Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY sweatshirt refashion with lace

I'm in sweatshirt mode!

I have this BIG BOX of old clothes of all sort that need work.
This old sweatshirt was boxy, with an ugly design on the front and (last but not least) 
two huge stains.

Lace on a sweatshirt is the perfect combo for a tomboy-sweet style, and there are so many options, from lace on the back, on front, sleeves, or in patches: you can't go wrong with it.

top pic: polyvore - collage by moi

DIY your lace front sweatshirt: supplies

* A sweatshirt (stains are optional)
* a piece of lace fabric of the size of the front of your sweatshirt (I bought just a bit more than half yard and still have plenty)
* a Seam Ripper
* ruler and a water soluble marker (Dritz Mark B Gone Combo Pack)
* scissors, pins and thread of the color of your sweatshirt
* sewing machine
Twin Needles Size 80 - 3.0mm (for the topstitching)

DIY lace front sweatshirt: the how-to / tutorial

The how-to for this refashion is pretty straight-forward, but as often happens with jersey knits or sweatshirt fabric, you never know what you're going to find once you rip off these seams. 
...This was no exception.
I planned to rip off only the front and sew it back on, and ended up taking all the pieces apart, re-sizing the whole shirt. 
Still made it in few hours. 

rip the seams of the sweatshirt and use the front as your template on your lace.
Eventually mark new lines.

Fold the lace in half to make sure that is symmetrical and cut  the lace accordingly .

Fold the back of the sweatshirt in half and trace the new edge line  - if needed 

place the right side of the lace lace on top of the right side of the back of the sweatshirt
and pin the shoulder and the sides:
proceed to sew the shoulders first and then the sides - cut the excess lace

sleeves were very boxy, so I removed and gave them a straight, not twisted seam seam:
just measure the armholes and keep that measure for the top of the sleeves
and keep the wristbands as measure for the wrists.

with the extra (not stained) fabric from the front, cut a triangle to go on the neck 

bast the triangle and the neck band in place

and sew it all using the twin needles 

same for the wrists and the waistband

At this point, it could be complete... and my "new" sweatshirt was looking like this:

Which was totally fine.
But I like to make my life complicated.
And decided to add a little texture to the white lace, by weaving some wool into the lace to enhance the paisley pattern.
This also gives a little extra warm to the sweatshirt (ok, very little).

... And there it is, at the final stage!
The "embroidered" part took me about two hours. But I think it looks so much better!

and here a closeup at the paisley:

xox, d.

keep in touch! 


  1. i Love it!!! maybe the best DIY i have ever seen!

  2. This is so incredible Donatella! I think I may finally try out my twin needle lol! Your email was so sweet :) I love this sweatshirt, it's more fitted, and so chic! Amazing job!

  3. This is such a good DIY! Posted the GIF (which I love) on my blog as well as the closeup photo of the embroidered lace with a link back to you. I still cannot believe this is the same sweatshirt. This is the definition of upcycling!

  4. LOVE it! Not sure I would have the nerves of steele to do the embroidery part of the project but this is definitely going on my list of things to make. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  5. Seriously, D... I can't even talk about how amazing this is. I will be making 15. Maybe more.

  6. It looks fantastic..but I am thinking that it would be easier to just cut fabric and make it, rather than taking it apart and putting back again...ya ya I lack patience

  7. It looks great! I've got a bunch of old clothes lying around so now I have to find some lace fabric....thanks for sharing!

  8. Great DIY! Is a very good idea!

    I love your blog.

    Keep it up! ;)


    Mi blog:

    pd: Sorry for my bad english

  9. Gorgeous work D! What a great idea, hope many fashion DIY lovers will use your tutorial to make a beautiful shirt like yours.

  10. This looks great!! I did a lace tutorial this week as well. I love lace and the paisley here is so cute. I have never seen lace with paisley, have to look out for it now.

  11. Love, love, love.
    I did something similar on my blog but used a silver sequin fabric.
    Will have to try your version.

  12. I don't know where to start, this is so fab (the tut and the final product)! I don't even want to guess how many days/weeks this would take me to do. Great job!

  13. I love the final look, but I think that last step would have taken me 10 hours. I haven't really learned how to be a domestic goddess. Your blog is one of the best I've seen when it comes to creative DIY ideas. Well done! P.S. I've sent your link to a mom and her daughters who love being creative and who enjoy sewing and knitting too.

    Thanks for you very sweet comment about my daughter, Amanda. We enjoy her very much.

    Tina - American mom raising 4 kids in South Africa

  14. WOW! I love your projects - so beautiful and inspirational!

  15. Love this idea, if I find a sweatshirt like this I will give it a go! xx
    Alice Barton ♥ TheMowWay

  16. Wow! Amazing! I love your DIY projects, really inspiring!


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