Sweater surgery: The Chrismas Jumper

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you plan a project, no matter how much care you put in knitting the pattern, things just don’t work out. I’m sure most of you have been in this situation before (if not…are you a knitting wizard? I want to be your sidekick!) Anyway it has happened to me before. Some long-time readers might remember my blog post about my Christmas jumper (if not or you can read about it here).

The shaping of this jumper came out all wrong. Instead of ripping it or throwing it away I held on to it, with vague plans to “do” something about it sometime. Well, “sometime” became this week and the “something” became sweater surgery. I did some major sweater surgery on two knitted sweaters. First I tried this on a store bought sweater to practise, and then on my Christmas Sweater. The problems with both were roughly the same, thought the Christmas Sweater had some side issues that I wanted resolve during the process as well.

What I did was the following: I opened up the seams. After the cutting open of the seams I was left with four sweater parts. Next I picked a sweater from my wardrobe of which I do like the fit and I traced the outer lines on the sweater parts. When I had marked out what I wanted to cut off I reinforced the stitches with a strait stitch on my sewing machine. I could have done this earlier, but as woollen knits don’t ravel that much (and as I was going to cut a lot of fabric off, I didn’t mind a little bit of unravelling), I hadn’t done it earlier. Then I cut of all the excess fabric. Finally I sewed a zigzag stitch over the newly made edge of the fabric just to be sure.

Another thing that I did not like about the sweater, was the box sleeves.To get rid of them I simply cut of the box part of the sleeves. This was not a problem as the sleeves were to long to begin with.
Finally I sewed the  pieces back together. While the whole “cutting your sweater to bits”  might not be the most elegant solution to a knitting accident, it is definitely the fastest. I started and finished the whole business in just one afternoon. Its not perfect, but a lot more wearable than it was. I’m glad that I finally took to the scissors with this one. I think I really got the hang of it after this sweater, as I performed sweater surgery on a couple of more sweaters after this experience.

Well I’m glad I got my act together just before the start of the season. Have you ever cut into your sweater to modify or to save it from the back of your wardrobe?


4 thoughts on “Sweater surgery: The Chrismas Jumper

  1. Ha heerlijk een kersttrui je bent er vroeg bij dit jaar. Zelf lonk ik ook al met een half oog naar de patronen voor gebreide kerstballen en houten hertenkoppen voor in en aan de boom. Nog even en de truien / vesten kunnen weer volop aan. Grappig de Ardenne foto aan de muur.
    Groet Margot

  2. Goed gedaan zeg. Ook slim om eerst te oefenen op een "koop trui" ( haha ). Oefening baart kunst. De verhoudingen zijn goed en de mouwen zitten er mooi in! Super gedaan! Laat de sneeuw maar komen! Gr M

  3. No, I haven't, but it's a good idea.

    Actually, that's wrong. I once bought a cute little polkadot cardigan that was way too big and boxy. So I stitched up the sides and arms where I wanted them to snug up, chopped off the excess, and sewed up the cardigan front to make it more sweater-like (mostly to reduce gapping with the snugger fit). It was successful and I wore it way more often.

    Granted, I haven't done that with a hand-knit sweater, and I am super impressed you had the gull to chop into something you've spent so much time on. Of course, if it makes it wearable, then I guess that's more incentive, but so scary! Congrats on having the courage to do surgery, and one making it work!

    (Love the sweater, btw. The colours are fantastic!)

  4. Soms moet je de knoop doorhakken en gewoon proberen.
    Als het dan niet lukt heb je pech gehad maar wel de ervaring voor een volgende keer.
    EEn goed idee om het eerst op een gekochte trui te oefenen.
    Zo te zien is het goed gelukt,ziet er heel goed uit en heeft een mooie kleur.
    De groeten aan iedereen.


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