Thursday, January 24, 2013

DIY: Fabric Panel Sweater

Last week, I ordered a really nice gray cardigan from Piperlime. And guess what? It was FREE! Clearance + 30% off coupon + $15 reward = Adorable cardigan for the cost of nothing. Even shipping was free. (I know!) So I was pretty stoked about that and couldn't wait to get my adorable free cardigan. But alas, when the package arrived what I received instead was this frumpy gray thing. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't what I ordered. I was a little confused, and bummed, and so I hopped online to figure out what the H happened!?! The cardigan I ordered was now sold out, so there wasn't much chance of getting one. I don't know how/why they sent me this sweater instead of just sending me an email that my item had sold out, but I felt a bit silly calling to complain since it cost me absolutely nothing to begin with.

I decided if I was going to keep it, it needed to be MUCH more interesting. As you can see in the 'before' picture, it already had a stitching detail down the front that created a sort of panel. The first thing that came to mind was cutting that out and replacing it with a pretty fabric. Easy peasy! I was a little hasty so my stitching came out just a wee bit off. Don't judge me. I wore this to work yesterday and did my hair in a side braid over my shoulder-- it hid that little error just fine ;)

What you'll need for this project:

A sweater or tee of your choice
Needle & thread or sewing machine
A fluffy puppy to lay on your project when you try to take pictures (just kidding, that is not required)

1. Determine how wide you want your fabric panel to be, then cut a strip of fabric 2 inches wider than that and 2 inches longer than the length of your shirt from neck to waist.
2. Cut your shirt up the middle and pin the fabric in place on each side, leaving the neck and waist unpinned. If you want to keep your original shirt neckline (like mine), do NOT cut through it! Stop cutting about an inch before you reach the neck.
3. Flip your shirt inside out and sew inside the pins.
4. Now sew your neckline, and hem the waist. The hem was easy enough, but the neckline can be tricky so take your time folding the fabric inward and pinning around the curve. Sew slowly and don't be upset if you have to rip a few seams and start over! I had to.

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