Inserting a zipper in a sweater hoodie

I love hoodie sweaters they are warm and comfortable during the Spring/Fall seasons and are much more versatile with from openings .

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to insert a zipper in a sweater hoodie.

You will need to purchase an open-end heavy duty zipper the length of the front of the sweater, interfacing and matching thread.

Hoodie without zipper

Sweater Hoodie with open front zipper

Lay sweater on a flat surface or cutting board and with a ripper or small scissors take apart the front of the hood.

Continue to take apart the front of the hood leaving enough space to cut open the front of the sweater.

Fold the sweater in half – matching the side and shoulder seams to determine the center of the sweater.

Press with a warm iron to make a center seam

Cut open the seam from the hem of the sweater to the neckline

Press on interfacing with warm iron on wrong  side of the opening.

When working with knits always use interfacing on openings  to prevent stretching when sewing

Pin the zipper and base to secure before stitching on the machine

For this sweater the zipper is placed visible on the outside instead of a hidden lap-over

Sew zipper on sweater – Stitch hood back in place.


Reshaping A Bell Bottom Leather Pant


Working with leather is not as intimidating as it seems if you have a reliable sewing machine and use the correct size machine needle, preferable size 14. Sewing leather, denim and other heavy duty material will require a higher end  sewing machine capable of handling heavy fabrics.




Reshaping a bell bottom leather pants

First turn the pant on the wrong side and lay flat on a cutting board or a flat surface

Determine the width you want, pin to hold in place and with a yardstick draw a line from where the flare begin down to the hem on both size.

(When working with leather there is not much room for error, so it will be best to use the measurements of a pant leg that fit you well.  Ripping out stitches from leather can ruin the material)


Stitch on the drawn lines, then cut off the excess material

When pant legs are narrowed they fits longer than a flare or bell shaped trousers. At this point you can leave as is or hem to a desired length.

Hemming leather could be a challenge.  The hem can be cut in a straight neat line and worn without hemming or use fabric glue to hold  hem in place.


Finished Pant


A man’s shirt into chic!

Transforming a Man’s Shirt into Chic!



Here’s How



  • I prefer converting a man’s shirt because it is bigger and longer which gives your more options for designs.
  • The way I altered this shirt was first I shaped the sides and placed front and back darts to make the shirt more fitted,
  • Then I made the shoulder narrow by taking in the top of the sleeve on the shoulder.
  • I wanted to keep the sleeves long but pulled up over the elbow.
  • To give the cuffs enough room to pull over the elbow I made a fake cuff links with elastic.
For this project you will need:  Notions:  Four buttons with hooks that thread, narrow tube elastic, needle and thread
  • 1:  To narrow the shoulder – You can either put a shoulder dart or take in the sleeve at top of shoulder
  • 2:  I made fake cuff links with buttons with hooks at the back so that the elastic can thread through.  (Narrow tube elastic cut approximately 3″ long)
  • 3:  Thread the button with the elastic and pull elastic through one button
  • 4:  Then through the buttonhole in the sleeve cuff
  • 5:   Continue to pull the elastic through the other buttonhole and through the other button then join both ends of the elastic  by hand stitching to secure,  It should look like the diagram below.
The cuffs should look like the picture above.
I slit the shirt to the waist and put trim around the collar and cuff for a chic look

Sprucing an old blouse into a fashion statement



Altuzarra Resort


Lace has been very popular for the past few seasons it’s so romantic and can add new dimension to an outfit.  You can duplicate designer trends with items you already have in your wardrobe.



I revamped this tired old shirt to simulate the design from Altuzarra Resort and adapted the look to my personality and comfort level.





I purchased this lace on sale at the fabric store and stitched it around the bottom hem and around the sleeve of the shirt.






The finished look.  I teamed it up with a cuffed capri ideal for summer,

Redesigning a Shirt

Redesigning a shirt
Shirts are so versatile, you can convert them into most any style.  You can make them into dresses, skirts, crop tops the possibilities of redesigning shirts are endless.  If you scroll down there are more ideas for redesigning shirts.


This is a shirt that I had in the donation pile that
I gave a second chance to live
  • First I folded the back of the shirt in half and then over again so the center fold meet the side seam, this gave me three slits in the back of the shirt.  Then I pressed the seams so I will get a straight line to cut  (see diagram).
  • The next step is to cut three pieces of contrasting fabric the length of the slits  into cone shapes to insert in the slits
  • Insert cone shape contrast into slits and stitch.  (see above diagram)
  • After inserting the cone shape into the slits, I began a design as you go project.
  • I placed tabs from under the collar on the shoulder down to meet the cuff and enhance it with a decorative button.
  • I finished the back slits by placing three covered buttons on the top of each insert of emphasis.
  • To add interest to the front of the shirt and make it more roomy I added piece of the contrasting fabric down the front of the shirt.

