As we transition from Summer to Fall, I sort through my closet to see what still works and what needs to go out. Often, it’s my sweaters that are a problem. They’re either too tight, too boring or too out of style. If you find the same thing in your closet, you’re going to love these stylish ways to Reinvent Your Sweater!
Refashioning is such a winning way to build your wardrobe. It’s creative, thrifty and just plain fun. I learned a lot from the two blog posts I found for you today and I found excellent tips for a successful sweater reinvention.
- Lace should have good body and a little weight that harmonizes with your sweater.
- Think about other lace sources – thrift stores, mom’s closet or yours. Vintage tablecloths, curtains or doilies can create a fabulous look.
- Color creates an entirely different look than basic white or black. Take your sweater along when shopping and audition the laces to find the look you love the best.
- Including a knit print and fabric or button embellishments may be just what you need to reinvent your sweater and take it from boring to amaazing.
- Don’t be afraid to combine laces, snipped motifs and embellishments to create your own unique designer style. Your sweater, your awesomeness!
The Lace Embellished Cardigan I found on the Threads Magazine blog is stunning when finished and easy to do. Start with a sweater that no longer thrills you, take it with you and go shop for lace. Be daring and try laces and trims you don’t think will go. Who knows, they may look incredible and you want to reinvent your sweater, not just make something ho-hum.
To reinvent your sweater as blogger Carol demonstrates, you’ll want lace with a finished edge and a decorative edge. The motifs should be a style that can separate and spread along the neckline or you may be able to carefully cut between the motifs. Purchase a bit more than you think you’ll need so you can experiment as you layout your design. If you’d like lace around the sleeve cuffs and hem of the cardigan, make sure you have enough for that, too. Click here for the Lace Trimmed Cardigan tutorial!
Sachiko, author of the Tea Rose Home blog has an amazing talent for refashioning. I was thrilled with her Sweater With Insets because it elevates a boring, doesn’t quite fit sweater to boutique level in just a few easy steps. Plan, cut, sew, wear and admire!
You’ll start by trying on the sweater and marking where you want the triangular insets to go. Mark the center of your sweater, start there and think about how high you want the insets around the body. You may want them all the same length or you may want to vary the height to make it interesting.
Now that you’ve decided on the insets that will reinvent your sweater, it’s time to choose fabrics and trims. For an eclectic, Boho-style look, choose several different knit prints and add trims that accent the colors in your prints. If you love a romantic look, use white lace, a small floral print knit and softly colored ribbons for flowers at the neck. Or, go bold and ethnic with bright colors, braided trims and solid pops of yo-yo and button flowers along the neckline. Again, your sweater, your style!
Next you’ll cut slits into the sweater where you’ve decide to position your insets. Deep breath, it’s okay – you’ll serge or zigzag the insets into the sweater to finish the edges. Sachiko cleverly made a template from cereal box cardboard for the triangular fabric insets. More thrift and upcycle – I love it!
Sachiko has easy, calm instructions for lowering the neckline or shortening the sleeves. If you choose those options to reinvent your sweater, you’ll create neck binding from your inset fabric and re-attach the sleeve cuffs after they’ve been shortened. And, if that neckline looks a bit plain, follow Sachiko’s steps for embellishment. You can do this!
I hope this has given you lots of inspiration for sorting your closet this Fall! There’s so much potential for creative refashioning and sewing pieces to fill in the gaps you find. It doesn’t have to be expensive and when you’re done, you’ll have a gorgeous handmade wardrobe you’ll love wearing and showing off. Click here for Sachiko’s tutorial and reinvent with joy!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.