My First Sewing Tutorial

With the school year in full swing, it is quite obvious that it seems you can never have enough clothes for your child.   They rip them, stain them, color on them.  I've sent my young one to school in brand new pants only to have them stained the very same day.  With money being tight for everyone these days, I decided to put my sewing skills to work and see what I had in our home to create some economical, and very cute, wardrobe options. 

I started with a sweatshirt project.  It is turning quite chilly here is northern IL and she was down to only one that was in reasonably good condition.  I turned to my own closet and realized I had a few sweatshirts that were plain, almost never worn, and in awesome condition.  These would be just the thing to repurpose.

Over the next few days I will recount my process of transforming an adult sweatshirt into a childs size.  Here's what you will need:

* an adult sweatshirt in good shape and preferably without any large ornamentations that will not translate well into a smaller size

* a childs sweatshirt that you don't mind cutting up to use as a pattern

* a sewing machine, hand sewing won't work very well here, with the appropriate stretch needle for your machine

* a serger, this is optional if you don't mind using other seam finishes on the inside of the garment but it will make the process much faster and your life much easier

* matching thread

Start with the preparations.  Here are some tips -

*Make use of everything you have at hand so you need as little as possible at the fabric store

It's a great idea to reuse the ribbing on the original sweatshirt.  With a seam ripper or small scissors, carefully pick out the original stitching and remove the ribbing from the desired locations; neck, sleeves, or bottom of sweater

* Next lay out the shirt to be cut as a pattern and label the front and back of the sleeve before cutting

* Now, carefully cut the shirt apart working as closely as you can to the original seam. Don't try to pick all these seams apart.  They are serged to begin with and will take a very long time to remove.

* Press all the pieces, and as you do so, check for warping in the pieces.  Knit clothing is very easily stretched and you wouldn't want this translated into the new garment.  To check for warping, fold the front and the back in half and press them, matching their shaping on the edge of the garment.  If you were making these pieces into a paper pattern, you would be trueing up lines at this point.

* Prepare the adult size in the same way and don't forget to save anthing that may be used later on or in a different project.

You are now prepped and ready for the next step.  Tomorrow - cutting the new sweatshirt!

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