Having taken a new job at our local elementary school, I decided to get a jump on some of my Project Run and Play pieces. All of these, in turn, will be altered and used for our community's First Friday Gallery Cruise in October, when I am our textile collective's featured artist. There will be more detailed posts about both of these events when the time comes, but for now, here is the tutorial on transforming a sweatshirt into a comfy and pretty blazer. Working with a sweatshirt that fits comfortably, cut off the cuffs, bottom band, and collar. Find the center of the neckline and cut the sweatshirt in half up the front.
Trace a lapel from another jacket, or freehand a pattern from newspaper and pin it on to see if you like the size. Once you are satisfied with the proportions of the lapel, pin, trace, and cut them from the sweatshirt. Because I wanted my lapels when flipped to be the heathery grey fabric and not the fleece, I had to play with which side to trace where. In the end, I labeled the wrong side (fleece) with a W and traced the straight edge of the left lapel with the straight edge of the right front half of the blazer and then vice versa. Miraculously, I cut them both correctly.
There was the smallest triangular scrap left in the neckline after I cut the lapels. I just held a ruler following the angles of the edges of the right and left sides and cut all the way up to the shoulder seams. Next I finished all of the edges around the cuffs, collar and the bottom. Because this is for a more feminine project, I stretched the fabric to give it a lettuce edge. You could certainly finish it with a straighter stitch or even piping to make it more masculine.
To attach the lapels, I rolled the unfinished edge and pinned it in place on top of the sweatshirt. I then stitched over all three layers so the lapel would be flipped over the way I wanted on the blazer.
I am very excited to combine this blazer with some other pieces and accessories for submission during the second week of Project Run and Play. After that it will be dyed and embellished and begin its next incarnation, hardly recognizable from its lowly, plain grey sweatshirt beginnings.