Say goodbye to your impression of sweatshirt as athletic wear and re-imagine it as a luxe addition to your wardrobe. Sweatshirts are one of the hottest fashion trends right now and we’re seeing them in all sorts of fabric combinations: silk, ponte, leather, lace, neoprene, you name it. And they are incredibly easy to make!
Here’s a silk sweatshirt I made in just a few hours:
I used my own sloper for a pattern, but any loose-fitting top pattern without darts or princess seams will work. Choose a jewel neckline and raglan sleeves or a dropped shoulder for a sweatshirt look and fast sewing.
The hardest part was deciding which two fabrics to pair. Good thing I had help picking out these two silk crepe de chine prints! (Thank you, Marianne and Kyndrell.) Try using a larger print for the bodice and a smaller, complementary fabric for the sleeves.
Here are three fabric combos at MoodFabrics.com we like:
For the neckband, waistband and cuffs, you can use any knit or knit-like fabric that retains its shape when stretched. Ponte, wool jersey, neoprene, double-knits and some thicker jerseys make great knit bands.
Here’s a video tutorial from Threads I’ve found helpful for attaching knit neckbands. Sewing on knit cuffs and waistbands is really simple:
1. Measure your wrist/forearm or waist and factor in how snug or loose you want your cuffs/bands to be. Determine how wide you want your ribbing (for my sweatshirt here, my finished ribbing is two inches), multiply by 2 and add seam allowance. Cut width by length. Sew ends together to form a circle; press seam open. Fold band in half length-wise and press.
2. Divide your sleeve bands into four equal parts, using the seam as one point, and place a pin at each quarter mark. Divide the sleeve edge into quarters and mark with pins. Now pin cuff to sleeve, right sides together, matching pins and the seams that are serving as your match points.
3. Stitch on a slow speed through all three layers with the knit fabric on top, gently stretching knit cuff between pins.
4. Turn right-side out and examine your stitching. If your stitching is even and there’s no awkward gathering of fabric, then finish your edge by serging or stitching next to your seam line and trimming.
5. The same steps above apply to sewing a knit waistband, though you can add more pins between your quarter points if that helps you manage the fabric layers as you stitch.
I love how sweatshirt tops are so comfy and how when you glam them up you can wear them to work and then out at night. I have at least three more sweatshirt combinations percolating in my head right now—just gotta find the time to make them! What fabrics would you use to sew your own luxe sweatshirt? Tell us!