Hooded Summer Sweater

Last week at the fabric store I found a lightweight knit on clearance, and knew I wanted to make a lightweight summer sweater with it. I was picturing something loose and simple, but after a quick search to get some ideas I fell in love with the style of this casual sweater at Anthropologie.


I searched for a similar pattern and found Kwik Sew 3155. It’s being discontinued, but there are still a few left on clearance from their website.

I took the basic pattern, shortened the sleeves, and added elastic bands. On the bottom hem, I left enough room for a drawstring, threaded a 1-inch strip of the fabric through, and tied a knot on the side.

They were simple alterations, and the sweater turned out very similar to the inspiration piece.

There are many good sources of information about sewing with stretch knit fabric, but I learned a couple of things that really helped in this project.

1) Double needles – I haven’t used them before, and I really don’t know why. It makes such a difference, giving the garment a professional finish. I’ve had some in my supply box for months, but never took the time to use them. Many people just use a straight stitch and go around two times. The front looks the same, but twin needle stitches stretch because the bobbin tread is a zigzag stitch. Two rows of straight stitching have no give and will easily break if stretched.

2) Press the seams –  I normally press my seams, but it seems even more important with knit fabric. Even if the fabric seems to stretch out of place when you stitch it, it will often look fine after being gently pressed.

I like to try at least one new thing every time I sew. I love the creative process of learning as I go. Sometimes I fail, and other times I learn valuable skills. Twin needles have a permanent spot in my supply box now, and I have plans for more stretch knit clothes in the future.

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4 Responses to Hooded Summer Sweater

  1. Tiana says:

    Want to come to my house and teach me to be as awesome at making stuff as you are? 🙂 The sweater is super cute! I have so many projects that I want to do (curtains, skirts, dresses for the girls), but I am always so scared of messing up and wasting fabric!

    • Sara says:

      When I got married, I could only read a basic pattern and sew it according to the directions. I wasn’t happy with the results because things looked “homemade.” I started trying to learn one new thing every time, and over the past 10 years I have been able to learn a lot of tips for making things look more professional. All the cute mom blogs with step by step tutorials make it so much easier now than 10 years ago.
      Don’t be afraid of wasting fabric. If you learned something in the process…it wasn’t a waste. Also, you can buy old sheets at the thrift store to practice on, or use thrift store clothes to re-make something. Usually if you are just using a sewing machine, you can always rip out the stitches and start over. Even the best seamstresses make mistakes and have to redo things. On the sweater I sewed one of the shoulder seams facing the wrong way the first time. It took an extra 10 minutes, but was easily fixed. You learn as you go, so the best thing to do is just try!

  2. Lydia says:

    The sweater turned out beautifully! It looks so comfortable!

    Today I’m launching “Mindful Mothering Mondays” over at my blog. I hope you’ll stop by and join in!