DIY Chunky Knit Cropped Sweater Using McCalls 7445

DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445

Happy New Year! I hope 2020 finds you in good form and that you had a lovely relaxing time over the holidays. I took a break from social media and blogging. I didn’t even bother with a 2019 round-up post or a 2020 plans post as I think that there are so many around the internet that the last thing you want is yet another one from me besides, I’m not one to make loads of plans for a new year anyway because I’m totally rubbish at keeping them and to be honest I can never seem to function after Christmas. It takes me at least until the end of January to feel human again! I just want to hibernate!

DIY Cropped Sweater

My sewjo is a little lacking at the moment but I did manage to sew up one of my Christmas presents, namely a length of wool knit fabric in a basketweave stitch that came from Fabric Godmother in the Black Friday sale. 

I literally only had a metre because it was the end of the stock and so as a result, I had to be really inventive with pattern layout and design. I chose to sew up the sweater from McCalls 7445 which I’ve used a lot for the pants pattern (see here , here and here). I’d always intended to make up the sweater one day and this was the ideal opportunity. With only a metre though, I did an awful lot of head-scratching and faffing (oh the faffing!) to get the design cut out. I’ve ended up with shorter narrower sleeves and zero hem allowances, but I did it and with a small amount left that might just be enough for a little cosy pull-on winter hat…yay!

I cut the pattern on a size 10 and did a full bust adjustment plus my usual forward shoulder adjustments of squaring-off the back shoulders, raising the back neck and sloping the front shoulders a little. Being a “Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch” pattern, the instructions had a complete section dedicated to pattern adjustments for common fit problems which were extremely helpful. The pattern pieces have lines on them for all of the areas where cuts and adjustments are made too. Super useful!

Here is the full bust adjustment that I did and I’ve also added a photo showing how I cut down on a lot of bulk for the bust dart (which in hindsight I think I should have lowered by a half-inch or so…oh well).

Full bust adjustment  on DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445
Cutting away bulk on the dart for DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445

I stitched my sweater together entirely on my overlocker. Then I needed to think of a way to do the neckline, sleeves and lowers hems by losing as little length as possible. I remembered some scraps of a grey jersey that I had in my stash drawers and it turned out to be perfect for adding a bit of contrast and a nice little detail.

Close up of trim on DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445
DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445

I cut strips of the jersey fabric 1.5” wide, across the grain. Next, I folded the jersey in half, overlocked the edges together, then stitched it along the edges of the sweater taking the tiniest of seams from the main fabric. The jersey extends down by ¼” creating a sort of piped effect. 

Jersey trim detail on cropped sweater

After pressing the hems flat, I did some topstitching along all of the edges to hold the jersey in place. I think it’s a great low-bulk way to finish off a chunky knitted fabric and it adds a nice bit of contrast. You could go with even more contrast and use a much lighter or darker colour.

DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445
DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445
DIY Cropped sweater using McCalls 7445

So there we have it..short but sweet for my first blog post of 2020. And a new sweater for my winter wardrobe which will be a great casual addition. 

So how’s your 2020 started off? Slow like me? Or are you and “up and at ‘em” kind of a person that dives into new projects and life goals like a ninja? Let me know in comments and also let me know if you think you might try my hem finishing technique for yourself.

Catch you soon!

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  1. LindaC
    January 12, 2020 / 4:26 pm

    I love how you finished your edges. I have a bulky sweater knit that I have been hesitating to use because the edge finish stumped me. This looks like a great solution. Appreciate your sharing. Thanks.

    • diane
      January 12, 2020 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you, Linda. So glad that my edge finish idea is useful. When attaching the jersey I did some of it by hand to make sure I was getting it an even width.

  2. January 12, 2020 / 4:37 pm

    Great scrap usage. Love the jersey c9nteast

    • diane
      January 12, 2020 / 6:59 pm

      Thanks so much Ann!

  3. January 12, 2020 / 7:14 pm

    Diane, this is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. I love the hem detail. What a clever way to remedy the lack of hem allowance. I may just have to try this one day. I like the look of the trim peeking out.

    Thank you also for sharing about the pants. I was gonna ask and there it was. I love that adjustment instructions are included with the pattern.

    You look absolutely amazing in this outfit. Very clean and polished. I’m thinking this may get your sewjo going again.

    • diane
      January 12, 2020 / 8:10 pm

      Ohhh, thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet Anita and thanks for such a lovely comment. So glad you like my sweater xxx

  4. Karen
    January 13, 2020 / 12:57 pm

    This is a lovely sweater, Diane. Inspired hemming technique! One that I will definitely keep in mind — I just bought my first sweater knit yardage and am hesitant to cut/sew it.

    I get all revved up about sewing plans at the beginning of the year, but the actual doing rarely happens! And that can weigh me down. This year, I’ve tried to control the over-planning and am limiting myself to looking ahead to just one or two projects.

    • diane
      January 13, 2020 / 2:40 pm

      Thank you, Karen!Glad my post has proved useful.
      I like your idea for not going too crazy with planning at a new year because it can be so easy to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Jut one or two projects is a great aim.

  5. Joan
    June 17, 2020 / 3:43 pm

    Beautiful sweater, Diane: a real classic, versatile wardrobe item. I love your edge finish: it minimizes bulk and adds detail at the same time! I, too, have a bulky sweater knit in my stash and this gives me an excellent suggestion on how to deal with hems.

    I love all the cropped, boxier styles that you sew, so I’ve been doing a little search thru your blog for them…

    • diane
      June 17, 2020 / 4:14 pm

      Ahhh, thank you, Joan. Yes, I seem to have quite a thing for cropped and boxy :). Glad you like my sweater and that the binding provided inspiration.

  6. Joan
    October 25, 2023 / 7:17 am

    Still LOVE this sweater! The lovely blue knit, the wonderful edge treatment (that solved your fabric shortage issue), and the fun structured, cropped shape.

    • Diane
      October 25, 2023 / 9:31 am

      Ohh, thank you! I always wished that I’d had enough for full length sleeves on this sweater. Because of the chunky knit more suited to cold weather wear it seemed wrong to have a shorter sleeve (too chilly) I sadly ended up donating it because of the impractical sleeve length,

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