Monday, February 27, 2012

Inspiration: Sweet on Sweater Dresses

Sweet on Sweater Dresses

I need another sewing project in my queue like I need more fabric in my underwear drawer (which is where the stash has started to creep). But I can't stop thinking about simple comfy sweater dresses lately, and I have this lovely plum sweater knit (which I got for $12/yard from Fashion Fabrics Club but SUPPOSEDLY was originally $40/yard) just lying around taunting me...

After collecting these images, I started seeing sweater dresses everywhere--I was especially taken with this lovely 1930s sweater dress refashion from This Old Life and her collection of inspiration images like this one:

I also loved this Anthropologie-knockoff sweater dress tutorial by un petit design...

And there are tons of gorgeous vintage sweater dresses on Etsy. I've been pinning them like mad, but as I write this Pinterest is down and I can't embed any of the images here. Boo!

Unlikely I'll get to this project before the weather makes it impractical, but wanted to share my obsession anyway. I keep debating whether I'd like a version with a big cuddly cowl-neck, or a split neckline, or deep V/scarf neckline...

So: have you ever sewed with sweater knit? As a knitter it just boggles my mind that a sweater that could take me MONTHS to knit could be magically whipped up in an evening or three...

P.S. Is it gauche/rude/stealikng or totally OK to put Pinterest pins of items sewn by other bloggers in inspiration posts, if they link back to the original posts? I wasn't sure, so just linked to them here.


  1. I have such a love-hate thing for sweater dresses. I love them, but they seem to work best for people with curvier figures---you will TOTALLY rock them.

    Not being a knitter, I'm quite fond of sweater-knits, though it's hard to find good ones. The ones I've used have been nice to sew (fairly stable, mid-weight) and lovely to wear aside from the fact that they don't handle my typical washing routine very well (I tend to try to substitute machine wash/hang dry for "dry clean only"... sometimes it works)

    Can't wait to see what you decide to go with---it'll be scrumptious either way. :D

  2. I like those dresses you've posted. It's so easy to forget that sweater dresses aren't all chunky knit. I've sewn with sweater knits, and it's so satisfying to quickly make a sweater... the problem I've had is in the wearing. I like novelty, loosely woven knits that seem to snag on everything. This doesn't happen with my ready made sweaters, so I think it's something about the me made sweaters.

  3. There's a link back on Pinterest so I don't think you need to worry about using the photos.

    I too am on the fence about sweater dresses. I prefer a structured knit (ponte) because, unless you're rail thin or you underline the sweater (in which case what's the point) it's likely going to show every imperfection. Well, if it's fitted.

    But you and I sure have the tits for that kind of dress :-)

  4. Sweater knits are amazing, you should definitely add this to your project queue... when you have time. And I think it's totally fine to repost other people's creations as long as you link back.

  5. I've sewn with a few sweater knits, I think they're fun! And they are COMFY. I would love to work with more, but they can be a bit expensive (and I have to keep shopping my stash, for now anyway). It is nice to have a serger, esp if your knit is more unravelry than a normal knit fabric.

    I think you should be fine posting the pictures as long as they link back to the original source :)

  6. Sweater dresses look cute but don't work for me 'cuz I don't have the wide hips thing going on (which is alrite with me. I appreciate my body and it's individuality). :D Maybe b/c of their knee length. Maybe if they were longer, say calf length than it would fit me. Idk

  7. that first big red dress is awesome! and i love love love those 30s dresses.

    i tried knitting for a little while but i'm not that patient. i've sewn a bunch with sweater knits, although usually tops or dresses, rarely cardigan like sweaters which i think they ought to be used for.

  8. I made a sweater dress with a cowl neck this year and love it. I should post it eventually, maybe while it's still a little cold.

    On images, it's my feeling that an image with a linkback is an ethical practice. But I don't know what kind of consensus has emerged among the blogosphere.

  9. I think linking back whether you do it in a blog post or on your actual pins is just the classy thing to do. Not only is it classy, it's helpful to for you as a pinner to remember where you found things in the first place. I don't always do that, but more than once I've found myself scrambling to try and find my source after the fact.

    I can't recommend sewing with sweater knits more highly. I'm not aknitter or crocheter, so there's something that feels subversive to me about sewing up a sweater in an hour or so vs. knitting for hours on end. Beyond that, sweater knits are really easy to sew and a lot simpler to fit than I imagine knitting your own stuff would be.

    I really like the taupe dress you have in your top collage with the off center cute.

  10. Great round up of contemporary and vintage sweater dresses. They've come a long way, haven't they? I don't have the moxie yet to even TRY to sew with a sweater knit though I love the look.


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