how to sew a 1940s puff sleeve knit top retro thrift refashion

For those who don't know how to knit, here's an easy how-to so you can make your own 1940s style puff sleeve knits from frumpy thrift store finds. I often see these boxy things at thrift stores and garage sales and think about how cute they could be with some extra love.

You will need a fairly loose- fitting knit so that you have enough room to play with it. Try it on first to see how much you'll need to take it in at the sides and how much you'll want to raise the sleeve. I probably should have measured mine but I just eyeballed it.

first, remove the sleeeves

Since the shoulders on mine are a bit too low, I'm removing a little extra from the shoulder too

Next, cut the excess from the sides
Lay the pieces together to see how they'll match up once the sleeve is gathered at the top.

With right sides together, sew up the sides and try it on.
I raised my sleeve just a bit by snipping off a tiny bit at the shoulder and sewing it back up. This also shortens the sweater a little bit.

gather the top of the sleeve-If you don't know how to sew gathers, it's so easy to do! Dana Made It has a great tutorial on basic gathers. I totally did the cheating method.

reattach the sleeve- for those who have not sewn a sleeve, check Sew Mama Sew for a tutorial on attaching a set-in sleeve

You can add to it with buttons, beading, embroidery, applique or whatever you like! I changed the collar just a little bit on mine because the original collar was too high for my taste. I'll be posting more of my refashioned thrift store knits in the near future. This is so easy and quick and a great way to make use of those cheap knits!