Unchangeable Love of Sweats

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We’re on spring break this week. I’ve been spending nap times outside in our swing, reading. Reading actual books! Shocking. The warm sun, the smell of jasmine in the air, getting lost in the pages – it’s been pure decadence.

Today it’s raining, so instead of reading outside, I’m cuddled up under a blanket, finishing a quick chapter. (The book is The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards. Have you read it? I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m really enjoying it so far.)

And of course, like any good rainy day, I’ve got on a nice, cozy sweatshirt. I’m working on a couple more projects for my Sweatshirt 2.0 series, but today, I wanted to share a few other sweatshirt ideas that don’t really count as projects.

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I’m a believer that you can dress up or dress down just about anything. I treated the sweatshirt like a sweater and added a big necklace.

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This time I added a scarf.

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DSC_0092Here’s another sweat(shirt)er I chopped off for layering.

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My plan was to make this huge gray sweatshirt into another dress, but it was just too short, so I added a skirt. I like the proportions – oversized on top, slim on the bottom.

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I paired it with a scarf I made a few weeks ago out of pajama pants (tutorial to come).

DSC_0111Chopped up sweatshirt again, this time with really bright driving shoes.

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Aren’t these fantastic? They are just as orange as they appear. They are Tod’s, and I found them at the thrift store in a whole row of Tod’s – mint green, rust, black & white print, and bright orange. As luck would have it (you know I love Tennessee orange), these were the best in the bunch – almost perfect condition for $3. Might be my new best thrift score EVER.

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Check out the other projects for Sweatshirt 2.0 here.

Sweat(shirt)er

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Yep, that’s right. Sweatshirt + sweater = Sweat(shirt)er. I’m bringing my A-game today.

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Back with another sweatshirt project today. I love working with sweatshirts because they’re so soft and comfy, and because you don’t have to hem them.

So one day, I was getting dressed, thinking, “I wish I had a little short sleeved gray sweater to layer with today.” I was going to add it to my thrift wish list when I remembered a big gray sweatshirt I had thrifted a few weeks before.

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I grabbed it out of my closet and got to work chopping it up.

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First I chopped off the hem.

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Then I chopped off the sleeves. I tried it on and didn’t like the length, so I chopped off some more.

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I wanted to keep the sleeves a little on the long side so I could roll them up.

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I like the sweat(shirt)er layered over a button-up.

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I love the boxy shape.

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But then, a few days later, I was working on another chopping project (stay tuned), and decided to chop the sleeves of the sweatshirt again, too.

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Perfect.

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I’m not exaggerating when I say this is my new favorite shirt. I wore it two days in a row. I’m pretty sure I saw the same people, too.

And so simple. At $1.00 a pop, it’s a quick and cheap project. I think I’ll go make another one right now….

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Like this project? Check out the other projects for Sweatshirt 2.0 here.

Sweatshirt Dress

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Well, hello! {Insert witty commentary about not blogging for weeks here.}

Don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it’s starting to feel like spring here. But since I never finished barely started all my sweatshirt projects, I want to do that right away. Besides, something I love about spring is starting with crisp, cool mornings, enjoying warm afternoons, and then going back to cool, breezy evenings – perfect sweatshirt weather.

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I’m so excited about today’s project! It’s been in my head since before Christmas. My inspiration came in the form of a Nordstrom catalog that arrived in my mailbox just after Thanksgiving.

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(I’m not sure this is the exact dress, but the idea is similar.)

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Since sweatshirts are a cinch to find at thrift stores, I set out to find the perfect one and make my own. I found this great Adidas one in royal blue for a couple of dollars. It was a men’s 2XL, large enough to have enough length to make a dress.

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I started by chopping the arms off – no sewing, just leaving the edges raw. I saved the sleeves, and they came in handy later.

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Next I tried on the “dress” and measured where to start sewing to close up the armhole to make a “sleeve”. For me, it was 7 inches from the shoulder seam. I turned the shirt inside-out and pinned it at 7 inches.

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Then I used a straight edge and chalk to mark a line from that pin to the hem of the sweatshirt.

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I pinned along this line…

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and sewed new side seams on both sides.

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I tried it on to determine if this was all that was needed. It wasn’t enough for me, so I decided to add some big pockets at the bottom. Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?

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I used the parts I cut from the sleeves to create pockets. I arbitrarily decided that 7 inch square pockets would work.

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I cut out 8 inch squares and folded in 1/2 inch on all sides and pinned. And ironed, of course. I sewed the 1/2 inch edges down first and then attached the pockets to the “dress”.

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I still needed to cover the Adidas logo on the chest. I am not a fan of any kind of logos or words – it’s a weird quirk I have. I tried a few things (including the leather from these boots that never turned into anything), but a small square patch of the leftover sleeves was the best.

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I didn’t make it into a real pocket (I already have two on this dress). It’s just a little decorative square. At least that’s what I’m calling it. I top-stitched it into place. (FYI – BG is REALLY into pockets. I was still wearing the dress when she got up from nap, and she tried REALLY hard to put toys in this faux pocket. She didn’t like that it didn’t actually work.)

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And here’s the dress (paired with my “Just Showing Up” necklace - also here).

DSC_0514Dressed up a bit with gray wedges.

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Dressed down with some ankle boots. (And remember when I tried to make a clutch out of shoes? I ended up finding this cute royal blue vintage clutch for $2.00 at the thrift store. Much better.)

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The entire time I worked on this dress, I kept hearing the lyrics of “My Adidas” in my head.

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Paired with my New Balance sneakers was my favorite. I wore this the rest of the day – so comfortable!

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So here’s the before and after. It was a really quick project – not sure why it took me so long to get started on it. Promise it won’t be that long until the next installment of Sweatshirt 2.0. Because I hear this summer in Northern California is going to be CRAZY. I’ve got to finish up my sweatshirt projects before the real heat starts!

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OK, your turn – have you ever remade a sweatshirt into something else? Or is there something you’d like to see me try? I’ve got a few more sweatshirts in my stash that I don’t have earmarked for a project yet. Let me know!

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