Instructions after the jump!
- A medium-weight sweater that fits you generously (in length and width) and has a ribbed hemline
- A small piece of scrap leather
- Fabric glue
- Xacto knife and ruler
- Sewing machine or needle + thread
- Leather needle (optional)
1. The raw material.
2. Carefully snip off the ribbed trim right where it meets the body of the sweater. Save this piece!
3. If needed, take in the sleeves and upper body portion of the sweater. I sewed along the lines shown above. Cut off excess fabric. Zigzag stitch/serge over the edges to prevent fraying.*
4. Cut a curved hemline in the front of the sweater. Make sure you leave about an extra ¼ inch for a seam allowance. Try on again and again until you like the way it hangs. Fold this edge ¼ inch to the inside of the sweater and stitch down, avoiding stretching/pulling the fabric. [NOTE: if you end up with an overly ruffly edge, don’t panic. Carefully iron the hem from the inside, which will help flatten it out.]
5. Decide how big you want the pocket to be and cut a piece of the ribbed trim that is this size + about 1 inch. (The piece I cut was about 4.5 inches.) Fold the side edges of the pocket piece about ½ inch to the inside and pin down.
6. Using an Xacto knife and rule to make a nice straight edge, cut a piece of leather that is a little bit longer than the horizontal side of your pocket and a couple of inches wide. Lay the pocket (inside surface facing up) on top of the leather piece (also inside up), overlapping by ½ inch, or however wide you want the leather trim to be.
7. Fold the leather piece to the inside of the pocket and glue down. Trim away any excess leather that may be sticking out of the sides of the pocket.
8. Secure the leather trim to the pocket by stitching close to the edge all the way around. I did this with a leather needle because I am slightly nutso, but you can do this with a sewing machine too. Pin the pocket to the sweater and stitch around the bottom and side edges to secure.
In the photos, I’m wearing the sweater with the ribbed cuffs folded to the inside. I may stitch the cuffs in place eventually. Your choice!
* Truth be told, I have not yet done this. I am known to skip steps in the initial haze of working through a project. Such are my bad DIY habits. Don’t be like me! However, so that my finished products don’t immediately disintegrate, I always go back and complete important finishing steps before washing.