Oversized Sweater FixNovember 16, 2013

Can you believe the awesomeness of this sweater? I almost couldn’t. As soon as I saw the front, I knew I would buy it no matter what size it was. It turned out to be XL (I’m usually medium).
When I tried it on, I liked it baggy up top, with the wide neckline and relaxed sleeves. It was just the bottom that wasn’t right. If it was longer, like a dress or tunic, it would have looked okay that wide, with a belt slapped on. But as it was, it just looked awkward. My solution: take out some of the width along the bottom so it fits around my hips, leaving the rest nice and roomy.
Before: unimpressed
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After: ecstatic
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My method:
1. Try on the sweater, and pinch the side seams with each hand until the bottom hem is snug around the hips, without being stretched out. Pin it, then measure how far in your side seam needs to be on each side (it should be equal amounts).
2. Turn the sweater inside out to mark the stitching line (I use pins that I take out as I sew, but you can also mark a continuous line with chalk). Make sure the edges of the hem match up on your new side seam, and smoothly angle the stitching line out until it blends in with the existing seam by the time you get to the armpit. (Since my sweater had a higher front hem than in the back, I needed to stretch the front layer to match the back layer.)
3-catprep
3. When you are sewing a stretchy fabric, you will need to allow the thread some give for when the fabric stretches. If your machine has it, use the naturally stretchy zig zag stitch set on a narrow stitch width. My industrial machine is a single function lockstitch (straight stitch), so I stretch the fabric as I sew, to give the thread room to move. Don’t stretch the fabric to capacity, just gentle intermittent pulls while you sew your line.
4-catprogress
4. Finish the seam allowance, either with a serger (if you have one), a wider zigzag stitch beside the seam, or a second row of straight stitching 1/4” in from your first seam. Trim off excess fabric, 1/4” from your stitching.

Now you can wear your new/old sweater with pride, knowing that it fits you like it should!
Were these instructions useful? Clear? Do you have more questions? Leave me a comment!

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