A couple of weeks ago I made a shopping list of WOW Pieces I was craving for fall. And while I have shopped a few of these items (mainly reconstructed denim) I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I kept searching for the perfect statement sweater, but nothing stood out amongst the crowd of knits this season. So I ventured to my local thrift store (for some inspiration and DEALS) where I found a wine colored Chenille Sweater and some matching Plum Ribbon. I instantly loved the sweater but had picked the ribbon for a different project (coming soon…). Then I realized: “These match perfectly!!” Thus the DIY for a statement sweater was born. And what is more of a statement than bows tied around oversized sleeves?!

Here it is:

How to turn your oversized sweater into a statement piece with ribbon tie-sleeves!

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First things first, you will need a sweater. Any sweater will do, but preferably one that is oversized. The oversized sleeves will cinch nicely creating a bell flare with the ribbon tie.
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Materials: Ribbon, Needle, Thread, Scissors

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Step 1:

Measure how much ribbon you want per sleeve. Cut two strands of equal length. The length of your ribbon can vary depending on how you want to style your bows, maybe double wrapped, maybe long, maybe short, maybe flowing strands and no bow. Whatever you choose just cut two strands for that style.

Tip: Put on your sweater and play around with tying the ribbon. This will help you visualize the look and decide what type of bow-tie you would prefer. It will also give you a more accurate idea of the length of ribbon you need to cut (vs. just guessing and cutting).

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Step 2:

Most sweaters have a sleeve-length seam from the armpit to the cuff. This will be where we stitch on the ribbon. Make sure you are clear where the seam is on your sweater. If your sweater doesn’t have this seam (COOL!) find an inconspicuous place to attach your ribbon.

Tip: Seams are best for attaching and stitching items because sewing through the seam won’t affect the garment (i.e. no snags or holes). Under the arm is the most inconspicuous because normally your arms are down, leaving the stitching unexposed.

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Step 3:

Put your sweater on and determine where you want the ribbon (tie) to be placed. I chose around the wrist because my sleeve is not super loose. For a looser (bell shaped) sleeve I would recommend placing it higher up at the elbow area to enhance the bell shape.

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Step 4:

Now that you have determined the placement of your ribbon, mark the spot with a pin through the seam where you will be attaching your ribbon.

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Step 5:

Take one of your ribbon strands and fold in half.  This point will be where you stitch your ribbon to your sweater.

(You can choose not to do in half if you would like uneven length strands, or if you are not going to be sewing your ribbon to the underbelly of the sleeve)

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Step 6:

Pin your ribbon to your sleeve at that half-way point.  Keep the pin in while you sew your ribbon to your sleeve. It will help keep it in place while you are stitching it.

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Step 7:

Now stitch…just a few loops around will be fine. By loops around I mean I started from the inside of the sweater and poked the needle through the sweater and ribbon then pulled the thread through. Then a few centimeters from that point I stuck the needle back through the ribbon and sweater to the inside. Then repeated this for two more loops…easy, like sewing on a button! If you don’t know how to sew at all here is a simple video.

Tip: Use thread that is the same color as your ribbon for the best results. I used plain black; so you could see my stitch and also because it was the color closest to the plum that I had…and seriously the small stitch you will make is hardly noticeably anyway.

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Voila!! Now you have a simple way to create a statement sweater for fall. And it can be exactly what you are envisioning, and you don’t have to settle for what you can find in a store!

Hope you enjoy this DIY!!! I really did!