DIY: Quidditch Letterman’s Jacket Cardigan

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Last week I showed you how to make the Snitch earrings that I’m wearing as part of my outfit for my cousin’s bat mitzvah.

Because the theme of the evening is pajamas and jerseys, I thought this fantasy inspired sports look would both fit the theme and be a bit more of a costume, since the party is the day after Halloween (and since we’re flying down on Halloween, I don’t get to dress up. And I NEED to dress up). Since Paul was and is convinced that a jersey needs numbers on the back, I decided to make this jacket to go with it.

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This is the shirt I’m wearing, which I got here from Etsy shop topsfreeday.

I’ve never had a letterman’s jacket, despite the fact that I lettered in Speech and Debate in high school (I know, such a nerd). The jackets cost over two hundred dollars, and since I wasn’t staying on the debate team, I didn’t think it was worth it. This DIY will cost you less than ten dollars, and is less bulky and way cute.

This cardigan/sweater redo is perfect for pretty much anything: from showing a little team spirit, to revitalizing one of your favorite cardigans (if you just do the ribbon trim), to being part of a great Halloween costume (think something like a poodle skirt with a letterman’s jacket slung around your shoulders, or dress up like a sports star). The point is, this cardigan remake has something for everyone, and you should make it. Right now.

It’s also super simple.

You’ll need:

  • Three sheets of felt in different but coordinating colors (the colors of whatever team you’re representing). I used a burgundy, red, and yellow combo to represent Gryffindor’s colors. If you want to put a name on the jersey too, feel free, but get extra felt.
  • cardstock to make your templates
  • a ruler
  • a marker (permanent or otherwise)
  • coordinating ribbon
  • hot glue
  • fabric glue

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First you’ll need to make your templates. I drew mine freehand, but you can always print yours out onto card stock and then cut them out. Bear in mind that since you’re layering the felt, the numbers will come out about half an inch larger on all sides.

I chose the number seven to represent Harry Potter (seven books/seven years/seven horcruxes/seven is the most magically powerful number), but of course any number will do.

Trace your stencil onto your felt with the stencils backwards. That way, once you cut them out you can turn the numbers over and not have any marks.

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Using your hot glue, glue the first number right side up onto the second layer and cut a thin border around the number. Repeat with the next layer, but with a thicker border.

Center the numbers to your liking onto the cardigan and use the hot glue to adhere them.

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Next work on the ribbon trim. You don’t have to measure and cut anything unless you’re trimming pockets like I did, you can just sort of unwind the ribbon as you go.

Glue the ribbon on either using hot glue or fabric glue* just beyond the buttons (no one want to mess with the buttons) all the way around the cardigan. You’ll want to lay the sweater out flat while you do this and give everything ample time to dry if you’re using fabric glue. This could take up to two hours.

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Enjoy your newly revamped cardigan!

*a note on glue: The kind of glue you use depends largely on the materials you’re using and how often you’re planning on wearing the garment. If this is a project for Halloween or a costume party and you’re only planning on wearing it a couple times, go ahead and use the hot glue for the whole thing like I did.

I highly recommend using fabric glue if you’re planning on washing and wearing your cardigan a lot and are just going to trim it in the ribbon to give it a new look. Fabric glue is normally washable and though it takes a long time to dry, it’s particularly good for thinner knits and ribbons where the hot glue would cause puckering. It’s worth the time investment and looks more professional.

If you’re not a hot glue person at all, you can use a tacky glue for the felt, but be warned that it needs a lot of saturation and will take quite a while to dry. I still find that when it dries it doesn’t hold together very well, but if you’re only wearing it for a night, that’s probably not a problem. Using hot glue is the way to go with felt in my opinion, but if you really don’t want to you could always sew the felt, which is a great option if you plan on wearing the sweater often (like for spirit days or to games or whatever).

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?

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