Adventures in Dressmaking: Sweater makeover, easy ruffled vest tutorial

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sweater makeover, easy ruffled vest tutorial

Here's a tutorial on how to make over a boring or unflattering sweater into a cute, ruffly vest!
I started out with an old sweater from Old Navy--it's a little too snug, too short, and sort of boring.
 
  • I started by turning it from a pullover into an open-front.  Cut down the center.
  • Next, I cut off the sleeves below the shoulder "seam"--this way the shoulder stays intact and won't ravel.
  • Now, you have two sleeve pieces.  Cut them open down the long seams.
  • Even the sleeve pieces out by trimming the wider part off in loooong, skinny triangles.  These two big rectangular sleeve pieces will turn into the ruffles around the collar.
  • Cut the sleeve pieces into bias strips.
  • Sew the bias strips together and press the seams flat.
It looked to me like I wouldn't have enough of the bias to make it ruffly all the way around the neck and collar, so I cut my bias piece longways in half.
  • Next, you'll gather one side of the bias piece with a large stitch and tight tension. (No pic).
  • This next step is optional: for more interesting shape, I trimmed the bottom corners of the center front of the open vest.
  • Back to the bias strips: pin the gathered bias cut ruffle onto the front of the vest and get ready to sew it down (wrong side to right side).
  • Sew it down, going around the curve/angle of the collar.
  • I wanted some ties, so I trimmed off the extra triangle from the other side of the long sleeve seams and sewed them down at the point in the front:
And then, here it is!

22 comments :

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. hey girl. just found your blog and l o v e it :) it's funny...i just made a vest from an old sweater this past weekend :) pics on my blog *grin*

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your re-purposing! Great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Suzannah - great idea! Sadly, I've got a few too many sweaters that are a bit snug! The perfect solution and will help with my frumpiness, too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are just so talented. Love your ideas!

    XOXO
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are doing a wonderful job Suzannah! I do check in regularly to see what you are up to. Your burgeoning blog is a revelation...you are truly an inspiration! Thank you for the hard work. Wishing you continued success and many well earned Kudos!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love, LOVE that! You might be interested that I've started a new weekly linkup on Thursdays called Make it, Wear it. Stop on by and link up!

    ReplyDelete
  7. THis is so cute and I have the perfect sweater in mind. Just one question; did you finish the edge of the ruffle in any way, or just leave the raw edge?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a few sweaters that shrunk when hubby put them in the dryer. This is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks, folks!
    And no, I didn't finish the edges of the ruffle at all. The bias cut does that for you, they won't ravel (although they may roll up a teensy bit, but it's not really a problem).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Come link your cute tute at my party: Thursday's Treasures!!
    http://treasuresfortots.blogspot.com/2010/02/thursdays-treasures-week-8.html

    ReplyDelete
  11. I totally had two of those exact sweaters at one point. We tend to do that don't we!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really think I'm going to try this with an old sweater!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is adorable! ...and maybe easy enough for me to try!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing your awesome project at Thursday’s Treasures last week! Come share your crafty projects in this week’s Thursday’s Treasures too!
    http://treasuresfortots.blogspot.com/2010/02/thursdays-treasures-week-9.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. I spent an hour looking for a tutorial like this last night, and now I stumbled upon yours while looking at the zigzag rug. It's fate! I have a sweater in the exact style as your example, but I hope it turns out half as nice! Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  16. thank you so much. it´s a great idea! :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think I may have some sweaters somewhere that I don't like to wear anymore. Hmmmm.. I might just do that for the next cool weather season. hehehe.. Thanks for the idea! First visit here! Grabbed your button and added you on my blog. I am definitely coming back! :)yaye!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd love more info on how you bias cut the strips from the sleeves.
    I am pretty good at sewing but self taught so these terms don't really click with me.
    Is it simillar to how one cuts fabric to make their own bias tape?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks!
    @Eliea, yes, you just cut strips on the bias (cross) grain, at an angle to the grain of the sweater. Just like cutting bias tape out of an oddly shaped piece of fabric!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. So cute! I'm picking out a cashmere sweater so I can make one for my niece.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Why couldn't you do this with a long sleeve t-shirt to wear in the warm months. Here in GA we have lots of warm months. At most schools the girls (Middle school and high school) can't wear tank tops, etc. This would be a nice and very cute coverup for them. Think I'll have to put it on my list for next school year. Great idea.

    ReplyDelete
Pin It button on image hover