Designing On The Fly

Yesterday, I showed you the fleece blanket sweater I made for this week’s Iron Craft challenge. Making it was a interesting experiment in sewing without a pattern and I wanted to share the process with all of you.
Designing on the Fly
The project started with my desire to make a version of this blanket sweater from Eddie Bauer out of fleece. I knew I could measure all the parts of the sweater and draw it out to make a paper pattern, but that would require my getting some very large rolls of paper and frankly I was too lazy. Then I thought why not just use the sweater itself as the pattern.

This sweater was a perfect candidate for this kind of project, because it is made of only three pieces and the sleeves are  part of the front and back pieces. It wouldn’t be too hard to do this with separate arms, but this was even easier.
Designing on the Fly
First I measured the sweater, so I knew how much fleece to buy. I needed about 2.5 yards (at $4 a yard for anti-pill fleece at Jo Ann’s this sweater cost me $10 in fabric). I started with the back of the sweater. I just carefully laid it out on the fabric and cut around leaving a good one inch border, you want to keep your border the same width as much as you can. I took a little nerve to just start cutting, but I decided to just trust myself.
Designing on the Fly
Since I was using fleece I didn’t plan on finishing all the edges. Because of that I made sure to cut my edges as neatly as possible.
Designing on the Fly
The front was a little trickier because the collar didn’t allow it to lay completely flat. I solved this by cutting what I could that was flat. I made a cut to mark where to cut up the middle and at the top for the collar.
Designing on the Fly
I also used this opportunity to change the design a little. I wasn’t a huge fan of the “mullet” hem, so I made it straight instead.
Designing on the Fly
Once I had one side cut I was able to use it as a pattern for the second side. After that is was just a matter of sewing it up and adding a closure. I pinned my sweater together and tried it on before sewing it. I’m glad I did as it was a little tight, so doing a smaller seam allowance made it fit much better.
Iron Craft Challenge #3 - Fleece Blanket Sweater
The original sweater closed with two buttons and I was never happy with the way it pulled. For this one I used a big snap and added a decorative button. It looks much neater than the original.
Iron Craft Challenge #3 - Fleece Blanket Sweater
Two afternoons of work and less than $15 and I had a brand new cosy sweater. Maybe I’ve inspired you to try copying one of your favorite sweaters on the fly too.

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10 years ago by in Needlecraft , Sewing | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
One Comment to Designing On The Fly
    • Mollie Anne
    • What brilliant idea! It looks just right for chilly nights. Might even have a go myself! Sewing is not really my thing, however, I really want to try and make one. Thank you clever lady.

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