Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sweater Dress How-to

So, how'd I make the sweater dresses? It was so easy! I took some wool sweaters and felted them by washing them in hot water. It shrinks them down a lot, so for Emma's dress it was a good thing I started with a XL men's sweater. I like to work with felted sweaters because they don't unravel at all when you cut them. You will need a sweater comb, or de-fuzzer to remove any pilling. I have seen similar projects made with sweaters of other fibers, I just haven't tried it yet and don't know about unraveling.

For the sleeveless dress I just used one of Emma's dresses as a guide, matched it up to the neckline and cut the sides. If you need to make the neck opening smaller you just take in the seam at the shoulder. I cut the flower from another sweater, lined it with iron-on interfacing to keep it from stretching, and sewed it onto the front. Then, I sewed down the sides and used a black binding around the armhole to finish it off.
For Ava's dress, I literally put my sweater on her inside out, and pinned (with a safety pin or two) the sides about where I needed to take it in. I sewed a seam down each side. Then I tried it on her again before I trimmed off the extra just to be sure... I did have to unpick and sew one side over, so I'm glad I hadn't cut yet. After making sure it fit, I trimmed off the extra. I took the collar off another sweater (I have a bag of unwearable, but full of potential sweaters) and sewed it into the neck. I used pieces of the same sweater to make the flowers for her hair clip and the front of her dress.


♥ Karla ♥ said...

Those are some super cute dresses. They look great with tights and boots. Perfect for fall! I have not yet worked with felted wool, but think this project is too cute to pass up. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to try it out.

Kathy Reid said...

thanks for the how-to. I'm going to have to try this.