Friday, April 8, 2016

Change is coming

A change has been coming for awhile. I have always had a hard time finding clothes that I like. Lately I have been buying office casual clothes because I want to dress up more than the regular jeans and tee shirt, and I want to look professional for the fiber shows. But, I am tired of those clothes. They are boring and most have no personality. I'm not sure I even look good in them. I have been wanting to get more of "me" into my wardrobe, but no idea how to do that. Last week I put on a cardigan, and really did not like it. It is one I wear often, a knit cardigan from Kohls with no style. It is boring. Here's what it looks like:

When I put on the sweater, I got frustrated. I cannot just keep buying clothes that I do not like. So I decided to change. the. sweater. Not a particularly new idea, but I'd never thought of doing that before. I've changed the length of straps, and put in some quick darts to make tank tops fit better, but nothing like this.

Here's the plan: I am going to shorten the sleeves, change the neckline and do some waist shaping, then add some embroidery.

First, the sleeves. The sweater has a nice cuff, it just needed to be near my elbow instead of near my wrist. With the sweater on, I measured to my elbow, which is where I wanted to add the cuff to the sleeve. I laid the sweater out on my cutting mat, and used quilting tools to make a straight cut. Then, I cut again just above the cuff.

Trouble is, the sleeve at the elbow is too big for the cuff, even if I ease it on.

 So, I took some volume out of the sleeve by starting at the underarm and sewing straight to about an inch in from the side seam. Then I cut off the excess seam allowance.

I turned the cuff right side out, and pinned it to the inside of the (inside out) sleeve. First, I pinned it at the seam, then at the point directly opposite, I kept halving each side and pinning it together, until
there wasn't any more room to pin.

My sewing machine has some knit-friendly stitches, and I chose one to let the the knit fabric stretch like it wants to. While sewing, I stretched the cuff a little to ease it into the same circumference as the cuff. I repeated this whole process for the other sleeve. BOOM. Short sleeves.

Here's the altered sweater on me:

Still boring, still needs some work, but a step closer to what I wanted. Next, I will be changing the neckline. The crew neck on it is too high, and the back of the neck is straight, so the sweater constantly rides forward, making me look like I hunch. Not good. I'm thinking a "V" neck, a little wider than it is now, and a gentle curve along the back of the neck.

more to come!

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