I was inspired by this capelet from designer Devi Kroll. So I went to a thrift store, bought a man’s sweater (any sweater you can slide over your shoulders with comfort is fine – men or women’s) and turned it, and 1/4 yard of faux fur into this:
Here’s a tutorial for this quick and easy upcycle:
Buy a sweater. You don’t really want to go too large, just put a sweater over your shoulders and as long as the body of it is comfortable, the capelet will work.
Measure the sweater from the bottom up 15″ (or whatever you want your finished length to be) Add 1.5″ to this at the top.
Take your finished collar depth preference (mine’s about 4″ tall) = 8″ + 1″ seam allowance = 9″ tall.
Neck width – I determined from my shoulder bone to shoulder bone was 13″ and used that as the width of the neckline. 26″ (front + back) +1″ seam allowance = 27″
So your collar will be 27″ x 9″ with the nap running up and down the short length of the collar.
After measuring and shaping the shoulder, go to your sewing machine and about 1/2″ away from the raw cut sweater edge, sew with a regular stitch length all the way around. This stabilizes the sweater knit. Then, come back and either edge serge the raw edge or use a knit overcasting stitch on your sewing machine. This will keep it from raveling. Pin and mark a 13″ neckline (I use kids’ chalk for marking). Sew the shoulders. Turn your capelet right side out and try on to see if you like your shoulder shaping.
Once you’re happy, take your faux fur and sew the short edges right sides together.
Position this back seam at the center-back of your sweater’s neckline. You are now going to be sewing with the WRONG side of the faux fur to the RIGHT side of the capelet. Pin in place. With the sweater knit against the feed dogs (the feed dogs will help ease the sweater knit against the stiffer knit of the faux fur) sewing on TOP of the fur, sew the collar to the capelet. In this photo, I have the capelet edge pinned back so you can see the capelet. The WRONG side of the collar is facing the RIGHT side of the capelet (the capelet is inside out right now).
Turn the capelet right side out. Because the faux fur is a knit and the bottom edge will not ravel and the faux fur will cover it, you do not need to hem. Fold over the collar as you desire and enjoy!