Saturday, September 17, 2011

[DIY Tutorial] Comfy Sweater

In this tutorial, we'll be teaching you how to sew your very own sweater!
We'll be using a different technique this time with very few measurements and no patterns.
It's a bit longer than usual but quite simple and you'll love telling people you made your own sweater!
Personalize it by changing the length, the neckline or even adding a design on the front :)

Our very own Elmo sweater!

Materials needed:

Serger (this entire project was made with a serger, but if you dont have one, use a sewing machine on a zigzag stitch)
Sewing machine (optional)
Iron and ironing board (not pictured)

1m of jersey stretch fabric; thick or thin is up to you
0.2m of ribbing (if you can't find ribbing to match your fabric colour, the scraps from your fabric will work fine; we made our ribbing from scraps)
A sweater you already own (with a shape and size that you really like)
Quilting ruler
Fabric shears
Mini Snippers

These instructions are detailed, so please read carefully, click to enlarge pictures if necessary and read through before cutting anything to avoid mistakes! :)

1. This diagram will show you where to fold your fabric and trace out the sweater. Click to enlarge! Please excuse the quick sketch of the sweaters, they are not to scale. It should give you an idea of how to place your sweater on the fold and where to chalk it. It'll ensure that you have enough fabric for your sweater and a lot of extra scraps too. (Black: good side of fabric, White: bad side of fabric)

2. Lay your fabric flat on the table. Take your sweater, fold it in half with the front facing you, matching the shoulder and side seams. Fold your fabric, bad side up, and lay the sweater on top with the folds right on top of each other.

3. Using chalk, trace around the folded sweater, pulling the sleeve over so you can trace the edge. Hold the waistband ribbing and neckline ribbing down so you can trace around them as well.

4. Repeat steps 1 & 2 with the back of the sweater. *If you are a bit confused as to where to fold and cut, please refer back to Step 1.

5. Cut both pieces out and you should have something looking like this.

6. Using the scraps, Cut two pieces that are more than double the size of your sleeve. Fold each in half, and put one aside for now. Taking your sleeve of your sweater, lay it flat making sure that the folded sleeve and folded fabric are right on top of each other. Trace around it like the previous steps, holding the wrist ribbing and folding the rest of the sweater over so you can just trace the sleeve.

7. Cut the sleeve out and keep it folded. Take the other scrap previously set aside and fold it in half. Place the fold of the sleeve you just cut, right on the of the folded fabric. Pin the two pieces together. This is to ensure that the sleeves are exactly the same.*It's difficult to see the second sleeve in the picture, but the white outline is where it should be*

8. Cut the second sleeve out and you should have two sleeves like this. (These are still folded but you can unfold them) Set these sleeves aside for now.

9. Lay the two sweater pieces flat on top of each other, good sides together. Pin them together at both shoulders.

10. Serge the shoulder seams, making sure the pieces are good sides together. (*If you dont have a serger, use a sewing machine on the zigzag stitch. Keep it on that stitch for the rest of the project)
After serging, the sweater pieces should be attached like this.

11. Lay it with the bad side up. Turn it 90 degrees until one of the serged seams is facing you. Take one of the sleeves, open it with the bad side up and place the edges together, the serged shoulder seam with the middle of the edge of the sleeve. Start pinning from the center. Pin both sleeves, good sides together, bad sides facing up. If the fabric is scrunched or wrinkly, dont worry, just make sure the edges are flat on top of each other. 

12. After serging both sleeves, the sweater should look like this. Now fold it in half like this and match the side seams together. Make it sure the bad side is facing up.

13. Match sleeve edges and side seams on each side and pin. Starting at the sleeve, serge all the way down to the end of the sleeve and continue down the side seam. Do this to both sides. (Make sure all the seams are lined up, especially at the armpit or else there will be a hole there!)

14. Flip it inside out and press seams with an iron. If you want an edgy sweater with raw edges, your sweater is done! To add cuffs, waistband and neckline, continue on :)

15. To make the ribbing, first measure around your hips or where you want the sweater to sit. Then take off an inch from that measurement. (Ours was 29") If the ribbing is very stretchy, use your discretion and take off a few inches. If you dont have ribbing, the extra fabric will work fine.

16. Taking the ribbing/extra fabric, measure a rectangle 4" wide by 29" (use your measurement here.)
If you like wider cuffs, measure 5" instead.

17. Cut the rectangle out, fold in half, good sides together, and pin the ends.

18. Serge the ends together and flip it inside out.

19. The ribbing should now be attached in a circle. Fold the raw edges together with good sides facing you.
Serge the raw edges together.

20. Slide the bottom edge of the sweater inside the ribbing so that the edge lines up with the serged edge of the ribbing. Good sides together! Make sure the seam of the ribbing matches with one of the sweater side seams.

21. Pin at the seam of the ribbing first then the find the middle of the ribbing and pin it to the other sweater side seam. The ribbing will be smaller than the sweater so you will need to stretch the ribbing, in order to pin around the entire sweater, matching the raw sweater edge to the serged ribbing edge. It should have a scrunched look.

22. Serge around the bottom edge, sewing the ribbing to the sweater. You will need to stretch the ribbing so that it is flat against the fabric when you serge them together. Remember, good sides together!

23. For the cuffs, you will be the repeating steps 17-22. This time, you will need two rectangles, 7" by 4". Fold them in half, good sides together, pin and serge the ends. Flip it inside out, match the raw edges together, good side facing you, and serge around the cuff.

24. Because the cuffs are in a circle, serge carefully and make sure you don't serge the cuff closed!

25. Attach them to the sleeves the same way as the waistband. Refer back to steps 20-22.

26. For the neckline, its just like the waistband and cuff ribbing, but this time the rectangle will be 2" wide. For the length, you will need to measure the neckline of the sweater. Ours was a wide neck so we used 28". Do the exact same steps from 17-22.

27. Press all the seams with an iron for a finished look.

28. You're finished! Congrats on making your very own sweater!

Thanks for reading through this detailed tutorial and hope you enjoyed it!
Add your own touch to your sweater by sewing on some designs or maybe changing the neckline or making it short sleeved? (We added Elmo's face to ours :D)
Show us how your sweater turned out!

Till next time, Happy sewing!
FashionDIY Artist signing out~

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