The work starts with preparing a form for half of a sweatshirt; in step no 4, you will divide a form into separate parts of a front, a back and a sleeve.
Prepare a form for half of a T-shirt; press your T-shirt with an iron and fold it in half lengthwise; spread it
down on a paper so that the material stays not tightened or not gathered; outline your T-shirt; a shape of
an armhole and a front part of a neckline should be copied by densely spiking seams with pins so that
there are holes in the paper that determine the shape (if you put a thick material under the paper, pins
will be spiked deeper and the holes will be more visible); the width of a bottom of a T-shirt should be
equal to ¼ of your hip size – if it is not, widen a bottom.
Convert a form for a sweatshirt – the dimensions given are 36/38, but you can modify them to your
expectations and needs:
- determine the width of half of a neckline; a new neckline should be wider at least 2cm that the one in
a T-shirt (A=13cm)
- deepen a neckline of a front and of a back so as an arc ends up at a right angle to a center line of
a blouse (B=3 cm)
- extend an angle of an arm to the length at which you want to make a cut on a sleeve, lengthen this
line to the desired length of a sleeve; remember that you will sew a puller to it (C=52cm)
- determine, at a right angle to the slant, the width of a sleeve in its bottom part; it must be wide
enough to put your hand in (D=13cm)
- descend by 6cm from an armhole (E) and at this height, enter the width of a sweatshirt, it should be
a quarter of a circumference of a chest increased by 5-7cm (F=28cm).
- determine the length of a sweatshirt measured from the highest point of a shoulder (a line between
a neck and a neckline); remember that you will sew a puller to it and thus lengthen a sweatshirt
- determine the width of a bottom of a sweatshirt: a quarter of the hip size increased by 1-2cm
- draw a side and a bottom of a sleeve (I) combining widths H, F and D.
Separate forms: a front (a deeper neckline) and a back (a shallower neckline): - set cuts between a sleeve and a torso – black lines (J=6.5cm / K=4cm) - cut rectangle forms out of a front – you will sew a binding here; determine the depth of a cut (L=20cm) and a width of half of a binding (M=2cm) - measure circumferences of a front (N) and a back neckline (O).
Cut sleeves and a torso; a sleeve of a back and a front must be glued together so that they touch with
a ridge; the same with a form for a back; you will prepare a form for a front in step no 6.
Prepare a form for a hood, a binding and a puller (rectangles of dimensions shown in the picture); copy
a form for a hood out of your sweatshirt, just like a shape of a T-shirt, folding a hood in half; adjust a size
to your expectations; the most important is that a wave at a bottom of a hood has the same length as
measurements of a front and a back necklines (N+O); a height (P=37cm), a width (R=27cm); you can
modify a form of a hood (a dotted line), but remember not to change a length of a wave at a bottom; sew
a prototype of a hood to check a form.
Make a cut at an angle on a form of a front of a sweatshirt (T=11cm / S=5cm); draw a pocket on a side
part (U=25cm / W=10cm); separate a front into a middle and a side part; separately copy a form of
a pocket and prepare a form of a finishing binding – a rectangle of dimensions given in the picture.
Place materials in half lengthwise and put forms on them; cut them with 1cm seam allowance around;
a center part of a front and a back should be in contact with a folded edge of a material, thus you will cut
symmetrical elements. Caution! Do not cut out a rectangle for a binding by a front neckline, but precisely
copy its edges on both sides.
Start with trimming edges of a pocket; press a strip in half lengthwise with an iron; sew a binding to an edge
of a pocket, overcast using overlock stitching and press with an iron.
Make a stitching on a regular machine on a right side, just by a seam on order to sew a seam allowance underneath.
Put a pocket on a side panel of a front so that bottom and side edges overlap; pin a middle part of a front.
If you are using a fabric, sew elements on a regular machine, and after doing each seam, overcast seam
allowances with an overlock machine; in case of a knitted material, use only a 4-thread overlock machine;
after sewing and overcasting, press a seam with an iron and do a stitching on top – just like in a case of
a pocket; similarly sew the other side panel.
