Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Swiss-cheese sweater

I was always a fan of my boyfriend's rust-orange sweater. Sadly, something else must have been a fan too—of its taste! He passed the sweater on to me after finding a number of small holes (which might have been from moths) dotting its surface. Now, I'll repair one hole. I might even repair two holes. But get to three or four holes, and it's time to let that garment go! Except, I was such a fan...and there was so much usable surface left on the sweater, I couldn't bear to just throw it away.

The sweater was a little big on me; I thought about trying to sew a few vertical seams to make it tighter and simultaneously hide the holes inside, but I kept finding shopping websites featuring sweaters absolutely riddled with holes. Big holes, small holes, huge rips, it seemed like distressed sweaters were trending.

So I decided to make one of my own.

I enlarged most of the moth holes and then scattered a few other new holes throughout the rest of the front.

I wanted a ragged "accidentally unraveled" look, but couldn't quite achieve it with the tight knit, so I settled for cutting out more or less perfect circles in varying sizes. I used nail scissors because the blades are better suited for cutting curves. 

I did a lot of trying on, re-cutting, enlarging, and adding more holes. They look random, but they are actually very deliberately arranged to achieve what I hoped was an aesthetic balance.

One controversial decision I made was to not put any holes in the back of the sweater. In fact, the one hole that was already there, I very carefully patched with a piece I'd cut from the front.
Before patching
After patching

My last step was to take in the sides a little bit to make the sweater fit me better. I removed a bit of fabric from the armpit area, and flared the seams towards the bottom so it would still fit over my hips as a tunic.

For its first wear, I decided to let the sweater do the talking, and paired it with mostly neutral pieces—a pair of unobtrusive jeans, beige thigh-high boots, and gold earrings. Underneath the sweater, I went with a flesh-toned camisole, because I found that anything more colorful looked weird up at the top where you could see the straps through some of the holes.

In looking over the pictures, I noticed that, from some angles, only one of the holes shows—in a rather unfortunate location. Some gutter-bound minds would have a field day with that, so I think I might enlarge some of the holes closer to the neckline to make the currently biggest one stand out less.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, brave girl! And you can totally carry it off. Thanks for posting.