Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sweatshirt Patterns-Sewing and Recycling

Pink French terry sweatshirt

After testing and altering the pattern from Kwik-Sew's Sweatshirts Unlimited book, I made this pink French terry V-neck pullover. I was very pleased with it--it fits better and looks neater than ready-to-wear sweats, and the French terry doesn't give me the teddy-bear shape I usually get from a fleece sweatshirt.

Oversized knit sweater, before alteration

I was casting about the house, looking for another fabric to try with this pattern when I thought of this oversized cotton knit sweater. I got it at deep discount from a quality menswear store in Georgetown in the 1980's. It was a handsome pattern in high-quality cotton yarn, and we were tolerant of huge, drop-shouldered knitwear in those days. However, I haven't worn it in a long time because it doesn't flatter.

Oversized sweater, shoulders, armholes and neckline recut Oversized sweater, sleeves and collar recut

I cut off the collar and sleeves, and used the sweatshirt pattern to cut the shoulders, neckline and armhole patterns, and also the sleeve caps. I experimented a bit on the scraps, and found I could use my sewing machine to assemble the pieces without too much stretching and distortion. I sewed the pieces together using a multi-stitch zig-zag stitch and the dual feed foot. (I use the dual feed or "top-feed" or "quilting feed" foot every time I sew with knits or attach elastic. It almost eliminates uneven stretching of the seams.)

The rebuilt sweater doesn't look much different than the original when it hangs on the clothesline. It's still an oversized sweater on me, but it no longer hangs to my knees, nor does it have wads of excess material at the armholes, or overlong sleeves. I plan to wear it as soon as Spring resumes its normally scheduled progress.

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