Friday, January 13, 2012

A little on the Wild Side

I've been wanting to make a Sweatshirt Cardigan/Jacket for myself for a while now. I bought a supply of sweatshirts from Nancy's Notions when they were on sale. They were around $11 each. They come in just about any color and they fit comfortably and reliably.

Last year my friend Beth and I went to a quilt store and took an informal class on sweatshirt to cardigan transformation. My jacket turned out cute but since I started with a white Wal-Mart sweatshirt it never fit quite right. I found, after buying a couple more, that Wal-Mart sweatshirts shrink (in all the wrong places) and are NOT true to size.

After washing and drying the sweats from Nancy's Notions they still fit perfectly. I bought an XL and after cutting the ribbing off, I had to cut the sleeve length by a few inches and take up the underarm seam. Otherwise I had no fitting issues. I chose not to make a fitted jacket but I could have added darts (maybe on another one).

So I had this pile of sweats to choose from ... where to start? I had made Caroline an embroidered 3/4 sleeve t-shirt for Christmas, starting with a brown shirt and appliques out of brown "pleather", giraffe print and cheetah print. I liked the way it turned out so I decided to start with the same design for my jacket.

This jacket was basically made just like the one I made for Journey for Christmas. I cut off the wrist, waist and neck ribbing, and cut down the center. I used fusible interfacing to stabilize the neck and front opening. Next time I'll just stay stitch.

I only had a small amount of the trim fabrics so I had to use them wisely. I made bands to go around the bottom of the jacket as well as the sleeves. I used the last little bit of the cheetah fabric for neck and front binding. The cheetah and giraffe are knit prints I got at JoAnn's and were easy to work with. I bought the faux leather at a yard sale. {Sidebar note: I made a Roman Shade for my bathroom window out of this pleather because I got it cheap and I had a lot of it but word to the wise: you DO NOT want to try to iron it, so pick a project that doesn't require a lot of pressing.}

I sewed the first band to the bottom edge of the sweat so that I folded it to the right side and it was hemmed. I then basted the pleather band in place, then topstitched the animal prints to it. That was all very quick and easy.

Sleeve detail:

In order to sew the bands to the sleeve, it was necessary to rip the sleeve seam up above where the highest band would be stitched, then stitch the seam back together when done.

After all the bands were in place I could see where the appliques would go. I knew I wanted three stacked crosses appliqued on the back, which I did first. Because I used really large appliques it took two hoopings. In order to avoid "hoop burn" I secured the jacket by first using iron on stabilizer on the inside back of the jacket, and sticky stabilizer in the hoop. I then just placed the jacket on the hoop, smoothed it in place and pinned securely.

I chose a simple zig zag finish for the appliques. This particular design also comes with a satin stitch and a "vintage" stitch as well, but I wanted fast and easy so zig zag was the way to go. I went around the edge twice. For the front I used the same design, but in a smaller size.

I then added hot-fix crystals in a brown/copper color.

Jacket back:

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