into anything else, but the boxy shape was not flattering and it had the inevitable turtleneck.
I wanted to do something to embellish it a little and make it more interesting without detracting from the gorgeous color and making it too fussy to wear often. I started by cutting off the turtleneck. Luckily, because of the way it had been manufactured I cut along the line between the finished neck and the ribbing and didn't have to do any finishing to it at all. Then I fitted it by taking in the side seams and adding darts in the back--because of my round belly/swayback shape back darts are generally the best way to define my waist.
Now it was time to embellish! My first plan was to do a bib with ruffles at the side, something along the lines of this, but then I decided that was a little too fussy and decided to go with straight ruffles. The fabric is an olive/bronze silk dupioni from stash (same fabric used for the underside of the cuffs and collar on my Butterick 4985 blouse).
This was very easy to do! First I put on the sweater and marked where I wanted the ruffles to start and end. The middle ruffle ends right about the lower center front edge of my bra, and I arranged the side ruffles so as *not* to end at the, ahem, bust apex.
Next, I cut strips of fabric 2 1/2 inches wide and about two and a half times as long as the final ruffle length, serged the edges, and turned under in a narrow hem.
I put single rows of gathering stitches in the centers of the ruffles, pinned the bottom in place, and gathered. I used the selvage for the bottom edges of the ruffles, and folded the top edges over the neck. I sewed these down with a narrow straight stitch. The hardest part is making sure that the edges of your ruffle haven't curled into your stitch line. Lots of pins are needed!
Now it was time to deal with the sleeves. I've been having a thing about sleeves the past several months. I just cannot have plain boring sleeves. I don't know why they're bothering me so much! These sleeves were too long so I couldn't leave them as is. I wasn't inspired by the thought of just shortening them. Finally I hit on the idea of echoing the front ruffles at the sleeves.
I marked the ruffle placement and pinned in place. I found my seam roll pressing ham invaluable for this task, but for those who don't a paper towel tube will work splendidly. I tried to gather the sleeve simultaneously with sewing on the ruffle by just bunching up the fabric but this worked only moderately well. I should have gathered the sleeve first, then sewed on the ruffle. I ended up going in and stabilizing the sleeve gathers by hand-sewing them to pieces of grosgrain ribbon.
I love my new top! I debated whether pairing it with the skirt for sweater-on-sweater was too incestuous, but decided I liked them together and this is what I wore on Tuesday.
Oh, and I have to clarify my review number! I am only hoping to get to 100 reviews as a cumulative total since I posted my first review in May 2006, not 100 for the year. That would be impressive! But I am not that impressive. I'll only end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 reviews for the year, assuming I finish out my goal. Much more modest!
Gretchen the Household Deity