Reimagining The Sweater

In my last post I talked about my shirt/sweater angst. It’s tough being tall if you’re a woman. But that’s okay, because anyone can learn to sew. And once you can sew, a lot of doors open to you. Maybe just your closet doors. But still, doors are opening. This is good.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about my sweater situation. A little silly given that at the time of this writing I have flowering bushes in my yard and buds are sprouting on trees. By the time this goes live, spring will have sprung around here! But it’ll still be February and I’ll still need sweaters for a while. It’ll also only be spring and summer for a while, the cold weather does return eventually. This time I’ll be prepared. 🙂

Right now I have a bunch of sweaters that have sleeves that are just too short. The body on some of them is still too big despite this. In the past I’ve thought about resizing my sweaters. You know, just taking them up at the sides so that they’re not so baggy. But it always seemed like such work. That and, the sleeves were already borderline so wouldn’t I risk them riding up if the body were smaller? I’m not sure why this never occurred to me, but today it has. I think I’m going to start looking for sweaters two to three sizes too big. The bigger the sweater, the longer the sleeves (sometimes). Then I’ll alter them to give me the size I want, with the sleeve length I need.

Here’s a sweater I’ve wanted for, oh, I don’t know? Forever? Yeah, forever feels right…


I’m sure all of you have seen this sweater a million times. It’s just Ralph Lauren’s classic cable knit sweater, they’ve been making it forever. I always want one, and I try them on year after year with the same disappointing results. A body that fits fine, and sleeves that are two inches two short. Not anymore. The next time I’m in the store I’m going to steer clear of the Mediums and head straight to the X-Larges, maybe even bigger. Hopefully the bigger sizes will give me a longer sleeve.

I don’t particularly care if I have to dismantle the entire thing before cutting it down and stitching it back together. It’s doable. I also love the thinish sweaters Tommy Hilfiger makes. I have the same problem there. Body fits fine but the sleeves are just not cutting it. I think when I’m out at the Outlets next, I’m going to be combing the sale rack so I don’t have to feel bad about experimenting on a “real” sweater. But I think this is going to work just fine. I do have those ones I’m going to be donating soon. So I may just do a trial run with those.

There are some tutorials out there that show you how to do this. I liked this one. I actually used to have a sweater that looked just like that! This is more or less exactly what I had been thinking of doing. There’s also this tutorial that shows a different method on a different type of sweater. This is far more labor intensive but she was making significant alterations. I think if all goes according to plan, you all can expect to see me add a similar tutorial to the blogosphere.

I have decided I’ll be going with the Granville Shirt pattern from Sewaholic. Here’s the fabric I plan to use for my first button-down.


It’s fun for a button-down right? It’s not so thin that you’ll be able to see a bra underneath, nor is it so think that I couldn’t wear it in summer. It’s a pretty solid mid weight cotton. This is from Jo-Ann’s premium cotton range and the brand is Two Daughters. You can see all the info here. It says it’s out of stock online, but they had plenty left in my local store. If you like it you may still be able to find it in your local store as it’s still listing availability for some places.

I’m thinking I’ll go with a PDF pattern from Sewaholic and I’m not sure how I’ll run the tutorial (should I do one). I had considered sharing how I make semi-permanant pattern pieces but given this is one you just print out (and I could reprint it a million times should I choose) I may just skip that. So I’m not sure if I’ll start after I’ve made my muslin or what. But there will probably be a tutorial, if nothing else I’ll do a review of the pattern.

That’s all for today. So lots of sewing posts to look forward to in the coming weeks and or months. It’s been a long time since I did a ballet post. I should probably try to sneak another one of those in there, just because. I do have a lot of readers who are here just for the ballet stuff. I don’t want them to feel neglected. But I do, do a lot of different stuff and I like to talk about all of the things I do, not just some. I don’t have any new leotards to review and probably won’t for some time. Maybe come summer. There just haven’t been any new fabrics on ElevĂ©’s website that have really jumped out at me. I try to wait until they’re running a big sale or there’s a fabric I’ll die without. They’ll probably do a Valentine’s Day sale, but I may skip it. Yumiko was supposed to be retiring a bunch of colors this spring. So if I do buy from anyone, it may be them. We’ll see. Either way it would be quite some time until those leotards got here. So sorry ballet readers! You’re stuck with my sewing and crafting posts until then!

See you all next week!



One thought on “Reimagining The Sweater

  1. You know, if you’re buying the sweater to get the fabric, maybe there’s a nice colour in the men’s section? Their sweaters usually have longer sleeves. Have you tried long tall sally, btw? I have LTS sweaters that have too long sleeves, a most luxurious feeling.

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