A Couple of Sweatshirts

Butterick 6336 vintage

When I ordered both solid grey and maroon fleck sweatshirt fabrics from Minerva Crafts (free as part of their blogging network), I had grand visions of a colorblocked sweatsuit. When the fabrics arrived, I changed my mind because I didn’t like the two colors together like I thought I would (it’s so hard to order fabric online sometimes) and I realized that, now that I work at home, I really don’t need any more excuses to not actually get dressed for the day and sweatpants barely count as getting dressed. So, I rattled through about 400 different permutations of what these fabrics could become and I am absolutely thrilled with where I ended up!

Butterick 6336 vintage pattern

For the grey fabric, I used a vintage Butterick pattern from 1976, Butterick 6336. Although the pattern calls for a woven, I thought that a stable knit like the grey sweatshirt fabric (which has almost no stretch) would work, and I thought it would be nice to have a sweatshirt that doesn’t look like a sweatshirt. Like I said, I’m working from home now, so any opportunity to wear comfy clothes that don’t look like I’m wearing comfy clothes is a good thing.

1970s turquoise zipper

Since the instructions call for the bodice pleats to be topstitched down, I put all of the different colors of thread I have on top of the grey fabric in order to choose one that would be a fun contrast. After starting to sew, I realized that I happened to have this amazing vintage turquoise zipper in my stash that was a perfect match for the thread! At one point I had a pink version of this zipper too, but I used it on silver velour bell-bottom jumpsuit that I ended up donating after being mistaken for a drag queen in it one too many times (true story).

1970's sleeves

I thought that I wouldn’t care for the ridiculous 70’s sleeves, but I went ahead and sewed them as written, thinking that I could always cut them down if I don’t like them. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I adore these ridiculous sleeves! I’ve always thought that my favorite vintage clothing is 1950’s and 1960’s, but I seem to have accumulated a ton of different 1970’s patterns and I seem to be developing a weak spot for them, so prepare for even more 70’s silliness to come :)

beauregard the beagle

I tried to get some photos of me and Beauregard the Beagle (my mom’s dog who we are caring for for a few months) since he is simply adorable and everybody loves a cute dog, but this is the closest I could get. Oh well!

raglan sleeve cardigan 3

With the burgundy fleck (it’s called “wine” but I think my photos represent the color better than those on the website), I thought I would make cardigan since I wear cardigans a lot. I love the slightly professorial look of this shawl collar, raglan sleeve, button front cardigan. The burgundy is a rich, warm color that makes the sweatshirt look as comfortable (in a good way) as it feels, and the flecks give it a bit of interest.

Stretch & Sew 1571 from 1986

I started with a vintage Stretch & Sew pattern from 1986, Stretch & Sew 1571. I thought it would be fun to make a full-on 80’s style cardigan, oversize and all. I was riding high on the success of my full-on 70’s sweatshirt. And when I sewed the cardigan as written I hated it. Oversized and 80’s may be in style again but I just don’t ever like the way they look on me, no matter how many times I try. I know that I knew better, but sometimes I just have to make the same mistake more than once.

raglan sleeve cardigan

So, I cut down the sweater to a more modern, straight and slim silhouette. It’s not perfect since I had to work with the already-cut oversize pieces. But I got it pretty close, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

raglan sleeve cardigan 2

The buttons were vintage and from my stash. I’m sure that I could have picked out beautiful buttons from Minerva, had I had any foresight about what I was going to sew, but because I changed my mind so many times, they came from my stash. And I actually love the combination. I think it helps to push the sweater toward professorial and away from 1980’s, and it’s a fun way to showcase some vintage buttons.

exposed zipper on tunic

My grey sweatshirt definitely counts for my vintage sewing pledge. Jury’s out on whether my burgundy one does as well, since I tried to make it vintage :)

Comments 10

  1. I love them both so so much! The grey turned out super cute! I think I have a very similar pattern and you have me thinking now!!
    That red color is gorgeous! Great save!

  2. I LOVE that grey top. It is so so cute. I love that you think outside of the box which encourages me to try and see potential in all the many old patterns I have (because I am old). I love your style and your haircut – oh, if I could only carry it off but I am 60 ……. but I am considering it :)

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      If you want a drastic haircut, go for it! I think the only thing required to “carry off” fashion statements is complete and utter confidence in those choices. If you love the way you look then it shows.

  3. Oh, I love both of these! I like the buttons on the cardigan – they really finish off the look. And the turquoise thread and zip on the grey is amazing! I also lean more towards the 60s, but maybe the 70s is also a way to go!

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  4. I love both tops but the grey is just spectacular! It looks so modern and the contrast stitching and zipper are fab. I love those sleeves. And these both look so cozy.

  5. How fun! I love the big sleeves on the grey one, I am glad you left them as is. The Burgundy one looks so comfy!

  6. I’ve been perusing your sewing projects and their all so great! I was wondering though – where do you find your awesome patterns? I’m dying to get my hands on them. Also, I haven’t perused too thoroughly so I may have missed a post, but I don’t know how to tailor or adjust a pattern to my body. Would you consider a post on the topic?

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      Thanks! So glad that my sewing is a source of inspiration.

      As to patterns, I have a pretty large collection of vintage patterns that I have bought at thrift stores. I also draft my own patterns and occasionally pick up new patterns from other independent designers. Even less frequently, I buy Simplicity or Butterick patterns at the fabric store.

      The kinds of alterations you might need to make depend on your body and the pattern you are using. I try to publish tutorials for common alterations with each pattern I publish as part of the sewalong.

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