Monday, January 31, 2011

The Letterman Sweater Tutorial

I'm so excited about sharing this tutorial because it was just so simple and took less than 2 hours!  So go gather your supplies and make one for your little man!

First things first, you need a cardigan.  I suppose you could just use fabric but at my local Goodwill they had the most rediculous stash of men's cardigans available.  Racks of them!  And they were all $3.99.  I'm pretty sure you'd spend that much on fabric if you decided to go that route.  PLUS... now you can call it refashioned, green and upcycled!  It's a winning sweater all ready!

So anyhow... just go get a sweater.

I picked an XL Tall one, mostly because I liked the buttons and the color.

 Now lay your sweater out nice and flat and place one of your kids form fitting shirts on top of it.  If your boy doesn't have a form fitting shirt (I had to dig in the dirty clothes to find an american apparel thermal shirt) use younger brothers shirt or a shirt he's out grown.

Match the shirts armpits up with the cardigans armpits.

You are going to cut right around this shirt.

When you get to the arms, fold them back or tuck them in so you can see the shape of the arm hole.

When you get to the neck, cut the back of the shirt straight to the other shoulder.

Your finished with the bodice.

Now you can cut your sleeves.  Place your shirt sleeve right on top of the cardigan's sleeve and cut around it.  Use sleeve you just cut to cut your second sleeve.

Now you've got 2 sleeves and a bodice!

Rummage through your scraps and cut 2 squares for your pockets.

Now with your 2nd sweater... your contrasting color you'll want to cut your letter and your arm band.  You can cut one large or 2 or 3 thinner ones.  It's up to you!

Next you're going to iron on your heat n' bond to your letter.

Make sure you use the heat n' bond lite because the other stuff gums up your needle when sewing and then your machine will start skipping stitches and then you'll get mad and curse it and then it'll just quit on you because it's mad at you and you never apologized.  Seriously, sewing machines are crazy fickle machines and they work best if we treat them like your fragile overly sensitive best friend.

Aaaany way!  Iron on your heat n' bond to the back of your letter.  If you want to double up your letter like mine you should go ahead and iron your letters together before ironing on to your sweater.  To do this just iron on the heat n' bond to both letters but only peal the back off of the top letter.  Now iron it onto the bottom letter, peal the back off of it and then iron it on to the sweater.

I suggest doing it like this because sometimes the stuff doesn't attach as good to the thicker fabrics like wool.  So you'll have to flip it over and iron from both sides (which would be impossible if you pealed off the paper!)

Now you should have a bodice, 2 sleeves, 2 pockets, a letter and an arm band!

Let's assemble them!

Sew your 2 bodice pieces together at the shoulders.  Right sides to right sides.

Sew your contrasting arm band onto the sleeve.  You'll want to do this higher than you'd think... mine came out way too low.  Do it right under the armpit line.

Now you can attach your 2 sleeves to the 2 bodice pieces.

Then match up your seams at the armpit, pin and sew from the bottom of the sweater, up to the arm pit and through to the wrist of your sleeve.

Repeat for the other side.

Now you should have a cardigan!  The rest is just finishing details!!

Fold, press and hem your sleeves, the bottom of the cardigan and the back of the neck.

And last but not least, sew your pockets and letter on!

I love the way this looks with just a plain t-shirt and jeans and converse but there are tons of ways to wear it!

Try it:

With a tie

Or go bold with a bow tie!

Oh and don't forget about your girls


  1. are you kidding me! SOOOOOO cute...


  2. Love a great little man outfit. Coming by to tell you, I ADORE your entry for the American Crafter. Is is totally my favorite in the competition.

    I know you will make it through to next week. Fingers crossed I join you!

    PS two competitions at the same are amazing!

    Just Another Day in Paradise

  3. This is such a cute sweater! Great job on PTR!

  4. I love this! There are far too few great tutorials for little boys out there. I think my little man needs one of these ASAP! Maybe even the hubs!


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