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Downsizing good will merino sweaters
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Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Downsizing good will merino sweaters on 02/04/2011 12:54:25 MST Print View

Ok so I have a few sweaters that saved me about $200 on merino. BUUUUT, they're often a size too large or I even pass over some of the very nice merino wool sweaters in XL or larger just because they don't fit. At $4 a shirt I never worried about it.

Well I was sitting there in my $4 merino sweater last night, looking at the way its constructed and thought hey this would be easy to downsize.

So, how do you guys downsize sweaters and shirts with seams that run up the sides (not tubular construction shirts like a buff)? I was thinking just open up the seam, take in the fabric from front and back by x"/2, repeating for each side. So four cuts total from bottom up to the arm pits. Then measure new arm holes and down size the sleeves from both sides of the seam like I did the body. Finally, reattach the sleeves to the body. Obviously this doesn't resize the neck or the shoulders but I am a large in the shoulders, small in the waste, and a medium in between. Swimmers physique I guess you'd call it?

I've never used a serger before, is it worth the hassle? I have one available to me but the thing is as intimidating like frankenstein. If not what seam should I use? How many stitches per inch on wool? It doesn't seem like the most durable material so I'm guessing flat lock seams or a serger is what I need to do.

I have sewn everything from 5oz dacron down to sil nylon for years but this clothing thing I've never learned how to do. Thanks for the help!

For reference, I'm getting my $4 100% merino sweaters and wool/synthetic blend shirts from good will. Wow that place has more options than a crappy camping store when it comes to clothing!

Edited by tchilds on 02/04/2011 13:07:49 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
maybe do a french seam on 02/04/2011 13:35:11 MST Print View

This might be easiest:


Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Re: maybe do a french seam on 02/05/2011 08:14:23 MST Print View

Thanks I will try this! I think it will be really easy! I can even taper it with this seam like I need. Thanks so much no more ill fitted good will buys! Custom fitted! hah.

any other cool tricks you know of? the french seam is awesome because it can be continued all the way up the sleeve in one fell swooop.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 02/05/2011 09:07:00 MST Print View

My sister laughed at my unfinished seams inside and told me about French Seam

Andrew Schriner
(lettheguydance) - F

Locale: Midwest
great idea on 02/05/2011 12:51:54 MST Print View

Wow, great idea! Custom fitted used merino sweaters. I'm heading to a thrift store soon.

Morgan C
(nomomsallowed) - F
works, but might not be pretty on 02/07/2011 11:47:35 MST Print View

I have done this about 12 times over the past 3 years and each time get pretty decent results. The best I have found was convincing my girlfriend to use her overlock machine to serger it. I have also done just straight seams up with my sewing machine and french seams. The overlock was the best, followed by french, and then straight. But, I can also say that the only issues I had with the straight seam was that at the bottom it would tend to split after a year of washing and wearing. By that point there is normally other problems so I am comfortable just giving the thing back to goodwill or salvation army.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Shrink 1st on 02/07/2011 13:26:43 MST Print View

If I was "downsizing" a wool garment before tailoring it I'd try to shrink it first by a hot water wash and a trip in a hot dryer. It would make the sweater or shirt more dense and also warmer.

Val C
(GooseBumps) - F
Re: Shrink 1st on 02/07/2011 15:00:41 MST Print View

+1 on the shrinking

I purchased several merino and lambswool sweaters from Goodwill and this is what I did to them. I do it in stages so they don't get too small.