When I switched out my Summer wardrobe and restocked with my Autumn and Winter clothes last week, I found a long tunic length sweater that I hadn’t worn for 3 or 4 years. The sweater had been knitted by my mum on her knitting machine and is made from a lovely Superwash Merino wool by King Cole, which, if you’re interested, is available here. I used to do a lot of knitting myself years ago (never hand knitting though) and had a machine that my mum still uses now, these days I prefer sewing 🙂
Here is how the sweater looked before the refashion:
It seemed like such a waste to leave the sweater unworn, but I simply don’t wear long tunic length sweaters these days (it was the sort of length you would wear with leggings which I don’t wear anymore). A more sustainable option was to alter it and so after a long hard look at it, I came up with a plan. After sharing my plan on Instagram I got a bit of interest in how I would alter my sweater so I thought what better way than to share the process here. I’m sure there are some of you that have a similar item in your wardrobe and hopefully, you’ll feel inspired to try a bit of refashioning or yourself.
I thought that I’d break the process down into stages for ease so let’s get started:
- Firstly I tried on my sweater to decide on my finished length and it turned out that I needed to shorten it by 63/4”. I wanted it to stop at my high hip level so that it would work with quite a variety of bottoms.
- I wanted to keep the ribbed band, so the plan was to remove it and then reattach it for a shorter length. The first stage of this was to carefully cut it off just a couple of rows of stitches above where it finished and the plain stocking stitch started.
- I unravelled the extra rows at the top of the rib until I got a clean row of empty stitches ready to sew through and as the rib would be sitting across a narrower part of my body (It was originally thigh length) I had to overlock off some width down the sides.
- To prepare the body of my sweater, I measured off the amount that I was shortening the length by and then cut it off and overlocked the lower edge. The spare chunk of fabric would become the collar.
- Now to sew the ribbed band back on to the body. To do this I pinned the rib evenly to the edge just covering the overlocking stitches. Then using a large needle threaded with some yarn, I backstitched by hand through the individual empty stitches. It gives the look of a rib that has been attached with an industrial linking machine and looks really neat (see photo)
- I unpicked the original collar and measured the neck opening.
- I got the spare section of knitting left over from the body and unravelled the rows top and bottom of it until I had clean neat edges of stitches.
- After checking neck measurements I machine stitched two seams at angles for a bit of a mitred effect…one for centre back and one for centre front.
- To attach the collar I used the same method as for the body bands and I backstitched through the empty stitches, first on the outside of the sweater and then stitched the other edge down on the inside.
A gentle steam press and my refashion was complete. I love it now! Such an easy to wear, useful and comfy sweater. I like how it looks with my faded jeans, but it will look equally nice with some of my culottes or skirts too. Dare I say that I’m actually looking forward to colder weather so I can wear it because its such a warm and cosy sweater!
So this was a slightly different post than usual as it wasn’t strictly about sewing, but I hope it inspired you. I’m already eyeing up some other things in my wardrobe to refashion now 🙂
By the way…I’ve given my website a bit of a refresh with a different colour scheme and an awesome new logo which was designed for me by a very clever lady called Fiona of
See you soon!