Transforming a man’s shirt into a Summer Dress

Take an old shirt and transform it 
into a beautiful summer dress
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to take an old shirt and make it into a beautiful summer dress.
  • You can insert lace or a different colour fabric in-between.
  • I am a lacy girl so I added lace for a feminine look
1:  Take off the pocket and the collar being careful not to rip the fabric.
  • I left  the  collar stand so the dress will have a tunic collar.
2:  To make the halter use a ruler to draw a straight line from the shoulder to underarm and cut away the sleeve.
3:  Determine how wide you want to insert lace or contrasting fabric.  Start cutting from under the arm so as not to alter the armhole.
4:  Number each section, so they will not get mixed up when stitching pieces together.
5:  Stitch the lace in between in number  sequence.


I wanted the shirt fitted so I took in the sided.  this is optional.



Some shirts are tapered if this is the case you can adjust the lace using a small dart to align with the side seam so it will fit flush around the shirt.



Leave the number pinned on until the dress is complete.




  • I added lace down the front for emphasis.

This is a fun project. it can be worn as a dress or with tights underneath.

Adjusting an armhole to fit

I had a long sleeve shirt that was too tight across the chest , arm and midriff  but I wanted to keep it because I love the tartan plaid pattern.
If you have a shirt that is too small you can insert a gusset at the sides to make it fit.
  • First I cut the sleeve.  I needed the extra fabric to make the gusset to insert at  the side of the shirt so  it will fit


  • Then I cut 2 cone shapes from the underside of the two cut sleeves,

(see the diagram)

  • However if you want the gusset to extend to the hem of the shirt the gusset will the same width to the hem of the shirt. (ie: it will be a rectangle instead of cone shape)



  • Open both side of the shirt from end of sleeve to the point you want the gusset to end.

(if necessary open all the way down the side of the shirt).



  • Measure around arm and cut another piece of fabric to add width to sleeve to widen.
  • Join the under sleeve piece to side gusset as seen in diagram.
  • (If there is enough fabric you can cut the under sleeve and side gusset as one piece without joining underarm)
  • Base to secure in place before stitching.
  • Sew from end of sleeve to desired point you want the gusset to end.
  • For this alteration the widest part of the gusset and the under sleeve is 4″ and tapered to a cone shape since I did not want the gusset to the hem of the shirt.
  • This measurement will vary depending on your personal measurements and how loose you want the shirt to fit.
  • The gusset is inserted from end of sleeve to the point where you would to have the increase or to the hem of the shirt.

Revamping an Outfit




  • I wore this outfit to a wedding a few years ago.
  • I recently  revamp it and made it more exciting by smocking the bottom of the skirt.
You can access smocking patterns on-line or you can design your own as I did for this skirt.

Redesigning a Dress

Redesigning a dress



The original dress was very simple, but I wanted to spruce it up to attend a wedding


I purchased about a 1/4 yd. of purple lace and cut out the motif pattern to make an applique

I embellished the applique with tiny pearls, beads and sequins


Then I formed a design following the shape of the wrap top, draped the skirt and formed a rosette at the waist for emphasis.  This gave the dress an entirely new look.

How to line a sweater

  • In this tutorial I’ll show you how to line a sweater.
  • Lining a sweater will keep the shape in tact and give added warmth.
  • Suggested fabric for lining a sweater is cotton jersey or acetate, the stretch in the fabric will be malleable and will adjust to the stretch in the knitted sweater.


Always wash the sweater before lining to allow for shrinkage.



 1:  Fold sweater in two and place on top of lining.
  • (You don’t have to measure)  Cut the outline of the sweater leaving approximately  1 1/2 inch


  • (1/2″ seam allowance  and 1″ for ease).
2:  Cut the back as one piece.
3:  Cut the front same as back but leave it open down the front.
  4:   Stitch back and front lining together and clip under arm for ease.
5:   Pin lining to sweater and hand hem around the neck, down the front, the bottom and around the sleeve.
  • There may be excess fabric because the lining is cut bigger than the sweater, if this happens make small tucks in the center back neckline and at the bottom back of the lining.
  • If there is more excess you can make small tucks as you hem the lining manipulating the fabric as you go to make it fit.
(The excess fabric is okay because the lining has to be slightly bigger than the sweater)
  • The lining will not lie flat because it has to be slightly bigger than the actual sweater.
finished lined sweater