Hi guys! As some of you have heard, January is sweater month here on My So Called Crafty Life. Today I am going to show you all how to make this simple sweater dress. You can use a sweater that has gotten a little too short or small on you. I recommend using a sweater that is snug on you if you want a more fitted dress. My sweater was a looser fit and the dress ended up being a lot roomier than I really needed. It is a really comfy dress and is good for chillier days. The best thing about this project is you can use items you already have in your home, and you can complete it in about an hour.
Here’s What You Need:
*Ruler, measuring tape, and Marking Pen
*Sewing Machine and coordinating thread
The first thing you need to do is try the sweater on. Make a mark on one side where your rib cage ends a couple of inches below your bust. Take the sweater off and lay it out smoothly and evenly. Measure from the bottom of the sweater up to where you made your mark. Take that measurement and mark from the bottom all the way across the sweater. For example, if you measured 12″ from the bottom of the sweater up to the mark you made, then you would make marks 12″ up from the bottom of the sweater all the way across the sweater from side seam to side seam. Cut the sweater across where marked. Cut the bottom band of the sweater an even 1.25″ across.
Measure the top sweater piece across at the bottom. You will want your fabric skirt to be 1.5-2 times bigger than the sweater measurement times two for gathering fullness. The more fabric you use, the fuller it will be. So if my sweater is 15″ across, then the width of the front and back is 30″. To make a full skirt I would take my 30″ and multiply it by 2 to end up with a width of 60″ for the width of my fabric across. Measure from a couple of inches below your bust down to right above your knee, let’s say that it is 23″. You would then cut your tablecloth piece to be 60″ wide by 23″ tall, or two pieces that are 30″x23″.
Now you are ready to start sewing. Take the small band piece from the bottom of the sweater and lay it over the bottom of the sweater top with right sides facing and pin all the way around. Stitch all the way around, sewing the band to the sweater. Press open seam allowance, pressing the band of the sweater down too.
Sew the side seam(s) of the tablecloth skirt piece. If using a tablecloth, you should not need to hem the bottom, it will already have a finished edge. Now you need to create the gathering stitches. This is the traditional way that I learned how to gather fabric, if there is another way you prefer, then you are welcome to substitute. Sew a basting stitch a little less than 1/2″ from the top edge of the skirt between the side seams. Leave long tails. Now run a second basting stitch about 1/4″ from the edge right above the previous stitch between the side seams, leaving long tails again. Do the same thing with the other side. Now, take the top and bottom thread on one side of the fabric and gently pull the threads which will start to gather the fabric. Hold the threads in one hand and adjust and smooth out the gathers with the other. Gather the fabric on each side until you have gathered it to almost the size of your sweater top.
Next, pin your sweater top over the top of your right side out tablecloth skirt at the side seams. Continue to gather and adjust your skirt until it fits with the sweater and pin the skirt to the top all the way around. Make sure your skirt is pinned up inside the bottom of the sweater so that the skirt extends above the seam of the sweater band by about 1/2″.
Now stitch all the way around the bust of the dress stitching in the ditch of the seam you previously made with the sweater top and the band. There will be a little stretch in the fabric, and that’s ok. You want the dress to be big enough to slip on over your head. Snip excess threads and remove basting stitches. And you are finished.
I love my new vintage tablecloth sweater dress! It is a little big on me, so I will probably take it in a little on the sides. I hope some of you sewing gals out there will give this project a try too. It is so easy and inexpensive, you’ll love it! I will be back next week with more sweater fun. Until then…