J.Crew Inspired No-Sew Pullover Shirttail Sweater

 
 

Before I begin, I wanted to share some news - I started an Etsy shop! It's very sparsely stocked, but I plan on adding more items once I can actually execute on my ideas. It's all new to me, but I'm excited to learn more about running my own business (albeit a very small one).  Wish me luck! :)

Anyway. Back to the tutorial. I came back from my Bike and Build trip with an insatiable desire to shop, after being deprived of an excuse to buy any new clothes for 6 months. However, this itch was unfortunately coupled with my unemployment-induced guilt of spending any money at all. So, when I saw this sweater at J.Crew -- drooling over the two-for-one awesomeness but agonizing over the price tag -- I knew I had to make one.

I mean, it's a pretty simple piece - sweater and cotton/linen shirt. And, from previous thrift shopping experience, I knew these would be easy finds at my local Goodwill or Salvation Army. 

The best thing about this DIY sweater, other than being an awesome addition to your fall wardrobe, is that you don't need to sew a single stitch. That's right, no needle or thread!

Things you will need:

  • Knit sweater
  • Cotton or linen shirt
  • Fabric glue
  • Tin foil or wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Clothes iron (optional)

Tips on finding the perfect sweater and shirt: 
I personally love the crew-neck style of the J.Crew sweater, so I focused on finding that same neckline. You ideally want to find a sweater that is somewhat on the shorter side (not super cropped, but shorter than hip length), so that when you attach the shirt layer, it doesn't fall too long.
As for the shirt, I stuck to cotton or linen, but I'm sure you'd get great results experimenting with other fabrics! And definitely look for patterns to make your shirt more unique!

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Instructions:

1. Try on your sweater, and hold up the bottom of your shirt to the bottom of your sweater to see how long you want the shirt to fall. Once you've placed it at the desired length, mark the shirt lightly with a pencil on both sides.

2. Cut the shirt, leaving a couple of inches for where it will overlap with the sweater on the inside. 

With the shirt on the ground, measure 2-3 inches above your pencil mark. At this length, draw a line across the shirt, front and back, where you will cut. You can eyeball this, or use a ruler to be more precise.

Cut along your line! It's okay if it's not perfect, but it will be easier to glue on if the line is straighter.

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3. Glue the back side. Turn your sweater inside out, but keep the shirt piece the correct way.
Lay your inside out sweater on a flat surface, starting with the back. 

Place the wax paper in between the two sides of the sweater, to avoid any glue seepage!

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Draw a thin line of glue across the bottom of your sweater.

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Carefully place your shirt piece onto the glue, making sure that your shirt is centered on the sweater and falls the same length on each side. A good method is to check that your shirt hem is parallel to your sweater hem. 

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Once the shirt is in the proper place, press down firmly to ensure the glue bonds.

Don't worry about the corners, they shouldn't be attached yet!

Wait for the glue to dry - follow the directions on your fabric glue. 

4. Glue the front side of your sweater. Turn your sweater right side out. 

Again, laying your sweater on a flat surface, flip up the front of your sweater, which is not yet attached to the shirt. Straighten the shirt piece so that it lays flat and straight against the back piece and the hems are aligned.

Place the tin foil/wax paper in between the shirt pieces.

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Draw a thin line of glue along the top of your shirt piece. Again, don't worry about the corners yet!

Carefully lay the front of your sweater onto the shirt piece, bonding it to the glue. Again, make sure the shirt hem is even with the sweater hem, and press firmly.

Let glue dry according to package instructions.

5. (Optional step) If your shirt's circumference isn't exactly the same as your sweater:

If the shirt is smaller than your sweater: skip step 6. In this case, the shirt corners won't touch the sweater, but it will still hang properly, because the shirt is centered.

If the shirt is larger than your sweater: you need to shorten the circumference of your shirt by taking in the corners.

 Line of glue along where the fold will bond to the fabric

Line of glue along where the fold will bond to the fabric

 Pressing the fold down

Pressing the fold down

Around the corner, fold the shirt so that it overlaps itself along a vertical line, until the corner perfectly meets the sweater. To ensure precision, iron along the fold. (I didn't, and it turned out fine!)

Draw a line of glue along the fabric where the fold will bond (where the "seam" would be if you were taking it in with a thread and needle). Press the fold down so that the shirt is now narrower.

Repeat on the other side!

6. Glue the corners of your sweater. 

Taking one corner, use your fingers to hold the corner of the shirt that is unglued. 

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Still holding the corner, draw a thin line of glue onto the shirt, and use your other hand to place the sweater over the shirt. 

Double check that shirt looks straight and even. Adjust slightly up or down if it doesn't look straight, and press firmly to bond the fabrics together.

Repeat for the other corner.

Now you're done!

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I was so happy with how this sweater came out - it's exactly what I wanted, and cost me less than $10 to make. I absolutely had to make another one with this Zara sweater I found at Goodwill; the shirttail looks great with the elbow patches. Fall weather, I'm ready for ya!

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