I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! I was in Texas last week visiting my family. I missed DC's big snow (boo) but experienced the biggest snow"storm" that I've seen in Texas, which was fun. My nephews thought it was a blizzard. It was nice to see family, but I am very happy to be home!!!!
I bought this sweater last year when I was gathering materials for sweater refashioning. I debated about it because it is an XS, so there was not enough fabric there to cut down into anything else. However, it was so nice I couldn't leave it there and just wore it as is. It is a really soft lambswool, and the sleeve and sides are straight rather than having a dated cuffed look at the bottom.
It wasn't until the second time I'd worn it that I got home from work and realized one of the elbows was worn through! I am guessing that's why the previous owner donated it to the thrift store, because it was a well cared for sweater. On the one hand, I thought it was kind of rude to donate a holey sweater to the thrift store. On the other hand, I was so I glad I happened to be the one who picked it up! Because there is no need to throw away a sweater that is otherwise in good shape just because of one little hole and now the sweater has a new life.
The first step was to cut off both sleeves at the hole. The other side wasn't worn all the way through, but it was definitely thinner at the elbow.
Next, I went in my stash and found some gray wool jersey (Nikki so kindly gave it to me ages ago and it has come in handy many times!). I cut out rectangles for the sleeve puffs, each at 22 inches by 12 inches. Then stitch the short edges together. If you don't have wool jersey, you can use cotton or rayon.
I put strips of tulle inside the sleeve puffs before folding them in half to keep them poofy. For additional poofiness I also followed the technique in BWOF's balloon skirt dress 10-2008-117 of twisting the balloon when folding it in half, so that the side seam is offset rather than matched up.
Next you put in your double row of gathering thread, pin the gathered puffs to the sleeve edge, and stitch in place.
This was all well and good, but because my sleeve puffs were a lighter gray than the rest of the sweater I needed to bring the jersey in another way so it didn't look like a non-sequitor. Also, the fancy sleeves needed a little added fanciness. I have been enjoying the crazy feminine ruffles that Ruffles and Stuff and My Mama Made It are into lately, so I decided to go with that. I can't find the exact tutorial I used, but here is one for a rose made of strips of jersey fabric. My fabric strips are one inch wide, and rather than machine stitching I hand-stitched (I thought I could do it on a long car ride at Thanksgiving, but it made me carsick). I didn't gather the ruffles, but made them "ruffley" by twisting and looping them.
I finished it off with a layer of gathered tulle on top of the rose to emphasize it, and a few sew on jewels I had purchased in Hong Kong. Despite my best efforts that the jewels be random, they are in fact quite evenly distributed. *sigh* I am completely incapable of asymmetry.
After I'd sewn on the jewels, I wasn't sure if I loved them. I can't tell if they are Eighties or Aughties. The 80s sweater is from Leslie Hall's Gallery of Glamore gem sweaters project; it is awesome and if you've never seen it you must go check it out. The current embellished top is from J. Crew.
All photos of this project are here.
I love sweater refashion, as you may be able to tell, so I check out the web for project ideas. Here are the most recent ones I've found.
This is such a clever way to get a drapey front cardigan. The result is almost like an overdress and would be great to winterize a sleeveless LBD.
I like this cardigan idea with the inset fabric at the waist.
There are tons of refashion ideas on the Craft blog (although not limited to clothing). There are *hours* of entertainment to be found at the Wardrobe Refashion blog, which is mostly clothes and a fair number of sweaters (although unfortunately the posters don't generally use tags so you have to wade through some introductory and other miscellaneous non-project posts).
PatternReview just announced a quick challenge for the first two weeks of January and it's...refashion! I have another sweater project in the hopper, so I just have to wait a few more days to start!
Pray Together, Stay Together
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