Friday, October 26, 2012

Skirt From a Sweater... Second Time's the Charm

This is my second attempt at a sweater skirt. My first one was a flop, but I did learn a couple of valuable lessons along the way. And knowing is half the battle, right?

Lesson number one: When sewing a sweater, it is MUCH easier to work with a fine gauge knit than a chunky sweater. The first sweater I tried to work with was made of a thick cotton yarn that easily fell apart when I cut it.

Lesson number two: Sweaters tend to stretch when you sew them. I was able to prevent the stretching by increasing my stitch length.  I also used a "straight stretch" stitch for this project, which is one of the stitch settings on my machine.

So, after losing one sweater and painstakingly learning the above lessons... here is what DID work...

This is where it all began.  I found this large men's sweater and intercepted it just before it was sent to the goodwill. Score! I also used the sleeves of a stretchy knit shirt... more on that later

First I cut a straight line right across the sweater from armpit to armpit. The bottom portion became the base of my skirt.

I pinned some small pleats in the skirt because it was a bit too big for my waist.  If I could go back, I would have skipped this step because I still had to take out several inches in the back to make it fit. I don't know that the pleats add anything to the skirt. But, here they are none the less.

In an effort to keep the pleats even, I sewed across the top of the skirt at this point. I knew I was going to be adding a waistband and I figured they would get all messed up if they weren't sewn in place first.

Which brings me to my favorite part... the waistband. I am not sure how this came to me... but I cut the sleeves off a stretchy knit shirt to make the waistband. The two sleeves have just enough angle in them to create an interesting shape in the front of the skirt when sewn together.  I sewed together the two sleeves at the point that would have been the top of the sleeve. 

Here is the skirt with the waistband pinned to it. The angled part of the sleeves are at the bottom, and the straight part is at the top. After pinning it on, I top stitched it to the skirt. Then I top-stitched the front seam using a twin-needle to help it lay flat.

Here's a close-up of the finished waistband from the front. If you look closely you can see the top-stitching down the middle.

As I mentioned before, I ended up having to take several inches out of the back. So, I simply sewed the back closed with a straight line from the top to the bottom.

I have a shirt tucked in to show off the waist in these pictures. But I also think it would look cute with an over-sized shirt and a belt.

Thanks for visiting :)


  1. This is really cool and it looks great on you!

  2. Wow, this is brilliant, what a great idea for the waistband!

    Found you on refashion co-op, now following:)


  3. I like this! Great job and you look tiny and oh so cute in it.
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  4. looks great, but what i love the most is the sleeve waistband! i love how it points down in front and it's a great way to use up all those left-over sleeves! i will definitely be using that idea in the future! :) lisa

  5. Well done. The skirt most be very comfortable!

  6. Great idea!!!
    I have been wanting to do this to my youngest daughter's favorite sweater. She LOVES it but it's too small now.
    THANK YOU!! I will definitely be giving this a try!!!

  7. I LOVE it! The sleeves for the waistband is really a good idea!


  8. Commenting again to let you know I am your newest follower! I just love stuff like this!


  9. Newest follower here! I found you through the Monday link up! Cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!

  10. God Bless You, this looks too hard for me, but I love the idea!

    I am visiting from Marvelous Mondays...I am co-hosting this week! Thanks for linking and please take a look at my blog, to see all that happens in my Milwaukee Kitchen!


  11. Love this! Found you on re-fashion co-op- going to follow you and your wonderful designs!


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