Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweater Refashion: Big Man Sweater to Lady Sweater (a tutorial)

Ive been wanting to do this forever. Especially to THIS sweater which the hubbs refuses to wear because its pilled pretty bad but its a cashmere/cotton blend from Banana and I just couldn't throw it out. So when we got home from lunch today with my lovely ex-coworkers and Jack was passed out, I decided to give it a makeover. I forgot to take a before picture of me in it but just imagine a L man sweater on a broad who generally wears a ladies M.

First I hacked off the sleeves. I have kind of long arms and when I realized that the sleeves wouldn't be long enough after taking the shoulder up I decided to make them 3/4. Since I wasn't worried about the length I just went to town. If you want the sleeves to be full length, you might want to be careful here.

I marked where I wanted the shoulders to attach (using the a lady sweater that fits as a guide) and cut the armhole to match.

Next I adjusted the curve of the shoulder to account for the smaller size of the new armhole.

I turned the sweater inside out and pinned down the sides where I thought I wanted to take it in. Note: Since I didn't try it on like this I ended up having to take in more before I sewed on the sleeves. Which is a good reminder. When you are winging something like this... keep trying it on throughout the process.

After you've sewn up the sides, you'll attach the sleeves. This is a perfect project for a knit since the sleeve doesn't have to exactly fit the hole. The fabric is stretchy and you can sort of fudge it, but here's how I pin to avoid major puckers. First, mark the top of the sleeve with it folded in half (I just use a pin). This is not strictly necessary but it will come in handy in a minute here.

Next, with the wrong sides facing, line up the underarm seams and pin.

Then before you start pinning around. Pin the shoulders together at the top using the marker on your sleeve as a guide. This way you'll know you have an even amount of fabric on each side of the opening. Then just start pinning around. You can finesse the fabric in whatever direction you need.

Sew around the opening beginning on the backside of the armpit, so that your back stitch wont show on the front (it probably wont show anyway, I'm just kind of paranoid about messing up the fronts of garments).

And there you go. A super cute lady sweater from a big man sweater.

As you can see, I misjudged the 3/4 sleeve length. However, since I am super lazy, I rolled up the cuffs and it looks just fine. Good enough for me anyway.


  1. Wow! How cute! I would love for you to link up to “It’s a Party” going on right now!

  2. This is genious! Looks wonderful on you!

    Coley @

  3. Great job and nice save...Would love it if you would link this up to our Rockin' link party going on now at RoCa and Company. Here is the link: Come and show off what you got. Hope to see you there...

    Remember...YOU ROCK!!

    Carmen @ RoCa and Company