Sweater Dress Season

Winter is a fashion struggle for me. It seems like every year, I think that I should make some warm things. And then every year, I get sidetracked by something, and I finish maybe one or two things. And then I’m still cold and bored of the dark clothes that I seem to end up with. As the weather has been cooling down this fall, I’ve realized that I’m even more lacking than usual in warm things to wear both around my house, and specifically to church. So I’m attempting to do something about that to wrap up 2021.

This sweater dress is made from New Look 6298, and a teal hatchi knit that I was gifted a couple of years ago at Christmas. So it’s a pretty lightweight knit, but I figure I’ll be wearing it over leggings anyway. I started off with a size 18 on top and graded it to a 20 for my hips, since I didn’t want it to be tight around my midsection or hips. But I guess I forgot about Big 4 sizing, because it was essentially a sack!

After some consulting with my Sewing Sphere friends, I ended up taking it in about 1.5” at the underarms and the bust, grading that down to around 6” from the raw edge of the sleeves and to the hip pockets. And that ended up working out much better. The other change that I made was adding my usual inch of sleeve length, but that wasn’t necessary this time because the sleeves ended up being on the long side. But my wrists won’t be cold, so I’ll take it!

I’m still a bit on the fence with this one, and am feeling like I’m really struggling to make dresses that aren’t frumpy anymore, since my last attempt was a complete flop. I hope this isn’t going to be a long trend, since I’m officially a middle aged mom now and was hoping to avoid looking like one for a bit longer. But I think adding the scarf helps, and it’s nice to have something to wear this one with! My mom made it for me a year or so back, and it’s this cozy flannel with a zipper pocket so I can keep my phone in it. I just honestly haven’t had the basic color tops to pair with it. So while I’m taking a break from the official wardrobe chains for a bit while I knock out a few things, this dress does work nicely to link that and my old Espresso leggings that match the brown in the plaid. I have a couple of other scarves that I think will also pair well with this — teal is my jam, after all, so it shows up a lot!

2 thoughts on “Sweater Dress Season

  1. Chris Schwab

    What a lovely dress! I don’t read it as frumpy but I know I’m not the one wearing it…so a suggestion…you could try basting in some fisheye darts front and back so that silhouettes the body a little without making it skin tight. Or, a suggestion I read on Crafting a Rainbow (Gillian, I think…)…more skin… meaning shorten the sleeves… just try pulling them up on your forearm(assuming it won’t destroy the sleeves) and see it that helps. I did that on a T-shirt dress and now it does get out of my closet. And I did want to congratulate you on taking some time for YOU. As a middle aged mother of 3grown children I really admire women who carve out some time for their own hobbies while staying so engaged in their children. Hope you continue to nail some comfy winter items and find joy in this season… of life and holidays!


    1. Thanks, Chris! It would definitely have to be a push the sleeves up thing, because I get annoyed when my wrists are hanging out of longer sleeves. I don’t mind the 3/4 length, but had to make a conscious decision to stop sewing that length, because it only works with the weather here for about 2 weeks a year!


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