Monday, September 23, 2013

DIY Men's Sweater Refashion

I'm not going to pretend this isn't a wonderful season, especially here in Michigan where it's our last hurrah before the frigid onset of Winter. In preparation for the cooler weather (which was already arrived) I've been taking a tally of my sweater inventory. I have a lot of sweaters and didn't really want to buy more, but it's always nice to have something new as the temperatures change.
I happened upon this half-zip in John's closet during my packing/note taking and realized it could be super cute as a women's piece with a few feminine touches. The whole process took less than an hour (including dry time) and was well worth the effort. I really like it!

 Here's the starting shot. The sweater was plain and a bit baggy/frumpy on. I did like the extra long sleeves and length of the trunk, though. It's always a bonus that sleeves long enough for my lanky arms are basically guaranteed in menswear! If you're making your own, use the same men's size as you wear. For example, if you wear a ladies medium, use a men's medium. For something more fitted, get a smaller men's size.
 First I wanted to take the underarms in a bit, they bagged too far down on me, as well as some of the sleeve and a tiny bit off the trunk to make it more feminine shaped. I placed a well fitting sweater over top and used that as a guide. You can always put the sweater on inside out and pinch the excess/have a friend pin it for you. Do you see how I tapered the midsection in and then out again? That's how I added a slightly more feminine (though still slouchy) fit. Remember to turn it inside out for pinning/sewing.
Next, I like to sew a straight line in place. Turn it back right side out and try it on. Make any adjustments and repeat until you get the desired outcome. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of each new seam. Afterwards, I sew over the straight line with a tight zig zag stitch. Use a matching thread, of course, I just used purple so that you could see the stitch.
 Lastly, trim away excess fabric and you're all set!
 Next, I made the patches. I've done matching many different ways on my blog so I decided to go with actual patches this time instead of creating my own. You can get these iron-on patches at any craft store as well as places like Wal-mart or Meijer. These khaki colored patches were on sale for .44 cents! I couldn't pass them up, even in the wrong color. If you end up in the same situation, remember that you can paint them! I painted mine a deep brown with fabric paint. Two coats (make sure to flip the patch over and check for light spots) were sufficient.

 Next, I traced my shapes on to the back sides of the iron-ons with sharpie and cut them out.
 Following the instructions on the patches, I ironed on my heart.
 And then also the elbow sleeves. It helps to put the sweater on and have someone measure how far up your elbow falls inside of the sweater. Then place your patch so that your elbow is in the middle. Or- if you're like me and elbow patches bug you, place it slightly above the elbow. I don't like the way it feels when I bend my arms.

Here's the finished project! I've already worn it twice. Its really warm and cozy, but still feminine. I have one more project for this week! I really hope there is time to post it  The big move happens Saturday! All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. This is really cute, I'm going to have to hunt down some men's sweaters!

  2. This is a great refashion and I'm never again going to look at the too big jumpers the same way, ever! Many thanks from Scotland, I've bookmarked and will be following now:)

  3. So cute! Just found your blog today! My hubby's old sweaters better look out. I also love the hoodie refashion you did! Can't wait to try it out!

  4. Great idea! My hubby's sweaters better watch out ;) I can't wait to try this out. I just found your blog today. I also love the hoodie refashion you did. Such great ideas! Can't wait to read more :D

    1. That is so fantastic! Always feel free to e-mail for help as you start projects! :)


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