Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tutorial on transforming a sweatshirt

I've really enjoyed making and giving these cardigan sweatshirts as gifts. You start out with a regular inexpensive pullover sweatshirt. Next you spend entirely too much time trying to decide which fabric will look the best for the binding. :>}
You fold the sweatshirt in half, carefully matching shoulder seams and underarm seams, having the front on the outside. Take your scissors and boldly slice through the center front.

Cut your final fabric choice :>} in a length twice the length of the sweatshirt plus 1-2 inches and three inches wide (or wider if you like a wide binding).

Lay the right side of your fabric strip on the inside of the sweatshirt, with the strip 3/4" from the front edge. Stitch the strip in place using 1/4" seam allowance on the fabric, which will be 1" from the edge of the sweatshirt.

Press under 1/4" seam allowance on the unstitched edge of your fabric. Fold the binding back on itself. Stitch across the top and bottom as shown, just above the top of the sweatshirt, and below the bottom edge.

Turn the binding right side out and press.

Topstitch the binding in place.

Topstitch the outside edge as well.

Put your decision making skills to work once again to choose buttons. :>} I chose the one on the right. Make buttonholes, sew on the buttons, and presto! You have a lovely gift for yourself or someone else. Of course you can add whatever other embellishments strike your fancy. I stitched a small dresden plate design on the back and front of one, but repeated washings pulled the fabric away from the stitching, and it looks pretty bad. I may decide to add pockets to this one. It's for my mom, and she likes a pocket to put her tissue in. :>}
Last year when I was having hot flashes every day, it was awfully nice to be able to rip off my sweatshirt quickly! I have a light gray one and a brown one that I wear a lot in the winter.
I hope you are having a delightful weekend. It is about 33 degrees and raining here, occasionally mixing with snow - perfect weather to stay inside and sew.


Suzanne said...

I love your make over. The sweatshirt looks so good.
Spending too much time deciding on the fabric choice makes me smile, I get like that with patterned paper.

Tine said...

Thank you for this great tutorial! It really makes the sweatshirt very special and beautiful :)

The Gingerbread House said...

Your tutoral is very encouraging, makes me want to start one I bought three years ago :o( seems life just got in the way....Ginny

Daisy said...

Oh that was fun! Such pretty results too! Thank you Diana. I'm sure your mom will love it. :-)

Owen said...

Hi Diana,
Saw your comment on the other blog just now (owen in France)... now please clear up my curiosity... would that be Diana Spearing Martin????????? If so, please write to
If not, well thanks for the comment, glad you liked the picture!

ladydi said...

Hey, everybody! I'd like you all to meet my cousin, Owen Phillips. We haven't seen one another since my sister, Sara, got married in 1978. That's right, I haven't seen my own first cousin in 30 years! Part of the reason is. . . he lives in France. Hi, Owen, and thanks for visiting. You'll find this is a rather girly blog with lots of sewing and household stuff - but you are very welcome!

The Gingerbread House said...

Boy! isn't it a small world, fancy meeting a cousin after all those years online...Ginny