Nova Sweatshirt Hack & Tutorial

By ari - April 15, 2020

It wasn't until i was editing the photos that I realised i'd been so excited that this shirt had actually turned out the way i wanted it to - that i forgot the hem the sleeves & bottom. I promise after I finish typing this post I will get right on that, haha!

When i was looking for inspiration for Nova Sweatshirts (one of this month's patterns for Sew My Style!) i found this one almost immediately. I really wanted to make it, but my stretch fabric selection is a little random. Fortunately my spotlight order FINALLY ARRIVED, even though it was just this white knit and some thread and needles. I really needed it! 

I'm calling this my 3D Nova, because the colours I chose for the sleeves made me think of old school 3D glasses! Usually I'm not into the cold shoulder trend, but this is like a semi-cold shoulder? Anyway, i really like it! I cropped the pattern again, like my last one, because i think the fit of the shirt looks better on me when it's cropped. The only problem is i don't wear crops with my stomach out so it does limit the clothes I can wear with it! I tried it on with my denim overalls, though, and I LOVED that look. Keep an eye on Insta for it!

Want to know how to make it? I took some pics of the construction, even though most of the time I think it you just winged it - it would turn out okay!


The front & back pieces of the pattern remain the same, as does the neckband (and cuffs/whatever else you want to add to it). We'll be altering the sleeve! I traced mine out on some butcher's paper and did some measuring against the Nova sweatshirt I had already made to work out where I wanted the sleeves to be cut out. Mostly the section missing is ten cm from the top of the sleeve (this will be a different measurement for you, probably! I am a size M in Sinclair Patterns).

Cut your sleeve out, then cut it down the middle. You'll be sewing it back together at some point. Get rid of that little scrappy square-ish upper right section, you won't be needing it. I'm going to be calling the remaining two pieces the front sleeve and the back sleeve! Just remember that you have not added any seam allowance to that centre seam and at the top of the front piece (you can add it now but i just add it when i'm cutting out the fabric). The seam allowance on the rest of the pieces is fine because it's included in the original pattern.

Cut out a pair of each. These fabrics came from the bowels of my scrap bins so please excuse their scrunchiness! don't forget to ADD YOUR SEAM ALLOWANCE - to the straight centre seam (of each piece) and to the top of the front sleeve. I added one cm.

Stitch the sleeve backs to the back shirt like you normally would!

Fold over the top of the front sleeves and stitch along that (do this for both front pieces)

Attach the front sleeve to the back sleeve along the centre seam you created. Match them up at the bottom (where the sleeve hem will be) and stitch just to the top of the front sleeve.

Flip your sleeve over and top stitch that seam, pushing the seam allowance toward the back sleeve. As you sew up past the front sleeve, fold the raw edge of the back sleeve under until you've given it a nice tiny little hem.

the stitching is SO dodgy i am so sorry, both my machines were throwing tantrums ಥ‿ಥ 

Do the same for the other sleeve.

Attach the front of the sleeve to the front shirt piece. You'll do the same as you did for the front/back seam and do some top stitching to hem the front of the armscye.

Find the centre back and centre front of your shirt, pinning the centre back and centre front of your neckband to them. Distribute the neckband around the shirt evenly, remembering that you're going to have a gap in the front shoulders. I began with the inside, stitching the right side of the neckband to the wrong side of the shirt. Use a zig zag stitch!

Fold the neckband over to the outside of the shirt and fold it under, pinning and stitching to enclose the seam allowances.

hem your sleeves and bottom of the shirt (unlike me, haha)!

VOILA you are done! This would be so great for t-shirt surgeries and upcycling bits of knit fabric!

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Sew My Style 2020 includes these talented sewists, catch up on their #SMS20 posts:

Aaronica @ The Needle & The Bell | Leanne @ Thready For It | Ari @ Max California | Minna @ The Shapes of Fabric | Carol @ Chatterstitch | Michele @ WinMichele | Julian @ Julian Creates | Florence @ FTMom3 | Kelsey @ Seam Lined Living | Kris @ Sew Notes | Laura @ The Specky Seamstress | Samantha @ The Rural Sewist | Sarah @ Haraz Handmade | Shelby @ Handmade Shelby | Simone @ Intensely Distracted | and SMS20 Coordinator Paulette @ Petite Font

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