When a front is prepared, sew a sleeve to it; then sew a back to a sleeve; sew the other sleeve to a back and
finally sew up the other sleeve with a front.
Sew together halves of a hood on a ridge – separately a top and an inner layer; turn up a top layer on a right
side and slide an inner layer into it; fasten edges with pins.
Pin a hood around a neckline starting from the middle of a back neckline; at a front, edge of a hood should
protrude at least 1cm beyond edges of a rectangle drawn under a front neckline; Turn up a sweatshirt to a left
side (inside out), slide a hood to the inside and sew up edges of a hood and a neckline; when sewing,
a presser foot must be inside a neckline.
Now the most difficult part – a finishing binding of a neckline and of a hood; press a binding with an iron in
half lengthwise; pin it in a way that a folded edge faces to the outward and unhemmed edges face to the
inside of a sweatshirt; pin a binding 3cm below a drawn rectangle so that it covers its vertical edge – it should
overlap on a vertical edge of a rectangle by about 1cm – see a picture; pin a binding around a hood and on the
other side of a rectangle, in the same way as on the opposite side; sew a binding on a regular machine.
Caution! The beginning and the end of a seam must be exactly at the same height – that will decide a shape of
a bottom of a binding which must be straight.
Fold back edges of a binding and perform cut in a shape of an inverted "Y", through the center of a rectangle;
lower ends of cuts should be 1-2mm away from seams, which sew up a binding; now fold and press a triangle
with an iron to the inside of a sweatshirt; an edge of a folded part should be equal; the last picture below
shows the inside of a sweatshirt.
Now press a left and a right part of a binding with a iron so that they overlap in the middle; slide lower ends
to the inside, under a triangle; first 3 pictures below show an outer side, another 3 pictures show an inside
a sweatshirt with a binding pressed and slided inside; if a binding gathers at the edges of a lower part, you
must slightly deepen a "Y" cut; if a left and a right side of a binding is too wide, you must move a seam
fastening a binding to a sweatshirt towards the sides – that will widen a rectangle and narrows a binding; then
you must also deepen a "Y" cut so that it ends just by the end of a new seam.
Now fold a front of a sweatshirt along a seam fastening a binding; a binding allowances and "Y" cuts should
protrude beyond the folded edge; using an overlock machine, cut down an unnecessary allowance.
Sew a binding around on a right side, near a seam; sew precisely and closely particularly at a bottom edge so
as to firmly fix a triangle folded to the inside; after sewing, cut off a triangle and ends of a binding using
an overlock machine; fold a sweatshirt so that a front and a rear overlap and touch on right sides; sew sleeves
and sides of a sweatshirt; do a seam under an armhole in a shape of a small arc and cut it off using an
overlock machine so that an allowance is not too big.
Now prepare cuffs; fold rectangles in half and sew their shorter edges; at a lower part of a seam, leave
seamless opening for a rubber; press allowances with an iron on sides and sew them in length, together with
a top so that they do not protrude from holes on a right side; then press cuffs with an iron in half, lengthwise.
Sew cuffs to sleeves and to a lower edge; turn up a sweatshirt on a right side; slide cuffs on a sleeve so that
a layer with an opening in a seam is on top; fasten unhemmed edges of a sleeve and a cuff; turn up
a sweatshirt inside out and sew a cuff around; when sewing, a presser foot must be inside a cuff; do the same
with a bottom of a sweatshirt.
Press cuffs with an iron downward; using a safety pin, slide a rubber through an opening in a seam; pull its
ends outside and sew them flat; sew the ends to the inside of cuffs.
A sweatshirt is ready! You can additionally sew holes on a binding and sew on buttons.
Sewing instructions prepared by: Janek Leśniak – fashion designer who, together with JUKI, conducts dressmaking courses in Warsaw. He infects others with a passion for making your own clothes on his blog: pracowniajanlesniak.pl, where he reveals the arcana of his trade. Combining craftsmanship and design, he builds an awareness of the quality and the fashion industry among people non-related with the business. He has aquired fifteen years’ experience working with such brands as Reserved, House and Big Star. He has independently created original collections and conducted lectures on fashion business at the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. He has rejected massive fashion in favour of passion and work under his own name.