Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Make a Sweater Dress

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7

We were given a bag of clothes, and in this bag there were a few adult sweaters. I was going to give them to charity.... but then I remembered I had seen somewhere, an adorable dress made out of a sweater.

Hailey in her new dress

1. Start by laying out the sweater on the floor or a table. You need to have the child around, or a dress that they fit well. It works best if you use the child for fitting. Make sure the sweater is long enough. Mine wasn't so it will be worn with leggings.

2. For this simple sweater dress, you want to cut the dress about the width of your child's shoulders (plus a half inch or so on each side for seams! ) all the way down, or wider at the bottom and taper up. The bottom should be no more then a couple inches wider then the top, or it will stick out on the sides.

3. Cut the sleeves off and trip the leftover sleeve seam off the dress and sleeve. You should now have a tunic piece, and two sleeve pieces. (Throw the cut-off side pieces away.)

4. Decide how long you want the sleeves to be, and cut them off at the lower end. Be sure to leave room for a 1/2 to 1 inch hem! You can throw away the bottom sleeve piece.

My sweater, showing where I cut it

5. Ok, now you need to cut curves in the top of the dress, where you will set the sleeves in. Just make a nice easy curve, not to deep. It should be about an inch in at the top for a dress this size. Put the tunic on your child to mark how big low they should go. Don't make them too small, they will be uncomfortable. You can compare to a dress you already have to see how this should look.

Sizing the Dress

6. Go ahead and sew up the dress now, stopping at the armhole. When you are done you can turn it back right-side out, and lay it flat again. Now you need your arm pieces.

7. Lay your arm pieces in place on each side of the dress. Lay the top even with the top of the dress, and cut the underarm side off to fit, leaving a half inch or so for a seam. (You don't have to be too specific, sweaters are stretchy.) Hem up the bottom for a cuff, and sew up the underarm seam.

Here is about where you would cut the sleeve

8. When you are done with both sleeves, you can set them into the dress. Now you can add any ribbons, lace or bows if you want to decorate the dress.

And you have this!!

I cut my dress a little wide, so I added a pleat in the front, and I also added decorative pleats in the sleeves. Just follow these directions for a dress without pleats.

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