Refashion tutorial: turn a belted cardigan into a zippered jacket
When it’s cold outside, the sweaters, they just fly into my basket at the thrift store if they happen to be the right color. I run cold and my sewing room is in a chilly basement where my space heater is on (when the iron is not) 365 days of the year. Usually that nebulous “small” “medium” “large” sizing works for me in sweaters. I alter them to fit if they’re too big, but this time I didn’t pay attention and bought a size way too small.
I really must not have been paying attention because belted sweaters really need to have enormous fronts to cross over enough so that that dreaded gappity gap doesn’t happen at center front. Normally, I’d chalk it up to experience and let the $3 go, but I really liked the hood on this sweater. With just a 2 way separating zipper, Steam a Seam, a couple fabric scraps and the existing belt, I changed it into a much more wearable sweater. Have a belted cardigan that gapes at CF? You can fix yours too.
Refashion a belted cardigan into a zippered jacket
Just click on the slideshow.
Quelle horreur! My sweater’s too small. Click through to fix it!
Cut 2 pieces of the belt the length of the 2 way separating zipper. Save the rest of the belt.
Apply Steam a Seam to the right side of the zipper. Peel off the tape.
Fuse belt pieces onto the zipper, leaving the teeth exposed but covering the tape.
Stitch as close to the zipper teeth as you can on both sides of the zipper.
Fold over a scrap of knit fabric 1.75″X4″. Stitch onto the top of one side of the zipper unit with a zigzag stitch 3.5 mm wide X 1.0mm length. Cut off the excess and bind the other side the same way.
Hand baste or pin one side of the zipper unit to the front edge of the cardigan. Set your machine to the widest zigzag possible (7.0mm on my machine) X 1.5 mm length and stitch over the basting (or removing pins as you go). Repeat on the other side.
Fold a 1″ piece of 1/8″ elastic and hand stitch in place on the top of the zipper on the inside.
Sew a button to the other side of the zipper top on the inside.
The finished zipper leaves the sweater fitting, but a little too boxy. Let’s add a back belt!
Take the remaining belt piece and thread it through the belt loops in the back. Try on the sweater, fold the ends of the belt over on themselves. Determine if you need to trim away any extra to nip in the front waist. Trim away if necessary!
Using that same widest zigzag (7.0 widthX1.5 length), sew the ends of the belt together.
Make a tube from a scrap of knit fabric 2″X4″ in size. Fold RST and stitch down the raw edge. Turn it right side out.
Wrap the tube around the belt center, stuffing the ends inside of each other. Hand stitch the ends together to secure the loop.
You can add buttons to make the back belt extra cute. You want to make it extra cute, no?
Ah, much more useful now. No fiddling with silly belts and the 2 way zipper can be adjusted as needed.
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