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My preferred TITLE: Two very inexpensive sweatshirts strategically cut to make one cozy and modest creation for curvy women who still want to wear leggings and amazing boots.


I'm quite fond of leggings, but my backside could use some work to match the memories I have of its potential.  Don't get me wrong, there was a time that I could rock a pair with the best of them.  Life changes.   Any attempt at an explanation for why this happened to me would come off as an excuse, so I won't bother with the detail.

In short, I wanted all the softness and comfort of a sweatshirt but a sweatshirt with a little more material to feel confident at the gym or just kicking about town. 

The above is my inspiration for this project.


SUPPLIES:

thread
sewing machine or serger - I used a serger, but a very tight  zig-zag would work too.
pins
measuring tape
scissors
2 sweatshirts - I used Hanes.  $5.64 at Wal-Mart.

    VERY IMPORTANT:  You need to buy one sweatshirt that is your size and one that is bigger.  The bigger the better.  More material to work with.  For the children's sweatshirts, I bought one child size and one adult XL and was able to make the hood.

Also, look for sweatshirts that have a different look on the back side of the fabric.  That way you can add more variety to your sweatshirt, such as the gray one in the picture.


Step 1: HOW TO CUT THE FIRST SWEATSHIRT

I'm going to refer to the first sweatshirt as the MAIN SWEATSHIRT.  It is the one that is your size.  The one that will be the bodice of your design.

I really think the easiest way to explain this is through pictures, but I will try to summarize.

Cut the collar off from the base of the MAIN sweatshirt as close to the seam as possible.

Cut off 7 inches of the sleeve.

Cut off the bottom of the sweatshirt at the point you want your waistband to be.  I usually cut at about 4 to 5 inches below the bottom of the sleeve.

Cut off the waistband.

The remaining fabric will be used for the pocket, the thin pieces in the skirt, the arm bands and the new neck.

Step 2: HOW TO CUT THE SECOND SWEATSHIRT

SECOND SWEATSHIRT

Cut off the bottom of this sweatshirt right under the arm holes.    This will be the center panel of the skirt for the front and back.

Cut the sweatshirt waistband from the bottom you just cut off.  This will become one tie.

Cut the sleeves off at the top seam. 

The remaining body fabric will be used for the waistband, the new neck, pocket, and the arm bands.

Step 3: CUTTING THE CUT PEICES for the Skirt

First you want to open the sleeves up.  Cut off the cuff and cut straight up the existing seam.

Stack your two sleeves and trim them to the same size.

Each sweatshirt had a rectangular piece from the bottom, which will need to be cut.  Use the measurement of the side seam of the open sleeve to determine where to cut the rectangles.  Check out the photo below.

Now you have two MAIN sweatshirt rectangles and two SECOND sweatshirt rectangles.  The rectangles from the SECOND sweatshirt will be larger than the rectangles from the MAIN sweatshirt.

There will be some material left over. Set that aside for now.  It will be used for arm bands, the pocket and new neckline.

Take the rectangles from the MAIN sweatshirt and cut them in half the long way.

Take one rectangle from the SECOND sweatshirt and cut a 2 inch strip off the long side.  I attached a picture of this.  This smaller SECOND  sweatshirt rectangle will be used as the front panel with the pocket.  The strip you cut off is for the arm bands.

Step 4: CUTTING THE CUT PIECES for the Waistband

From the top of the SECOND sweatshirt, you will cut two strips of the same width. 
 
You will only need three of them, so place the other aside.  It will most definitely be used.

Step 5: CUTTING THE CUT PIECES for the Pocket

The pocket is made on the smaller of the SECOND sweatshirt rectangles.

From the left over MAIN sweatshirt rectangle, cut a strip for the pocket.  Use the SECOND sweatshirt rectangle to determine the measurements. 

Set the fabric strip that is left over to the side.  We will use it.

OPTIONAL:  Cut a dip out of the MAIN sweatshirt fabric.

Use the wristbands from the SECOND sweatshirt for the edging on the pocket.

Step 6: CUTTING THE CUT PIECES for the Arm Bands.

