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Sweater Dress Tutorial

December 25, 2010

So, here it is. I finally got some decent pictures of my sweater dress. And I friggin love it. I have gotten so many compliments that I thought it might make a good tutorial. Here is my finished product.

And here is the before…

First you need to find a gargantuan sweater. The most important thing is length, not so much width. Something to cover that booty. I got lucky, because this sweater was obviously hand-knitted, but I am guessing that it turned out much huger than planned. So now you have your sweater, where do we begin?

Gotta love my sweats on underneath. Classy. So you turn your sweater inside out, and pin it how you would like it to fit along the torso. Ignore the arms for now and just do up to your pits. I like to use safety pins, because they stay put and are less likely to stab you. Believe me, I’m the kind of gal that gets stabbed a lot. Make sure that your bottom hem is lined up in the front and back. Also check to make sure that your sides are at the real sides, so that your sweater dress isn’t all twisted. Make sure to put a pin on each side where you want the armpit to be so you know where to stop sewing.

Now sew along your pins on the inside. Meaning <sweater edge- pin- seam- sweater body- seam- pin- sweater edge>. Does that make sense? Ok now that you’ve sewn up to your armpits on both sides, try it on right side out. DON’T cut yet. Try to ignore the grody lumps from the chunks of fabric. How does it look? Is it even? I wanted quite a bit of an hourglass shape, so I focused on getting it snug in the ribcage to the natural waist. I sewed the seam a couple times before I liked it, I just kept trying it on. When you’re happy, you cut about 1/2 an inchish away from the seam. Cut up to about 2 inches before the place where the armpit will be.

OK, now you’re going to cut the sleeves from the body. It’s a little scary. It really helps to have a rotary cutter. With your sweater inside out, you’re going to cut from your desired armpit location to about 2 inches from the neckline. I used a tank top as a bit of a guide. Do this on each side. Now, you have to be careful, you don’t want this edge to unravel.

Now gently, you will sew along this armhole about a half inch from the edge. It needs to be a bit curved, like a tank top. Do on each side. This reinforces it, so that it won’t unravel. OK, turn it right side out and try it on. If it looks weird, re-sew and trim the edge. If not, go ahead and turn it inside out again. Now take those big old sleeves. They need to be right side out. Try them on your arms, decide what length you want and what fits well on your arm. You may need to turn it inside out and pin and sew to make the sleeve fit your arm. Hold the cuff and start to slide the sleeve inside the armhole of your sweater. You’re going to put it in on an angle, because you need the cap for the sleeve.

Here is my fancy drawing showing how to put the sleeve in. If you want a longer sleeve, put it in deeper. Now cut the excess sleeve off, so that all of the sleeve is hiding in the sweater body. Pin the sleeve to the sweater body all around and sew, making sure that you sew further from the edge than the seam that is reinforcing your armhole, so that that seam won’t show. Don’t sew the armhole closed. I’m only saying because it is a mistake I could see myself making, especially at 2am, which is when I do my best sewing. Ok, turn it inside out and………………….. Congratulations, you’re done. I bet you look sexy too! Go you!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 25, 2010 10:12 am

    Adorable! I love it too.

  2. Rachelle Bueckert permalink
    December 27, 2010 6:21 pm

    You look HOT!!! Also great job on your amazing sewing job! That looks hard!

  3. March 19, 2011 4:01 pm

    Looks great! Thanks for the instructions. I want to make one myself so I’m going to keep an eye out for a gargantuan sweater.

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