I bought this sweater a few years back because the fabric is soft and fluffy, but I never wear it because the collar is too tight! I leave it in the drawer and pet it every once in a while 🙂 Even when I would attempt wear the sweater on a cold, wintry day; it was off in less than an hour; it’s even too uncomfortable to wear fishing! I would say to myself, “f I could just open that collar up.” Then it occurred to me … add a zipper and refashion the sweater into a jacket.
22” separating zipper (measure in the center of the sweater from the top of the collar to the hemline to determine the length of the zipper)
4 pieces of vinyl cut the length of the center front by 3” wide
Fusible interfacing 2” wide by the length of the center front of the sweater, including the collar
Universal thread in coordinating color
Prep & Mark the Sweater
Start by marking the center front of the sweater. I am marking the sweater a contrasting color thread, if the fabric allows you can use a fabric marking pen or tailors chalk.
Turn the sweater inside out. Center the fusible interfacing along the center of the sweater and press in place.
Cut along the center marking, from hem to the top of the collar.
Sew the Zipper
Line up each side of the zipper with the vinyl as shown. Stitch along the edge of the zipper teeth.
To read the full blog and finish up your sweater upcycle, head over to my post as a Brother Expert Consultant on the Brother Stitching Sewcial. This is such a quick way to customize any bowl, I can’t wait to try different fabrics for the holiday season!
Behind the Scenes Live with Angela Wolf
Join live every Wednesday at 1:30pm EST on facebook or catch the replay here on the blog.
Great class for beginners or advanced!! I’ve been sewing for a very long time, but have always avoided knits. This class takes the fear out of sewing with knits. Loved all the tips for sewing with knits from cutting them out to sewing it up. Thanks Angela for sharing your time and knowledge with us.
My husband was cleaning out his closet and handed me a couple of denim shirts to donate. I couldn’t help but notice the logo on one of the shirts from a marina we frequent on our summer boating trips – I couldn’t bear to allow that one to go. A friend mentioned making a quilt, but I don’t foresee that on the shortlist anytime soon. Then it occurred to me – UPCYCLE! I do need a sundress for the boating season and what better than a couple of denim shirts to play with!
Try on the shirt and check the fit. Start by marking the width of the desired tank onto the shoulder seam
As I am holding up this sleeve, notice how wide the top is and how low the armscye falls. This will all be changed J
Measure from the back of the neck to your natural waistline and draw a line. Measure on the front of the top as well.
From the waist marking, measure down an additional 3” and place another mark. (I am adding the 3” to allow a little blousing when the dress is belted). Measure down another ½” to allow for a seam allowance.
Next, draw a line from the underarm seam up to the shoulder mark as shown.
For the full tutorial, check out my post on the Brother Stitching Sewcial blog. I always love to see what you are working on, be sure to share photos of your upcycled shirts using hashtags #angelawolf #brothersews
Brother Expert Sewing Consultant. This blog post may contain affiliate links.
Refashion Jeans with Trim You might have noticed some of the fashions of the late 60’s and 70’s making a comeback on the store shelves, from floral fabrics to embellished jeans. How about adding crocheted ribbon trim along the outside leg! This is so...
Embellishing Jeans with Free Motion Embroidery An easy way to restyle or upcycle jeans is to add a touch of embroidery. Free motion embroidery, also referred to as thread painting, is so easy and you don’t even need an embroidery machine for this...
Transform a Turtleneck into a Stylish Boatneck Top Here is another recycle project for the turtlenecks in our closet and its easy - perfect for beginners! For this sewing tutorial I am using a turtleneck that has a design, but any tank top will work. ...
Ask Angela …: There are countless women like me who must have the same question to ask, so I’ll make an attempt to speak for the group. After reaching those golden years, we start to wonder why our clothes — especially shirts and blouses — seem to have lost all sense of shape. We might just as well be wearing ponchos because our collective shoulders have gradually disappeared over the years. How about a hint on making conservative shoulder pads . . . not like the 80’s kind and not just for jackets/coats and blazers. I would like something that can be used with casual or dress shirts and blouses, so it should not be too bulky.
Sure hope you can address this problem — I’ve seen you on It’s Sew Easy many times and feel that if anybody can solve this issue, it is Angela.
P.S. My next project will be creating a bra with suspenders to keep it in place. Any ideas?
Sarah from Ohio
This was a great question from Sarah, and although I’m not going to talk about making your own shoulder pads, I am going to give you a few tips that have worked for other clients of mine in the past.
