Saturday, October 29, 2011

2 sweater dresses

Ok. I've completed my 2nd sweater dress (refashion project) and it's time to post them both. I am not so thrilled with the end results - they look severe/a little too formal - but I will still be wearing them this winter with chunky belt and boots. And since I can't function when it's cold, you can usually just only see my face under layers of scarves, and extra large down jacket, I suppose it doesn't matter. I am not hating them. Just not loving them.

Sweater dress #1:

The top part of the dress was made from a thrifted merino wool sweater that I bought for my husband. He loved it, wore it once, and then poof! I accidentally shrunken it! Oopsie. The bottom/skirt part is from thrifted XL men's cotton sweater. It's very heavy and warm.

Firstly, I cut off the sleeves, side seams and the bottom band of the merino wool sweater (The sweater was all wonky now that it's shrunken). It was smaller than before of course, but the fit at the shoulder for me was not right too. Hence the reason why I chopped it off. I used probably one of my TNT bodice and sleeves pattern to scale it down and shape the sweater and sew. I cut off the sleeve bands and just left them as they are.

The picture above is of the cotton sweater I used for the bottom/skirt part. Because the sweater is thick and heavy (and because I always wear tights), I chose not to line it. I cut off the neck area straight across and also the sleeves. I made sure to zigzag the areas where I cut into the sweater as they unravels, unlike with the shrunken merino wool top. After that, I stitched the sides to close where the sleeves were chopped off, making sure that it will fit my waist/tummy area.

Then I just sew the top part to the bottom. And thus I have sweater dress #1 done (last week). I wore it once when we went to the mall. Dress, belt, tights, boots, and a black leather jacket. I was a little warm that day in the mall, but perfectly fine when we were walking outside. It is getting colder and colder this week though.

Sweater dress #2:

This project was a lot of work. The "raw materials" are a thrifted plaid wool jacket, a thrifted sweater and a thrifted black cotton knit skirt.

Here is the picture of the plaid wool jacket before I took the seam ripper through it:

It is actually my size, but it was too long so looked a bit dated on me. I did purchase it (and a few others) to be refashioned anyways, so I don't have any qualms about "harvesting" fabric from it. And there was a lot of fabric from this jacket! So I decided to make a tie front top with bust darts. (I've made a tunic with this kind of neckline last month from a thrifted cotton plaid set - i love plaids- of top and skirt from Land's End brand. Initially I thought they were pyjama set, but probably not with the pleated skirt.)

I started this project with the sweater that was to be the skirt of the dress. It is acrylic material, super soft and unravels a lot. I cut off all the seams and sleeves, and used the thrifted cotton black knit skirt as a lining to the skirt (My thought is that it will add structure and warmth). I used an A line skirt I have as a pattern guide to shape the skirt pieces.

I used the sweater's sleeves as the dress' sleeves after adjusting the size a little. I attach the sleeves to the bodice, then attach the front of the skirt piece to the front part of bodice and the back piece of the skirt to the back part of the bodice. Then I just sew straight on from the sleeves to the bodice to the skirt, both sides....

I had to baste and handsew a lot for this project, so it took all week to complete. I work on it when I can - when the baby naps, and when I am not distracted by the internet.... I can't say how long it would have taken me if I work on this straight :) I like this dress better than the first one. I like the color better on me, and it's looser fit too, which I prefer.


I will still be making more sweater dresses in the future I'm sure. With a more casual style that suits my life. I have some ideas, but will have to see if I have all the materials I needed to make them. We'll see.


  1. These are so pretty! Great work!

  2. great idea! I want oversized sweaters now : )

  3. Very nice. I never would have thought of doing that either.

  4. Both of your refashions are so clever and pretty. The gray dress looks good on its own and as you said, could be accessorized with scarves and jewelry. I love the colors of the plaid dress. I have collected old wool sweaters and plaid wool shirts just for the fabrics/colors, and your post gives me some wonderful ideas for using them. Thanks

  5. Faye - :) Thanks
    Audrey - Looking forward to seeing what you are going to do with your collection! :)

  6. I was looking for comfy dresses refashioned from sweaters or cardigans, to be worn during this seaosn . Love what you've done!

    1. Thanks Etheea! Glad u like them :)


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