Friday, September 7, 2012

How to re-fashion an old sweater into a runway worthy piece.

It's Fashion Week in New York and I have promised fashion inspired blog posts. you go! I love to see what the big designers put out on the runway and then try to decide the way I want to interpret their trends and how I want to wear them. You can decide the degree you want to embrace the trend or look and rock it in your own way! What runway trends or items do you love this fall season? Do you integrate runway trends or looks into your everyday attire? I enjoy trying to stay up with the trends, but sometimes (well most times) my pocket book won't allow all new wardrobes for each new season. So I watch what comes out, I buy a few key pieces and then I go back to my closet to see what I can make into something new. This has actually become one of my favorite things to do. To re-work a previously worn item into something new. It is so fun! So in the runway spirit here is an idea of how to re-invent an old sweater into something that goes with this fall's trends. I have seen many bulky sweaters in this seasons lines, I however choose to wear them in a little different way. I like the idea of using an old bulky, sweater re-made into a shoulder covering shawl. They are warm for the cool season, a more modern take on the old school bulky sweater and on trend. Here is what I did with an old sweater I found in my closet. I am not wearing the sweater currently as is, but could see myself wearing it as a shoulder shawl. Here is what I did...

Inspiration: Oscar De La Renta, Fall Fashion Week, from Harper's Bazaar.

If you want to view more of this season's runway looks here's a link to Harper's Bazaar Granny Chic Look

I made a "Granny inspired" fabric rosette flower with big gem button in center for embellishment. I think it gives it that extra "Granny-chic" look.

How I did it:

This is what I started with. It was a long wool sweater I got from VS a long time ago. It has hung in my closet lonely for years!

This was the back. I took the tie off and used it to make the bow pin embellishment.
I used the rotary cutter, ruler and mat to cut the sleeves off, which I then made into arm warmers or boot socks, they could be worn either way.
This is a sleeve cut off. Then I turned the unfinished end in and stitched it down.
Then I cut it straight across just under the armpit/sleeve area as show.

This is what the piece looks like opened up. Notice that the top end is wider than the bottom, this actually works to my advantage I think because I had to stretch the bottom along to fit the top and it made it ruffle a little. Which is actually what I wanted but the thick wool wouldn't go through my ruffling foot and too thick to baste stitch and pull. So it worked out.

Then I sewed the two ends together, letting the already finished edge be the one hanging down.

Then I sewed the two ends together to make a tube. (Put right sides together so the seam was on inside.)

And there it is. I think it turned out really cute! It would be hard for me to tell you exactly how to do this on your sweater because they will all be different, however just try to get a stretchy, bulky, sweater big enough to make a tube to go over your shoulders. The arm warmers are just sleeves with the raw/cut edge finished and they could be worn with boots as leg warmers. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, it was a super fun project and it was quick!

And sorry my pics aren't the best quality, for some reason I'm getting lines through them and kind of fuzzy. I will keep working to improve them. Thanks for tuning in!


  1. I love this!! I'm not a huge sweater person but I really like this look. I probably won't have one to refashion, maybe I'll have to rummage through my little sisters closets, they won't notice one sweater is missing.

    1. I hear you, I'm not a huge traditional sweater fan either, but I think I could wear one like this. Ha, ha! That's what sisters are for right?

  2. Just a follow up to this post. I wore this out of the house the other day on it's maiden voyage. I was followed around the local Costco with comments such as "That is a beautiful wrap!" "Where did you get that?" I think it is a success! I have never been bombarded with compliments as I was this particular day. I have the kind of personality that I would wear it despite what others think, but it's fun when you make something and people don't think you look like a weirdo!