Episode 203:

No-Sweat Sweater

No-Sweat Sweater by Sonya Nimri

Combine a plain sweater and plaid skirt to create a one-of-a-kind cardigan.


  • Ready-made open-knit ribbed sweater
  • Ready-made pleated plaid skirt
  • All-purpose thread
  • Removable fabric pencil
  • Safety pin
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Two coordinating 1/4"- to 1/2"-wide ribbons
  • Embroidery floss
  • Three 3/4"-diameter buttons
  • Seam sealant

Cut It     

  1. Try on the sweater. Using a fabric pencil, draw a scoop neckline as desired. Mark the sleeve length at each elbow. Take off the sweater.
  2. Place the sweater right side up on a flat work surface. Cut the sweater along the center front, making sure to cut through the front layer only. Cut off the sleeves along the marks.
  3. Cut out the scoop neckline along the lines through the front layer only, beginning at the center front and ending just before one shoulder seam. Don't cut through the shoulder seam to prevent the neckline from stretching out of shape.
  4. Position the scoop neckline cutout portion wrong side down over the opposite sweater front side, aligning the cutout with the center front and shoulder seam to ensure each neckline side is symmetrical. Cut the neckline, following the cutout perimeter.

Sew It

  1. Zigzag stitch along the raw edges to prevent the sweater from stretching out of shape.
  2. With right sides together, fold one sweater corner along the neckline and center-front intersection toward the sweater front; pin, and then hand stitch one button over the corner center. Repeat to stitch another button along the opposite sweater corner.
  3. Cut a long length of ribbon from one color. Attach a safety pin to one ribbon end. Use the pin to loosely weave the ribbon through the sweater, beginning at the center-front lower edge, continuing along the neckline and ending at the opposite center-front lower edge.
  4. Knot each ribbon end on the sweater wrong side to secure. Trim the ribbon ends beyond the knots. Repeat to weave the second ribbon color 1/2" beyond the first ribbon.
  5. Position the plaid skirt on a flat work surface with the right side facing up. Cut a 6"-wide strip from the skirt lower edge. Cut the strip in half widthwise.
  6. Position one sleeve lower edge over one strip hemmed edge right side; pin, retaining the pleating shape. Straight stitch the sleeve lower edge slightly beyond the zigzag stitching, stretching the sleeve to fit the strip length. With right sides together, stitch the strip short ends.
  7. Fray the plaid strip lower edge by pulling the lengthwise threads. Apply seam sealant along the frayed edge. Repeat to stitch the remaining plaid strip to the opposite sleeve.
  8. Cut a long length of ribbon. Attach a safety pin to one end. Use the pin to loosely weave the ribbon along one sleeve lower edge. Knot the ribbon ends along the sweater back. Trim the ribbon ends beyond the knots. Repeat to weave ribbon along the opposite sleeve lower edge.
  9. To create a pocket, cut a square the desired size from the remaining plaid fabric. Fold each square edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Hand stitch a button over the square center. Pin the square to the sweater front in the desired location. Thread a hand sewing needle with a strand of embroidery floss; knot the floss end. Straight stitch the pocket sides and lower edge.

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