With an arctic blast chilling the entire country over the last few weeks, whether you live in Minnesota or Texas, it’s been extremely chilly so far this winter (Knoxville included!). I’m sure many of you have pulled out warm, cozy sweaters for the first time this season in hopes of beating the cold. You pull out one of your tried & true favorites from the closet, while visions of strolling through a winter wonderland in a chic, cozy outfit play in your head. You give it a little tug and step in front of the mirror, only to find that there is nothing chic about it. It’s way too short, too tight, your stomach is hanging out, and the last thing you want to do is leave the house looking this way.
Can’t we just hibernate until spring thaws?
Hundreds of questions are spinning through your mind. Did you get taller since last year? Don’t kid yourself, you know you haven’t grown even a centimeter since high school. Did it shrink in the laundry over time? That would be a reasonable explanation except the rest of your wardrobe fits perfectly fine. Eventually you admit to yourself that you may have let more than one late night Oreo cookie go to your gut since you bought that sweater last season.
Before you throw it out in shame, curl up with your favorite comfort food, and spend the rest of the day in a guilt-ridden food coma… it can be fixed!
There are several ways to re-style a sweater that no longer fits.
Problem #1: Sweater is too big and baggy
- Add a belt to cinch it in at the waist and gather the excess fabric.
- Have it altered and taken in on the sides.
- Twist the bottom and knot it in the front to pull the extra fabric to once side in a cute way.
Problem # 2: Sweater is too tight
- Create slits in the side to give it a better fit over the tips and belly area.
- Add a strip of fabric, such as lace, in the back to extend the sweater and make it a tad larger throughout the entire garment.
Problem # 3: Sweater is too short
- Layer a long tank beneath the sweater. Try for something that is sheer or has a pattern to add texture and playfulness. This will make it look purposeful and less like an obvious fit issue.
- Pair it with high waisted pants. Tuck the sweater into the pants and add a belt on top. No one will know the difference!
- Layer a loose, drapey tank or top over the sweater to cover up how short it looks.
- Sew extra fabric around the bottom of the sweater for additional length. This is the best permanent solution and the next section will teach you how to accomplish it with your own “too-short” sweater.
Materials: 1/8 yard of excess fabric
Time: about 20 minutes
First, I removed the original lace trim from around the bottom of the old sweater. If there are any decorative embellishments around the bottom of your sweater, be sure to remove all of it before continuing.
My goal for this project was to keep the same overall appearance of the original sweater, but add length with new fabric. To save money and re-purpose what I already have, I decided to use the bottom of an old sundress that no longer fits to create the lace trim. It is a similar lace fabric to the original lace trim and will be perfect to elongate the sweater. Re-purposing is optional and another cheap alternative for this project is to buy remnant scrap fabric.
I cut 5 inches off the bottom of the dress to add it to the bottom of the sweater.
Then, I sewed the fabric around the bottom of the sweater. I used a serger on the raw edge based on my fabric selection. A regular machine maybe be a better option for heavier sweaters.
Hem the raw edge of the extra piece of fabric. Since mine was once part of a finished dress, the hem was already finished and I could simply skip this step.
Now, your sweater is significantly longer and significantly chicer. No need to cleanse the Oreos from your diet just yet. This quick little fix will easily last you until the end of the season and for several more to come.
Until next time.