Fresh, New Sweatshirt Remakes by Mary Mulari
By Mary Mulari, guest blogger and friend of Sewing With Nancy
The book The Best Sweatshirt Makeovers is jammed full of great ways to make sweatshirts extraordinary, and today in Nancy’s blog, I’d like to share even more ideas. It’s time to mix it up and combine sweatshirt alterations and decorations in new ways. Page numbers are included for easy reference.
Sweatshirts for All Seasons Cardigan Vest
In the Sweatshirts for All Seasons section of the book, you’ll find 13 ways to turn a pullover sweatshirt into an open-up-the-front cardigan. The basic technique is on page 71.
My first decision about the sweatshirt was to make the 1-1/2″ neck ribbing narrower. The steps for this are found on page 108.
Notice that the bottom ribbing of the sweatshirt has been removed and a fabric facing adds a hidden and neat hem treatment. After changing both the neckline and hem of the sweatshirt, you can add the placket opening.
After sewing 1/4″ wide strips of Ultrasuede over the placket to form button loops, I couldn’t resist adding a strip of plaid rickrack to the side of the placket—the colors coordinated perfectly with the placket fabric.
Try the sweatshirt on to determine the amount to turn under on the sweatshirt armholes, especially at the top of the shoulder. Pin the hems and sew around with a narrow zigzag stitch to secure.
The final decorative detail is the pocket. The appliqué design was chosen from page 82 and stitched on a larger piece of fabric. I debated adding the appliqué to the back center neck area on the sweatshirt but a front pocket won out when my sister said, “Everyone wants to have a pocket on a sweatshirt.” I added lightweight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the pocket so it’s more durable.
Zipper Appeal Sweatshirt
You’ll see a plain version of this inside-out sweatshirt on page 34 of the book. It took some years to “marinate” and then I added some extras. The bottom ribbing was removed, and I used the sleeve hem technique on page 35 to hem the sweatshirt bottom.
The dragonfly machine appliqué, from my “Appliques for Sweatshirts” embroidery CD, has proven to be a popular design. (Of course, isn’t any insect that eats mosquitoes a good idea?) I planned to position the design a bit off-center, but it still needed something more. The addition turned out to be a narrow strip of the sweatshirt bottom ribbing extending beyond the appliqué fabric.
Calico Country Sweatshirt
Here’s a new version of the sweatshirt that only looks like a layered garment. Portions of a shirt are sewn to the sweatshirt neck, sleeves, and hem. See pages 102–104 for the steps to take.
I found that the width of the shirt bottom was narrower than the sweatshirt so I cut the shirt back section in the middle and added an extra piece of shirt fabric. If I had sewn in a wider piece of fabric, I could have folded in the edges to form a pleat.
The sleeve and bottom hems are turned under and stitched in place with two rows of stitching for a ready-to-wear look. I also find that hems tend to lie flatter with two rows of stitching. This can also be achieved with a twin needle.
The subtle trim on the sweatshirt front is a branch formed with slimline tucks (page 109). I drew the branch free hand and sewed the short branch extensions first and then the longer lines of the branch. You’ll need a pair of small, sharp scissors to cut the tucks open.
Crossover Neck Sweatshirt
The side opening features four contrasting, unique buttons.
After studying this shirt for an upgrade, I decided to add a large floral appliqué (page 51) along with a stem and leaves cut from the leftover bottom ribbing. Then, to continue a tone-on-tone theme for all the decorations, I changed the buttons. What do you think of the changes?
Kids’ 1-2-3 Cardigan
This is no longer a plain navy sweatshirt. The placket and tabs add center front interest and rows of decorative machine stitching with variegated #30 cotton thread create stripes. This is a great opportunity to select some unique stitch patterns on your sewing machine. The actual closures are sew-in snaps with buttons sewn to the tab tops. Instructions for these sweatshirt changes are found on page 54. The appliquéd numbers are printed in reverse on page 64 so they will be facing the right direction when traced on paper-backed fusible web.
Girls’ Zipped Up Sweatshirt
Make it easy to slide a sweatshirt onto a squirming toddler by adding a zipper to the neckline. You’ll see the boys’ version of this alteration on page 61. To add a feminine touch, I sewed eyelet lace to the zipper before sewing the zipper to the sweatshirt neckline.
The bottom ribbing was removed from the sweatshirt and a facing added to the bottom. A narrow portion of the facing is exposed on the right side of the shirt. Instead of sewing an appliqué (page 66) in the traditional way, I cut the leaf portion from Ultrasuede and made it into a pocket. I chose the colors of red, orange, and pink as a contemporary combination that would never have crossed my mind in the 1990s when I began working on designer sweatshirts. It’s good to be open to change!
A Collection of Five Books in One—The Best Sweatshirt Makeovers book
Add plackets, zippers, simple appliqués, and so much more. This collection of five books in one boasts 56 sweatshirt transformations for adults and kids. As an added bonus, the book also features a Sweatshirt Gallery with over a dozen designs chock-full of even more fresh ideas! Full-color photos and illustrations accompany step-by-step instructions and full-size pattern pieces. Soft cover, 116 pages. Only $19.99.
I hope the details of these 2017 sweatshirts appeal and inspire you to try some sweatshirt makeovers of your own. The book offers 56 transformations along with many pages of appliqué designs and a gallery of additional sweatshirts created after the original five books in this compilation were written and presented on Sewing With Nancy.
Watch Best Sweatshirt Makeovers (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.
For a chance to win a copy of the The Best Sweatshirt Makeovers book from Nancy’s Notions, leave a comment below telling us which sweatshirt makeover you’ll try first.
The randomly selected winner of a copy of the book, 50 Tried & True Sewing and Quilting Tips from Nancy’s Notions is Linda Nelson.
Her comment was, “I think the best tip I rely on is rereading directions. I don’t know how many times I’ve put a zipper in wrong or done something that I had to rip out because I was in a hurry and didn’t take time to thoroughly read the directions! Simple, but time-saving!”
Bye for now,
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