Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TUTORIAL: From stained shirt to new "layered-look" sweater

We all have those shirts with stains that JUST won't come out.  This time, my husband had one (of course on his brand new J. Crew button-down).  I tried every remedy, and finally decided to try a repurpose project.

I had seen this shirttail sweater at J. Crew and loved it.  I just didn't think I would wear the heavy wool version they created very often, so I thought I could perhaps recreate it with some items I already had.  This is a relatively easy project, and should take less than two hours to recreate.

Here's what I had: 
thrifted cotton sweater
stained shirt from my husband

 Mystery stain....

Sweater in a cropped or shorter length
Larger size buttondown shirt (a woven tunic or popover top without buttons would be even better to mimic this style)
Straight pins
Thread to match the sweater
Sewing machine

1.  Try on the sweater to see how much shirt you want to add to the length.  Find an exact measurement of shirttail you are looking for.  (You should also try on the shirt to be sure there is some extra room at the hips, especially if you want the inspiration look).

2.  Add an inch to your measurement, then cut off the bottom of the button-down shirt to that measurement.

3. If you are adding cuffs from the shirt, cut those off also - be sure to add an inch or so for seam allowance.


4.  Pin the button-down shirt bottom to the bottom of your sweater.  You should have more shirttail than sweater, so you'll have to build in some ease to accommodate all the shirt fabric on the sweater.

5. KEY STEP: Try on the sweater at this stage and view it in a mirror.  Make sure the way the shirttail hem fits and lays, as well as where it ends is flattering.  Adjust pinning as needed.  (I had to adjust a ton at this point - I basically ended up needing to do the pinning while I was wearing the sweater to be sure I did it right.)

6. If you are adding cuffs from the button-down, pin those on to the sweater at this point.

It should look like this at this point:

7. Sew along the outside of the sweater to connect the shirt and sweater, removing the pins as you go.

Voila: your own version of a shirttail sweater...

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