Changing Seasons Sewing

Changing Seasons Sewing
Cool mornings of late autumn with very warm afternoons that changeover into early winter weather with decidedly chilly mornings and often blustery cold afternoons can be especially challenging when deciding what to wear. Clothing that is appropriate for the start of the day can seem unsuitable as the day progresses. Having a few transitional clothing items can make changing temperature ranges much more pleasant when choosing what to wear.

Consider the following no sew or easy sew projects for a sweatshirt makeover, fleece poncho and A-line skirt great for transitional weather and fluctuating temps:

Pullover Sweatshirt into a Cardigan Jacket is a popular sweatshirt makeover favorite. Note: an oversize sweatshirt or two-times regular size normally worn works best.
Remove the ribbed cuffs and waistband from the sweatshirt, cut straight up the center front, sew or iron-on a medium-weight interfacing about 2-inches wide along both center front cut edges on the wrong side to stabilize. Fold the center-front edges to inside covering the interfacing and top-stitch on the right side one-inch from folded edge. Fold under sleeve edges and topstitch.

Embellish the sweatshirt with simple embroidery, an iron-on applique or two, or even stencil with fabric paint. The sweatshirt is an easy canvas to apply imaginative decorations.

Another way to personalize the sweatshirt-now-cardigan is to add a facing made of a print fabric to each of the cut center front edges and the bottom of each sleeve using a cotton print. Cut two lengths of a print cotton fabric 3 or 4-inch wide by the length of the center front. Stitch each length right-sides together along each side of the cut center front, turn to the inside and top stitch along the center front edges and again 2-inches from the top-stitching. Use a similar process to the sleeve ends.

A single frog closure or large button and loop closure at the top front completes the sweatshirt to cardigan conversion.

Lightweight Fleece Poncho - The poncho is one of the most versatile of easy body coverings to make. Adjust for adult or child sizes. Most ponchos require only one yard or slightly more of fabric. Lay out the folded fabric and cut a semi-circle opposite the folded edge. Find the center of the fold and cut a small semi-circle for the neck opening. If you would like the poncho to have a front opening, open up the fabric and cut from one edge to the neck opening. Clean finish all edges by folding under a small amount and top sew or using 6-strand embroidery floss or yarn blanket-stitch all edges. Add a decorative button closure if the poncho has the front opening placket-like split.

A-line Skirt - is the easiest no-pattern-needed garment to sew to add to a transitional seasonal wardrobe. Use two yards (72-inches long by 44-inches wide) of purchased fabric for maxi, one yard (36-inches by 44-inches) for knee length out of linen, denim or light weight corduroy. Keep fabric folded in half length-wise as the fold will become the skirt's center front fold.

Create a personalized skirt template. Draw a center fold line onto tissue paper (newspaper works too) and mark as such. Measure waist and add one-inch to this measurement. Draw a slightly curved line from the top of the center fold line to what will be a side seam for the waistline.
Next, using a yard stick, draw the side seam on a slight angle and be sure to accommodate hip width.
Draw desired finished hem length line from bottom of center fold to the drawn side seam. Add a length to produce a 2-inch hem.

Using the template cut out two pieces from the fabric - one on the fold and one not on the fold.
Sew side seams together 1/2-inch from raw edges as well as center back seam leaving an opening at the center-back waistline about 7-inches long to create an open vent (a blouse or sweater top will conceal opening). Sew 4-inch darts on either side of skirt back at the waistline if needed for a smoother waistline fit. A self-facing can be added to the waistline to finish the skirt top. Attach a closure such as a added button tab, snap or hook with thread loop for closure. at the back waistline

To add an optional waistband, cut a 4-inch width of fabric about 2-inches longer than the waist measurement. Iron on fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the waistband. Fold in half lengthwise wrong sides together and matching raw edge of folded waistband to the raw edge of the skirt waist, right sides facing, stitch using a 1/2-inch seam. Press waistband away from skirt, fold in short ends to neaten and topstitch on all sides to secure. A short 7-inch zipper - an invisible zipper allows for smooth lines, can be added to the center-back seam for easy in/out closure.

Some clothing transcends seasons, however temperature variations and changing weather conditions within the same day make for challenging clothing choices.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.