November 30, 2008

Sweater Project #2: Professor Sweater

Posted in Make tagged , , , , , , at 3:48 pm by onetinyacorn

I’ve always wanted a jacket with elbow patches–the kind that professors are purported to wear (although I’ve never actually seen one wearing them). I decided to use leftover cashmere from my hat project to make my own patches.

Professor Sweater

skill level: intermediate. Beginner if using non-stretchy fabric (corduroy, for instance).

time: 1 1/2-2 hours

materials: 2 sweaters, cardstock or scrap paper, scissors, marker, pins, iron, spray starch (optional), needle and thread (preferably embroidery thread).

1. Lay out what remains of your sweater on a hard, even surface. Use a large-ish expanse of the fabric–enough to accommodate two of your ovals. I used the back of the sweater. Don’t use the arms, as you’ll be using those for project #3. Smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric.

2. On cardstock or scrap paper, sketch an oval shape to the dimensions that you desire for your patches. You could use a template if you’re a symmetrically-challenged artist. Draw a larger oval around your first oval–make it approximately 1/2 an inch larger all around.

3. Cut out your larger oval, and position it on the sweater remnants.

4. Using a marker, gently draw a dotted line around the oval template. Be careful not to pull on the sweater. Repeat once.

5. Using sharp scissors, carefully cut out each oval. Check to ensure that they are the same size.

6. Generally, there’s a “right” side and a “wrong” side for fabric. In knits, the “right” side usually looks like a series of v shapes with a vertical orientation, and the “wrong” side like horizontally-oriented dashed lines.

If you care about matching up the sides of the ovals to the sides of the sweater upon which you will be sewing, mentally note which side is which now. Place oval (“right” side down) on an ironing board. Fold in fabric approximately 1/2 an inch around the perimeter, and iron gently. I held the folded fabric, a little at a time, and laid the tip of the iron close to my finger, working my way around the oval. You could also notch the fabric to reduce bulk, although I didn’t and it was fine. Don’t pull on the fabric with the iron, just lay it down and hold for a second or two. If it’s not a perfect oval, don’t worry about it too much–it can be fixed as you sew. If they’re really wonky, though, try to re-shape the oval in the weird spots and iron again (spray starch may help to create a crisper line). When you’re happy with the shape, flip them over and press them for a second with the iron.

patchpressed1

7. Take another sweater (or jacket, or whatever you want to adorn with your new patches). Figure out where you want to place the patches, and pin in place. You may want to carefully try on the garment to check your placement. I went a little overboard with the pins, placing them every 1/2 an inch or so around the ovals.

8. You might be able to machine-sew these in place, but given the stretch of the knits and the placement, I opted to hand-stitch them. I used two strands of embroidery floss (the strands being the individual threads, not the grouping of six that form the floss), carefully sewing about 1/8 of an inch inside the edge of the oval. Any small imperfections in your shape can be fixed as you sew, by carefully rolling the edge of the oval in or out as needed. Remove the pins as you approach them while sewing. As always, be careful not to stretch anything while sewing. If any pin marks remain, a quick press with an iron should remove them.

9. Tie off the loose ends, and admire your new sweater in the mirror.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Vote Sweater Project #2: Professor Sweater […]


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