A couple of years ago, I bought several clothing articles from a second hand store. It was one of those sales where you stuff as many items into a bag as possible and only pay 25 cents per bag. It was awesome. I found this awesome red sweater at that sale too. When I first found it, I was like, "Oh...wow...that's...loud," and then I put it back and continued sifting through the clothing piles. But, I couldn't get that sweater out of my head. Sure, it was loud, and even a bit eccentric, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I actually liked this sweater. Not as it was, but I knew it had potential. So, I stuffed it in my bag, purchased it and brought it home. Little did I know, that at that time, I was pregnant with our second kid. (Pregnancy is not kind to me, and I have a very limited amount of creativity during this time. The only desire I have during these moments is to lay face down the couch with a trash can nearby, for puking, until my due date arrives.) A few days later, I found out I was pregnant. All plans to revamp this sweater were forgotten about until recently, when I switched out my seasonal clothes and came across this sweater. After casually considering my options for a month or two, I finally decided this eccentric sweater would be so much more awesome and a lot less crazy if it didn't have those frumpy, baggy sleeves. So, I got rid of them and now it's an awesome sweater vest and, currently, my favorite thing to wear. (I try not to wear it everyday because people might start to think that I don't wash my clothes.) ;)
|Before the upcycle|
Before I start, let me just tell you, I am not a sewing expert in any way, shape, or form. I know how to work a sewing machine (uhh...mostly...or I can read the manual) and I can sew a straight line, but that's about it. This is an easy project, so don't get intimated if your seamstress skills are lacking. If I can do this project, you can too, provided that you can work a sewing machine...at least a little bit. :)
Ok. Project time.
|A closer look at the serged sleeve. Hard to see due to the fact that the thread is also red.|
Start out by serging the top and bottom portion of the sleeves in a straight line, just above the armpit (pictured above) to prevent the sweater from unraveling once it's trimmed. Repeat the serge on the opposite sleeve, as well.
Once you have serged both sleeves, cut off both the sleeves below the serged line. (Side note: I recommend saving the sleeves to upcycle into something else - like maybe these awesome leg warmer/mock boot socks)
Once the sleeves have been cut off, decide where you would like the top of the vest to end on your shoulder, and mark it.
Draw a rounded path on the top portion of the sleeve from the top of the marked shoulder to the bottom near the armpit.
Serge along the outside of the drawn path on the top portion of the sleeve only. Trim away the top part of the sleeve (after the top has been serged). Using the path made from the top part of the sleeve that has been cut away, trace the sleeve path onto the bottom half of the sleeve, serge, and then trim. (Be sure to connect the serge lines from the top portion to the bottom portion.)
Once the top and bottom of the first side of the sweater have been serged and trimmed, fold the sweater in half and trace the sleeve path onto the top portion of the opposite side of the sweater. Serge the top portion of the sleeve, cut away the excess, retraced the path onto the bottom portion of the sleeve, serge, and trim again.
Turn the sweater inside out, pin the raw edges, and sew a straight stitch along the edges. Trim the excess thread, turn inside out, and wear!
I'm so pleased with how this turned out and it allows me to indulge in my Maine fantasy. Did you know I live on the coast and have a boat dock at the edge of my yard? I like to wear this sweater vest while I sit on the dock, sip the cappuccino in my mug, and watch the fishing boats off in the distance. Well, maybe not, but I can always pretend. (This sweater vest makes it all possible.)
And look - the collar is still just as awesome as it was before.
If it gets really cold, I can wear the sweater like this. Will you still be my friend if I wear it like this? ;) Go and make a vest for yourself now!