There is a piece of fabric left over from the SECOND sweatshirt rectangles.  This will be used for the arm bands.  Use the existing cut sleeve for the measurement.

You will also use the cut sleeve pieces for the arm bands from the MAIN sweatshirt.

From the neck of the SECOND sweatshirt, you will need to get one long piece that is 2 inches wide.  This will match the piece that you took from the SECOND sweatshirt rectangular portion.  More on this in the sewing section.

Step 7: CUTTING THE CUT PIECES for the New Neckline

Basically you are going to cut all the left over pieces to 2 inches wide and as long as you can.

Step 8: WHEN THE CUTTING IS FINISHED

This is what you have to work with.

Check out the left over pile.  It's not much.

Step 9: SEWING THE WAISTBAND

The waistband connects the  top of your sweatshirt to the skirt.

Create a fun pattern with your sewing.  Flip your fabrics to get different textures.

I added a belt made from the waistbands of the sweatshirts.  I just serged the unfinished edge and gave them a lettuce look.

If you are serging, make sure to line up the ties properly.  I attached a picture of how I did it.

Step 10: SEWING THE POCKET & THE SKIRT

This part is where you can be as creative as you wish.  The only thing I would advise is that you keep in mind the pieces and the amount of material you will need to finish the sweatshirt. 

When you have the pocket front finished, and the bottom piece of the SECOND sweatshirt sewn on, attach the two MAIN sweatshirt strips. 

Then the sleeves.
Then the strips.
And then the back panel, which is the larger panel.

Step 11: ATTACHING THE WAISTBAND & THE SKIRT

You will need to measure the base of your bodice. 

Whatever that measurement is, it is the same measurement for the waistband and the skirt.  You can stretch the fabric a bit to make this work, but the best way to get the skirt to fit is by adjusting the size of the back SECOND sweatshirt panel.  Cut to the right size.

JUST A REMINDER:

   The SECOND sweatshirt HAS to be larger or the same size as the MAIN sweatshirt.  That way the skirt will always be larger than the bodice and you can adjust for that measurement.

Step 12: ARM BANDS & THUMB HOLES

For the arm bands, you are basically piecing together the fabric into strips

I add one solid stip to the side and you can see what that looks like in the pictures.  The reason I do this is three-fold.  First, you can line up that strip with the existing seam on the sweatshirt so you know right where to sew it on.

It also allows you to adjust the size of the arm band.  Hopefully you have cut generous arm band fabric and it won't be too small.  Too large is easy to handle.  Too small, could be a problem.  If your arm band is too large, you can easily remove fabric without making the sleeve look like a mistake.

Also, you can add thumb holes here, which would be reason three.   Check out the picture.

THUMB HOLES

I love thumb holes and they are so easy to make.   The problem is that everyone's arms are different lengths and the placement is hard to find.   Along with the hood, I will add an update on how to do it.  However, I think the picture is pretty clear.

Step 13: COLLAR

The collar is just all the little pieces that you have left over, cut into 2 inch strips and sewn together.

Measure the neck opening and make your strip one half inch longer than that measurement.

I like to make two strips and sew them together so that the collar is 4 inches wide.

Sew back sides together to make a tube and then attach to the MAIN sweatshirt.

I have made some with just a large boat neck.  Simple and if you are short on fabric, it may be the only option.

Step 14: THE OPTIONAL HOOD & MORE

I didn't photograph the evolution of the hood, but will do that and will update. I promise. 

 In short, it is just piecing together what is left over into a triangle.

To make a  hood for an adult, you will have to buy a third sweatshirt.
Blown away by this! Awesome imagination at work. Good job!
Thank you. You just made my day.
These look so so neat! They'd be perfect for a Halloween/cosplay costume too, if you wanted to be an elf. :D
Thank you.
Wow, sometimes I think I am psychicly tuned into the Instructables community radio station. I had a very very similar idea just yesterday and hadn't seen this yet.
I know how that feels. I had a great idea for the Red Neck contest, an idea I had had for quite some time, and someone else posted it. I think it's because there are so many creative minds in one place.

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Bio: My life is busy. My days are full. I go to bed at night tired. I am HAPPY!
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