Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DIY Wednesday: How to alter the sleeves of a heavy knit sweater

Last week, you may recall, I was mooning over big grey sweaters.

Rather than put out $80 for a lovely Ann Taylor sweater or even $25 for a perfectly acceptable Forever 21 version, I found a second-hand one - nowhere near my size, naturally. Even though it was a large, I figured that oversized sweaters are in right now. But the sleeves hung down past my fingertips and I looked like refugee in the thing.

I found this nice tutorial on how to alter a fine-knit sweater over at Sweet Sassafras, but nothing on a heavy knit sweater for people who don't own a serger, don't knit and are afraid of the zig-zag setting on their sewing machine. (I did get the general drift that if you cut a loose knit sweater, it will unravel.) So here is my ghetto workaround, which does not require a sewing machine and involves no cutting.

1. Measure the sleeves and determine how much shorter you want to go. I decided to shorten mine by two inches.

2. With the sweater right side out, find the shoulder seam and measure down the sleeve that distance and mark. Do this all the way around the sleeve.

3. Fold the marked edge so that it meets the shoulder seam and pin, as shown below.

4. Hand stitch along this edge (shown above) using a thread that matches your sweater.

When you're done, the inside of the sweater will look like the photo above at the sleeve. The 'roll' will feel a little weird when you put the sweater on but will flatten out and not be visible.

No one will ever know.


  1. Omg I found one JUST like that one for only 4.00 at the consignment shop! It was brand new to!

  2. Hey, I hope it works for you.