A question I get from you guys a lot is, “Do you ever have a fail?”
The answer is, I used to have pllllenty of failed refashions when I first started sewing, but now that I’ve been doing it for a while, they almost never happen.
That being said, this refashion was very nearly a fail!
If you enjoy tales of suspense, mental torture, and redemption, read on!
In recent weeks, I’ve been scouring the $1 racks of my favorite thrift stores for a red sweater for a Valentine’s Day refashion.
I couldn’t find a long-sleeved one for some reason, but I did find this pretty short-sleeved sweater, which shall be the base for my Valentine’s Day Sweater Refashion!
Let’s take a look at that label, shall we?
The target demographic for this brand is 65+, which means Zennials are almost certainly going to make it mainstream in the 21-under set as well. I mean, if they can bring back mom jeans (which I’m totally cool with), they can do anything.
Upon closer inspection, I discovered the previous owner had snipped out the shoulder pads that were originally sewn in to this sweater.
I also found this XL kid’s T-shirt!
I decided to use a reverse appliqué technique to make a fun heart sweater for Valentine’s Day.
This could have gone one of two ways. I could have chosen to wear the T-Shirt and cut the heart out of the sweater, or wear the sweater and cut the heart out of the T-shirt.
I really liked the sweater, so that’s what I went with for the base.
Before getting started with the reverse appliqué heart part, I snipped out the neck of my sweater.
First, I traced a heart in chalk on the T-shirt.
If you’re really particular about the shape of your heart, you can print out a heart shape and trace it onto your shirt.
I wanted a funkier shape, so I just freehanded it.
Then, I cut my heart out.
And here’s where all goes to crap for a moment!
What NOT to do!!!!
My original thought for this sweater was to do a punk-ish slash look over the heart, revealing the red T-shirt heart underneath.
Because I just wasn’t thinking, I traced the heart onto my sweater, and then began cutting slashes, thinking I’d add the heart later. DO NOT DO THIS.
A few slashes in, I realized what a mistake this was (you’ll see what I mean in just a moment), and pinned the heart to the inside of my sweater (It’s turned inside-out in the pic below).
Next, I stitched my heart down, using a simple straight stitch.
When I was done, it looked like this.
I turned my sweater right-side-out and immediately gasped in horror!
Well this looks like hot garbage.
You can see how, despite my best efforts, a couple of those slashy bits got caught up in the stitching for heart.
This is why you want to make any cuts AFTER adding the fabric backing.
At first, I thought everything was salvageable. So, I trimmed off the parts of the sweater that had gotten caught up in the stitching, and kept making slashes.
But I quickly discovered an entirely new problem with my chosen method.
The sweater shreds were a saggy mess!
I should have known better than to think this would work, as the sweater fabric is heavy, cutting into it makes the shreds longer, and those things combined means they’re going to sag.
I was pretty annoyed with myself at this point, friends.
Still, I didn’t give up! I cut off the shreds altogether, and cut out the outline of the heart.
I thought my sweater looked like a botched DIY project (which to be fair, it was) at this point.
But then I had an idea!
I picked up one of the shredded bits and pinned it to the outline of the heart.
Then, I pinned more!
I carefully stitched them all down.
But when I tried it on, I noticed that center part had a…problem, so I snipped it out.
What was I going for with that thing anyways? Some sort of “NO LOVE” message? Nobody needs that level of negativity in their lives right now.
I was finally almost done with this (very stressful) refashion!
I didn’t like the original look of the sleeves, so I changed them up.
To do this, I folded them into cuffs and pinned them in place.
Then I tacked them down at the top and the bottom.
FINALLY, after much mental anguish, I was DONE!!!!!!
You guys! I really like this one!!!!
I styled my new sweater with a pair of high-waisted ripped mom/boyfriend jeans (See Zennials, I’m cool! I’m hip! I’m with it!) and waterproof boots.
Feeling festive? You might also like this Valentine’s Day T-Shirt Refashion!
When Erin saw it, she said, “Oh…that’s a good one. Some idiot would totally spend $100 on it at Urban Outfitters.”
I’m happy with it. I like that I was able to keep some of the ragged/punkish aesthetic I was originally going for and that I kept going even when it wasn’t working out.
In refashioning, the difference between a success and a fail often comes down to not giving up. With a little creativity and problem-solving (even if you created said problem yourself), you can almost always pivot and adapt to make it work!
Cheers…and Happy Valentine’s Day!