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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Classy Sport Team Allegiance Sweatshirt Jacket – How To Create

No names, no initials, no mascots…. just the COLOR can create a very classy jacket that still allows you to support your favorite team by wearing THE color.  I recently created this jacket to donate to a silent auction for raising funds for a local disabled community resource in bright University of Tennessee orange.

As you’ll see below, achieving THE ORANGE was a challenge.  The Burnt Orange sweatshirt from the line I carry:  Comfort Color,  was just too dull.  One full bottle plus 1/2 package I had left over of RIT Dye along with 1 cup of salt in my top-loading (ancient but top quality) Maytag washer – agitating for 30 minutes – did the trick!  Find the great line of 80% cotton 20% polyester sweatshirts I carry HERE.

After the dyeing process, I ran a full hot load with detergent to ‘clean’ my washing machine.


Above then you can see the Burnt Orange sweatshirt at the very top – quite dull.  It certainly did not work with the UT pajama pants I picked up at Walmart!  Below at the right in the photo, you can see a close-up of the orange I obtained with the method described above.


  1.  ASSEMBLE all fabric, trims you think you might want to use.  Realize you probably will – should – NOT use everything.  In this case, you can see above I had an orange/navy striped silk tie, and some cream silk dupioni.  I forgot to show the yarns I had retrieved from my yarn stash.

  2. CUT apart a sweatshirt – using a 3XL if you can get your hands on one.  At least a 2XL.  See the sweatshirt as ‘FABRIC’, not a sweatshirt.  In the picture above you can see that I have cut off the lower ribbing AND the cuff ribbing.  Next, cut out the sleeves, and cut up the side seams (or where they would be located if there are none).  Don’t cut at the shoulder line (which is in a dropped position in the Comfort Color line that I carry.), as not doing so may well provide some extra length you might want.

  3. Utilize a basic knit jacket pattern such as my Casual Jacket Pattern (That link is the pattern alone.  The same pattern is available in both of my books and in my pattern line for sweatshirt jackets.)  Actually, for this jacket I was donating for a silent auction, I decided to make it an XL size with accommodation for a large bust line.  I dug into my pattern stash and selected a Kwik Sew pattern that had a princess variation for the front that would ‘fit’ on the available ‘fabric’.

  4.  Stay stitch the back neckline and pull up to create a stable, shaped back neckline.  Steam out the fullness.

  5.  STAY the center front edges by fusing Straight Fusible Stay Tape on the OUTSIDE (right side) of each center front edge.

  6.  Construct the jacket body:  any front seams, shoulder seams, side seams.  Consult my books and patterns.  If you look closely you can see that I couched a yarn in the seam lines of the fronts.

  7.  Design the lower hemline and execute the hem finish.

8.  The lower ribbing (and in the same manner, the Sleeve finish) will become the ruffled finish.  To yield the extra length for the fullness, the ribbing needs to be cut LENGTHWISE into half the length.  First, remove the seam allowance from the ribbing, leaving a perfectly even width.  As you can see above, I had 2 .25″ of width available.  NEXT, open up the ribbing and cut it in half – perfectly.  The only way to do this is with a rotary cutter.  The cut edge will be the ‘finished’ edge of the finishing ruffles.  I ONLY use the

Roll the Gold Titanium Rotary Cutting Blade.  It stays sharper longer – for SURE!!!  Repeat these steps for each cuff ribbing.


9.  Carefully seam both of the lower ruffle pieces into one long lengthwise ruffle.  Gather these ribbing pieces along one long edge.  Since the ribbing is fairly heavy ‘fabric’, I decided to use my serger to do the gathering.  To do this:

  1. Thread up for 4 Thread serging – meaning both left and right needles.

  2. Increase the stitch length to the longest.

  3. Increase the Differential Feed to the highest number (meaning the front feed dogs will work faster than the back feed dogs).

  4. Increase the Needle Tension as you see in the photo above.  TEST.

  5. To use:  start and END leaving a long chain.  Grab both of the needle threads at the end and gently pull.  I had roughly 1.5 times the length of ribbing to start as the neckline/center front edge I desired.  To a large degree, you’ll have to work out how long your  jacket can be based upon the fullness you desire for your ruffle.  I wanted to have a jacket as long as possible, thus the ruffle isn’t as full.  For a shorter jacket, you would have more fullness to the ruffle.

  6. For the sleeve ruffle finish, in order to have any fullness at all, I had to take a tuck at the top of each sleeve to decrease the lower sleeve width as much as I thought made sense to fit the forearm (3/4 length) of most women.  I also curved the outer end of each sleeve ribbing before setting the gathering stitches.  You can see that curve in the lower photos showing the gathering.


10.   Pin the ruffle to the WRONG SIDE of the center front/neckline edge.  Distribute the gathers evenly.  Read that again – pin to the WRONG SIDE of the jacket!  Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  I do this with the ruffle on the TOP at the machine so that I can further perfect the fullness distribution as I work.  A walking foot (or dual feed engaged on your machine as I have on my Pfaff) will be helpful to NOT push the gathers out in front of the presser foot as you work.


11.  Carefully rip apart the tie as shown above.  The stitching holding it together on the inside will either be easy or quite difficult to pull out.  KEEP the label in your creative stash!  I throw away the interfacing – which, interestingly, was felt, in this tie.  Press open. You should get 2-3 strips from the tie – depending on it’s width.  Do some calculations BEFORE cutting to make sure you’ll have enough length to span the center front/neckline edges and the sleeve edges.  Adjust the width of these pieces accordingly to yield the length you will need.  I was able to cut my strips  1.25″ wide.


12.  Use a 1″ cardboard template (you can see I recycle).  Lay this template on the wrong side of the silk and press a nice. clean edge with the extra 1/4″ as shown above.  This is the slickest trick!  Use it!!!!!!  Adjust the width of your template so that it is 1/4″ less wide than your desired finished binding.  


13.  Layer the right side of this bias binding piece on TOP of the ruffle on the WRONG side of the jacket.  Stitch with the JACKET on the top, following the stitching line shown from stitching on the ruffle.  See photo to the left below.


14. The seam will be bulky, so it needs to be trimmed.  As shown in the photo at the right above, trim the jacket layer shorter.


15.  See how then the bias tie binding flips the ruffle outward, and covers up the seam allowance that will flip to the OUTSIDE of the jacket.  Pin.  Stitch using a narrow but long zig zag with monofilament in the needle.

16.  Couch yarn over the stitched edge to embellish and cover.  Leave long yarn edges as you start and end, and bury within the seam allowance using a large darning needle.


17.  Repeat for the sleeves.  The curved edges of my sleeves begin and end at the top (opposite of the underarm seam) of the sleeve where I took the tuck.  BOSS that Bulk as shown above in the trimming step, before adding the binding as directed above in Step 15.  I had plenty of length of the binding, so I left about 4″ to start AND to end, then tied them into a knot to finish.

Next Post will be what’s about done in my Sunroom Sewing Studio   how to use team ‘PJ Pants’ to create another of my sweatshirt jacket fashions.   

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