Upcycling Project - Anthropologie Inspired Sweater

Friday, February 28, 2014

Hey Peeps!

Today I’ve got a cool and fun post for you all! I decided not to do a video for this one because I think everyone reading, more than likely, knows how to operate a sewing machine or at least knows someone who can help them with one. But, if, for the next post I do like this one, you guys want a video, then, please, leave me a little message in the comments section below this post! :) If you guys want the videos, I’ll do ‘em. ;) Anything you for guys! That being said, don’t worry, I will have another video for you guys next week which I will hopefully be recording tomorrow! 

So, for this week, I have an upcycling tutorial for you all! If you’re unsure of what upcycling is, it’s when you take something that’s old or you don’t have a use for and turn it into something different that you can use. You can do it with all kinds of stuff, but today I am doing it with clothes. 

I came across a great little top on the Anthropologie website but their clothes (in my opinion) are just so expensive and I ain’t rich! So, I thought, I can just make this so easily. I headed off to the thrift store to find some things to re-create it. I wasn’t able to find quite exactly what I wanted but I find some things that would work. First, let’s look at the style we are going to try and mimic:

These photos are from the Anthropologie website. If you want to buy this sweater, it is $88 on their website:

What you want to look for at the thrift store is a sweater that isn’t too fitted (a little roomy is best), that is a nice soft knit and sits just at or a tiny bit above (no more than an inch) where the waist of your pants sit (refer to photo above). For the ruffle part, find a top that is much larger than you normally wear (since we will be cutting it). Try a sheer fabric or a very light cotton fabric. These are the tops I found:

Yeaahhhh… I forgot to take a photo of the white shirt I used for the ruffle before disassembling it, so hopefully you’re able to visualize what it looked like. :D

So once you’ve got your two garments you’re going to use, you’re gonna need some other things. Here’s a list:

Other Things You'll Need

- Seam Ripper
- Thread that matches your fabric
- Scissors
- A needle
- Sewing Machine
- Straight pins
- Iron
- Ironing Board

Okay, so, have you gathered all the things you need? Ready to get started? Let’s do it! Oh, and you can click to view an enlarged size of the photos if you need to zoom in to see better.
Step #1.  My sweater had a collar attached to it so I needed to remove it. If you have anything that needs to be removed from yours, do that first.
Step #2.  Use your seam ripper to disassemble the shirt you’ll be using for your ruffle. This’ll make the pieces easier to handle.
Step #3.  Find the longest piece of ruffle fabric and cut your ruffle pieces. Remember you’ll need 2 long pieces: one for the front and one for the back, so you’ll need to make sure you can get 2 pieces the same length. These pieces can be as long as you want. The longer they are, the more ruffly your ruffle will be (or the more pleats it’ll have). They do have to be, at the least, 6 to 8 inches longer than the bottom edge of your sweater.

Step #4.  Line up both pieces of ruffle fabric one on top of the other and sew them together along the short edges.
Step #5.  Since I don’t have a serger and my fabric frays easily, I zigzag stich the raw edges that I just sewed together, going over them twice, to keep them from fraying too much. If you’re working with a fabric that does this, use a serger or zigzag those edges like I did.
Step #6.  Press both seams you just sewed, front and back.
Step#7.  Fold up and press what will be the bottom edge of your ruffle once and then twice. Sew it in place. You can press it again after sewing to make sure it’s nice and flat. Now you have a band of fabric to use for your ruffle
Step #8.  Serge or zigzag stitch the opposite edge to prevent any fraying.

Step #9.  Turn the sweater inside out. Slip the ruffle band around the bottom of the sweater and line up one of the side seams with the respective side seam of the sweater and pin in place. Now line up the seams of the opposite side and pin in place.
Step #10.  Keeping everything inside out, lay sweater flat, line up the centers of the sweater and the ruffle band and pin in line with your other pins.
Step #11.  Now line up the fabric in between each center pin and side pin and then pin there. This step should have you pinning in 4 places.
Step #12.  In between each pin, gather the excess fabric removing the slack from the fabric, and fold over to one side creating a pleat, and pin. Alternate folding fabric from one side to the other as you go around the sweater. Depending on how much fabric you have you can create 2 pleats between each of your pins rather than just one.
Step #13.  Now that you have everything pinned you can go ahead and sew all around the sweater attaching the ruffle to the sweater. Make sure to sew this seam in a place where it will be camouflaged, if possible.
Step #14.  Remove all the pins and voila! You’re ruffled sweater in complete!

So, now you’re sweater should look similar to mine, below:

With my sweater, the neckline wasn’t what I wanted and not at all like the one I was modeling it after so I decided to add another aspect to mine, just on a whim! So I added a decorative tie to the neck line. If you like it and want to do the same it’s pretty simple, but I’ve included those steps for you below! :)

Step #15.  Use the sleeves of the same shirt you used for the ruffle and cut 4 identical pieces that, when folded and sewed, will equal 1 ¼ inches wide.
Step #16.  Because we want these strands to allow us to have a very droopy bow with long tales hanging, you need to sew 2 of the pieces you just cut together, end to end, to make one very long and skinny piece. Then do the same to the other 2. You should now have 2 long and skinny pieces.
Step #17.  Fold each of these pieces in the center lengthwise and press.
Step #18.  Sew each of these 2 strands along the raw edges lengthwise. You should now have 2 long, skinny tubes of fabric.
Step #19.  Sew one end of each of these tubes closed on an angle at about 45 degrees.
Step #20.  From the still opened edges, turn the tubes right side out then press them flat to make your 2 strands.
Step #21.  Figure out where to want your strands to be attached, position them in place on the inside of the collar and sew in place. Done! :D

Now you can try on your sweater and see how you faired! Did it work out for you? I wish my sweater was a little bit less fitted, more like the one that I was trying to model it after, but besides that, I think it worked out quite well. Take a look:

Okay, so now, here is the final reveal of the top. Modelling courtesey of moi!

So what do you think? Do you like my final result? Let me know by commenting. While I was at the thrift store I found some other items that I have some other similar ideas for so I’ll be doing more posts like this one in the future. As I mentioned earlier, if you’d like to see videos when I do these types of tutorials let me know. 

Well, that’s it for this week friends! Don’t forget, I’ll have a new video for you all next week and, hopefully, some new art stuff to show you! Can’t wait!
Have a wonderful weekend! Wishing you lots of upcycling fun!


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