All of us have different body shapes, meaning I might not need the same thickness of shoulder pad as you or maybe I don’t need extra padding at all. With that being said, there are just as many sizes and styles of shoulder pads.
Do you remember the shoulder pads of the 80s – they were very, very, VERY LARGE! In fact, I’m pretty sure the shoulders of the jackets extended at least 2 inches past the actual edge of any female’s shoulder. I always laugh at some of the old photos where I am wearing enormously huge shoulder pads – my head looks SO small! 🙂
Take a look at these two shoulder pads. Both are considered a raglan shoulder pad, meaning that part of the shoulder pad will be directly on your shoulder and a small part of the shoulder pad will extend past your shoulder to fill in the sleeve cap. These are typically used for jackets, but the smaller one will work in tops as well.
This shoulder pad is very thin and a perfect option for blouses and tops. It gives that soft edge to your shoulder and evens out your profile, without standing out that you are wearing shoulder pads..
It can get rather expensive to add shoulder pads to every top that you own, not to mention shoulder pads turn out disastrously after being washed. So why not design your own removable shoulder pads!
You will need:
1” wide Hook & Loop tape; which comes in a variety of colors including beige, black, foliage green, olive drab, and white
Shoulder pads are listed by thickness and length. The thickness is the height of the shoulder pad, so if you are looking for the bare minimal to even out the shoulder area – start with the ¼” thick shoulder pad. For unlined jackets and sweaters consider using the raglan shoulder pads (which is what I will be using here). For knit tops and blouses, choose a flatter shoulder pad that won’t extend into the sleeve cap but the straight edge will line up with the edge of your shoulder.
PREPARE HOOK AND LOOP TAPE
Take a close look at the hook and loop tape. There is a softer side (which will be attached to your garments) usually referred to as the loop side. Then, there is the hook side that is (more…)
Although I teach three Tailoring Ready-to-Wear classes on Craftsy, there are a few alterations that many students ask about that were not included in the classes. One of the most common questions: “How do I hem pants with a cuff?” Hemming cuffed pants is very simple, but its important to pay attention to the measurements or you run the risk of hemming the pants too short.
To get started these are the supplies from WAWAK SEWING you will need:
Embellishing is one of my favorite things to do, in fact sometimes I even add touches to ready-to-wear garments. One of the easiest ways to restyle is to change the buttons. Even better, your own custom covered buttons! From simple to couture, this is what I will cover in the next series of blogs.
First, lets start with the basics on how to cover a button. The base of the button looks just like the ones above and they come in many sizes. There at two kinds available, I prefer the ones with what I call “teeth”, like this one from WAWAK.
Each button has 2 parts: a top that you will wrap your fabric around and a base that snaps onto the back, securing the fabric.
Let’s get started!
Cut out a circle from your fashion fabric, just little bit bigger than the button.
Note: the circle above is too large for that button, it should look more like the photo below
2. Wrap the fabric around the curve of the button top, securing edges of fabric in the teeth. If the fabric is plaid or striped, take care in placing the button and check the alignment of the shank to make sure its the same on every button.
3. Continue all the way around until the fabric is tight and secure.
See why I prefer the teeth, so much easier to tighten the fabric!
4. Place the backing on and snap into place with needle nose pliers. Snap all the way around the button to make sure the back is tightly closed.
Trouble Shooting: If you can’t snap the back of the button in place, you might have too much fabric inside. This means the circle of fabric was too large, but you can still trim out the excess fabric to make it work.
That’s it! Super easy and trend with a touch of couture 🙂
I have quite a few more buttons to go, but this jacket has been cut and sitting in my “to do” bin for over a year! Hand-dyed silk charmeuse lining and all, I must finish this before spring!
One more thing about covering buttons: A little trick that I do to make my buttons look more professional is to add a touch of cotton. You can use cotton balls, make-up remover cotton, batting, even a thin piece of polar fleece.
Center the cotton on the button, then wrap the fabric over the cotton. Now when you secure the fabric tightly you won’t see any metal through the fabric and it softens the look. Now when I want to add beading to the button I can actually get my needle through the fabric. If you have a hard time keeping the cotton in place, use a tab of super glue, just let the glue dry before covering with fabric.
Buying Covered Buttons:
There are so many covered buttons to choose from it can get a little overwhelming, so I have included links to the ones that I use from WAWAK Sewing: