You are currently viewing OVERSIZED SWEATER TUNIC / Simplicity 8738


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope your holidays were blessed and peaceful. My husband was born on December 25th, and when he didn’t have to work on Christmas Day, our family would stay home, eat dinner and relax, just the four of us. My sons and I decided to do the same thing for our first Christmas and birthday in his absence. We ate and watched movies all day long. I made my husband’s birthday cake, like I’ve done for the last 23 years, and took it to the fire station he retired from the next day.

My oldest son had the nerve to look at us crazy while sitting his big self there in a reindeer suit. Hahaha!!!
The guys at the station were happy to receive the birthday cake and my sons and I were happy to go back to the station and sit at the table where CEMO sat for many years.

The New Year is here! My wardrobe, patterns and fabric are decluttered, and I’m ready to get back into the groove of sewing (after a very long break).

One type of garment that’s missing from my wardrobe is sweaters. I have four turtlenecks (2 DIY & 2 RTW). I’ll be traveling to Memphis, TN this month and I’m not prepared for that level of cold, so the first item I’ve made is this oversized sweater tunic. I’ll be there for five days, so I wanted to make at least three sweaters to take along. I’m already working on another turtleneck, which should be done today. Then I’ll start the last sweater. I LOVE that I don’t have to use my time trying to figure out what to make for the trip. I factored the need in while planning my sewing for the month.

It’s so cozy and should keep me warm in the cold Memphis weather.

I used Simplicity 8738 for the tunic and this Sweater Knit Fabric from my collection. The fabric is thick enough to keep the turtleneck from sagging too much when not folded dow. Because the collar is sewn in a double thickness of fabric, it holds up pretty well.


This pattern is rated “Easy-to-Sew” by Simplicity and I agree. There are only four pattern pieces: front, back, sleeve and collar. I sewed View B in a size Medium, eliminated the thumb-hole, shortened the sleeves a bit, and added a band to the hem (details below). If you’re a new beginner, this pattern is a winner.

When I posted on social media that I would be sewing this sweater, a few people asked if there would be a sew-along video. I had not initially planned on creating one, but I’ve changed my mind, so stay tuned.


As I begin to add functional pieces to my DIY wardrobe, I’m thinking about how they can be worn with other items. Whereas before I would sew with only one function in mind, now I consider it a challenge to see how many styling options I can pull off with one garment.

I styled the tunic with three different pieces from my current wardrobe, and as I add more DIY garments, I’m sure there will be even more options in the future.


My favorite styling option is wearing the tunic with a pair of skinny jeans and boots. This is the only pair of jeans I own (for now). I know, it’s sad, but temporary. I added my newsboy cap, and a large pair of hoop earrings. This is the perfect “run around town” casual outfit.



I paired the tunic with a pair of thick leggings and ankle boots (booties). This would look great with the Ugg Boots in Option #1 also. It makes me want to lounge on the sofa with a hot cup of tea and girly movie. Of course, it’s also appropriate for wearing outdoors since the tunic is long enough to cover my bottom while wearing leggings.



Finally, it begs to be dressed up a bit, so I adorned my favorite (RTW) lace skirt, a strand of pearls and clutch purse. Can you guess what I had in mind for this look? If you’re thinking tea party or church, you’re right.

Whenever I can make a garment work for the tea party, it’s a big win. I’ll add a big white floppy hat and gloves before heading to the party.


As much as I attend church, you would think I have an abundance of clothing options, right? Nope! I’m lacking there too. I’ll probably be wearing this to church on Sunday. Hmmm… Maybe!


Seven Tips for Sewing Sweater Knit (for beginners)

If you’re a beginner and want to get started sewing this sweater right away, here are seven helpful tips you can follow.

Tip #1 – Use Proper Stitch Settings


Use a zig-zag stitch whenever sewing with sweater knit fabric. Set your stitch width between .5mm and 2.0mm. Choose a stitch length based on the thickness of your fabric. I used a 2.5mm stitch length for a medium weight sweater knit on my Baby Lock Soprano.

The main challenge in stitching with knits is to prevent the seams from growing. Therefore, I highly recommend practicing the stitches on a scrap piece of your fashion fabric. Adjust the settings until your seams are flat and the same length when you finish as they were when you began. You can actually measure a length of the scrap, placing marks at beginning and end. Sew the seam, then measure that same area again. If the measurement is longer, then the seam was stretched during sewing and you’ll need to adjust the stitch length or presser foot tension. Check your sewing machine manual for help with these adjustments.

Tip #2 – Use a Walking Foot


If your machine came with a WALKING FOOT, use it! If you don’t own one and you’re planning to sew with knit fabrics, GET ONE! GET ONE! GET ONE! I can’t tell you how amazing this tool is. It helps to feed both layers of fabric through the machine at the same time, eliminating uneven layers and fabric stretching. I know it may be pricey for some, but I assure you it’s worth the investment. It will literally have you smiling as you sew your knits in the beginning, especially if you’ve ever had the problem of one layer of fabric being longer than the other at the end of a seam. Trust me on this one. Get the walking foot! Check your machine manual or local fabric store to find one for your machine.

Tip #3 – Transfer Markings with Thread


It’s difficult, and in most cases, impossible, to transfer chalk, pen or pencil markings onto sweater knits. However, using thread to transfer markings, such as darts, buttonholes, pleats, notches, pocket placement, etc., is a widely used and successful option. It’s done with a hand needle, inserting double thread through two layers of fabric, cutting and leaving thread tails in both layers. I’ll demonstrate this technique in the sew-along video.

Tip #4 – Use Plastic Clips to Hold Fabric


Some sweater fabrics CAN’T be held together with straight pins (particularly loose weave varieties). In such cases, craft clips are an amazing option. I’m using these clips from Evergreen Art Supply that work very well. You can also purchase clips from Amazon.

Tip #5 – Stabilize Seams with Clear Elastic

Sweater knits are prone to stretching more easily than other fabrics. Therefore stabilizing the seams with CLEAR ELASTIC is a smart choice in preserving the integrity of the garment through wear and tear. I stabilized the shoulder and neckline seams where the collar is attached. These are the two areas that receive the most stretch in this garment. Use clear elastic to stabilize the seams of any knit garment where there will be stress during wear or when pulling onto the body

Tip #6 – Press with Caution

When pressing sweater knits, use as little heat as possible. These fabrics can become distorted with too much heat or if using back and forth motions with the iron. Set your iron to the correct setting for the type of fabric that you’re using. Be sure to use press and lift motions instead of sliding the iron back and forth over the fabric.


Another helpful tip with pressing is to allow the fabric to cool a bit before handling it after the seams have been pressed.

I also, try to keep the fabric from hanging off the board as much as possible to prevent the fabric from stretching. I fold or gather it on the board around the seam that’s being pressed.


I use a PRESSING HAM for curved seams, like armholes and necklines. Remember to use a pressing or rocking motion, and avoid sliding the iron over the ham. Remove the ham from the garment to allow for faster cooling. The ham retains heat longer than the fabric.


Tip #7 – Finish Seams

Sweater knit fabrics tend to ravel, which could cause problems later if not attended to during construction. My favorite seam finish for this type of fabric is serged seams. I realize, of course, that not everyone has access to this specialty machine. If you don’t own a serger, then try using a zig-zag or overcast stitch on your regular machine to finish off those seams. Check your owner’s manual to see what stitches are available.

It cuts and finishes the seam allowances at the same time.

If you have a serger, then you could actually sew the entire garment with this machine. I chose to sew my tunic with a sewing machine and finish the seams with my Baby Lock Evolution. Always test with a scrap piece of your fashion fabric before serging the garment. You will need to make adjustments to the tension or differential feed to prevent stretched, wavy seams.

The serger produces very clean, professional looking seams on the inside of you garments. Once you’ve mastered your sewing machine techniques and have quite a few projects under your belt, I recommend investing in a serger to elevate your sewing.

Clean, finished edges every time, that won’t unravel.

Adding a Band to Hem

Instead of inserting a regular hem at the bottom of the tunic, I attached a band for a cleaner finish. This can also be done to add cuffs to the sleeves. Here are the steps I used:

***Cut off 1 1/2″ from bottom of sweater. This can be done before sewing the sides together. I did it afterwards because that’s when I decided to add the band.

Cut a 5″ strip of fabric for front and back, using bottom of corresponding pattern pieces.


Sew front to back at short ends, right sides facing, forming a circle. Finish seam allowances and press. Fold band in half, lengthwise, with wrong sides together and press.


Clip band to bottom of hem, right sides facing, and sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish seam allowance and press seam toward bodice.


Now that I’ve completed my first sweater for the 2019 winter season, I’m so excited to wear it everywhere. Now tell me, how would you style it?


Thanks for stopping by!

(DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission on qualifying purchases. All opinions in this post are my own.)

Anita Morris

Anita is the Author of STEP Into It, Overcoming Trials That Lead To Purpose. She is also an Online Sewing Instructor for beginner sewists. She is passionate about helping women to step into their purpose by walking in the calling on their lives. She hosts a popular YouTube channel where she helps women to become confident in their sewing skills.

This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. Beck E

    Thank you for the YouTube video on how to make this. I had trouble with the turtle neck part but I found the exact fabric you used so I could totally follow along and it came out beautiful!!! My first sewing item and I could not be more happy. The best part is the first day I wore it a lady came up to me in the store and asked where I got it? I was so shocked that I told her from you LOL she was ” oh , I have never heard of that designer before” before I could get myself back together she said I looked great and to have a nice day. Thank you for being my designer 🙂 and helping me look great but mostly for getting on my way to sewing!!

    1. Anita Morris

      OMGoodness Beck E! I wish I had seen this earlier. Congratulations on finishing your first project. What a funny story about your sweater. Hahahahaha!!! I hope you’ve made many more garments since then.

  2. Annette Bollig

    Gorgeous tunic. Thank you for the tips

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much and you’re very welcome.

  3. Sowell

    Hello Anita, I love your sweater and the items
    you paired them with. I was just thinking
    you can also pair the sweater with a straight T-length
    shirt. That’s fantastic that will give you 4 outfits

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh yes, that would be amazing too. Thanks so much!

  4. Madelene

    Love the sweater. I ran out to Joann and picked it up too.
    I already had the pattern. Waiting for the tutorial.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome, Madelene! Have fun making your sweater.

  5. Joanie Lewis

    Hi Anita – I look forward to your tutorial. I can’t find any cute sweater fabric. Any suggestions? Joanie

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Joanie! Check out,, They all have fabulous fabric choices

  6. Cora Jones

    Hi Anita, I used this same pattern and used sweatshirt knit and made jogging pants to match. Really easy and cute. Thanks for your tips.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome Cora! I love that you added joggers.

  7. Yolanda Pinkney-Jordan

    Anita, after I hit post the comment, I started thinking that I should clarify that I’m only 4″11. I wouldn’t alter the tunic so it would eventually look like a dress on me. So pairing it with tights and boots would be okay for me. HA HA!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      LOL! Well, I thought you were planning to sew View A, which is the dress option,.

  8. Yolanda Pinkney-Jordan

    Hello Anita!! I love your style. Thank you for the tips when working with Knits. I would style it with a pair of tights and wear it as a dress with high heel boots.

  9. Gwendoly Styles

    HA HA, a reindeer suit. Hi Anita, I made the same sweater with the most of the same sewing techniques you used!

    I guess I kinda know what Im doing, huh . You always do a great job!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Gwendolyn! Awesome! Yep, you know what you’re doing. Hahaha!

  10. Rosalind D.

    Hi Anita, beautiful sweater & educational tips. I’m glad you wore it with my favorite skirt. Still trying to find one like it. ???

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Rosalind! Thank you so much! I really love this skirt too. I have plans to duplicate it one day.

  11. Kat Dickinson

    That sweater is just AWESOME! I have not had the confidence to work with knit fabric yet – I only learnt to machine sew in July last year. I have however invested in an overlocker and it came yesterday! So I am going to be brave and attempt to make a sweater too….after I have learnt to thread an overlocker hahaha! (I think you guys call it a serger…I’m in the UK) Thank you for this helpful post, I’m sure it will help me massively. You were in my thoughts this Christmas, I know it was a hard time for you but especially since it was your beloved husband’s birthday too. It was my fourth Christmas without my husband so it does kind of get easier but I wish this didn’t happen to any of us. And I HAVE to just mention that your sons are very handsome! Sending lots of love, luck, health and wealth to you all in 2019 xx

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Kat! You can do it! It’s not as scary as people think. I think it’s actually easier than sewing with woven when it comes to fitted garments because the fabric is so forgiving.

      Thanks for thinking of me. I believe you that it gets easier and I wish we didn’t have to endure it either.

      I wish you much love and blessings in 2019 also,

  12. Cynthia campbell

    Anita, the sweater with the lace skirt is beautiful. I have not sewn in years and when I look at you, it flames up my passion I used to have. Thank you for sharing step by step cause I’ll definitely need those. Just beautiful ❤️❤️❤️❤️ God richly bless you

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Cynthia! So glad you’re inspired to get back into it. God bless you too.

  13. Donna G.

    Fabulous! And great sweater knit tips too. But my favorite part were the pictures of you and your sons. I cracked up over your comment about the reindeer suit!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hahaha!!! Donna, I laughed too when I first saw his face in the photo.

  14. Charla

    Beautiful loved how you styled it


    Anita, this is so cute – I love it!! And I noticed what you ended up wearing to church – the skirt from your first sewing tutorial!! Looked great with the boots. You’re right to get ready for the Tennessee cold. It’s not the same as our cold at all. It goes right through you if you don’t dress in layers. Have fun!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thanks Sheila! OMGosh! I’m gonna freeze!

  16. Lynn wall

    I am loving the look, beautiful. They’re calling for snow here so l am off to purchase what I need. Thank you so much for sharing and guiding this beginner.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yaaaay, Lynn! You’re gonna LOVE it! Have fun sewing your sweater!

  17. Dara

    Anita, You are AMAZING! The outfits are Beautiful also! Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. KS Sews

    So cute! That texture is so nice! Looks super cozy

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you! It’s so comfortable!

  19. Linda L

    Lovely tunic,

  20. Cheryl

    I love everything in this article from family, photos, sew tips, instructions & your sweater. Love and Prayers.

  21. Brittany Jones

    Love this tunic Ms. Anita and that fabric!! And thank you for sharing your tips for sewing with sweater knits!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Brittany! Thank you so much!

  22. Patricia Brown

    Hi Anita, I love your tunic sweater. I like the style, color, and texture of your sweater. Very nice! Tunics are very popular this season as are faux fur jackets/coats. I am a cold weather girl from Michigan who lives in Texas. We have some cold days in the winter allowing me to wear and enjoy my winter clothing. Happy New Year!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hey Patricia! Thank you so much! I’m going to Memphis this month, so I need to be prepared for that cold weather.

  23. Angie J

    I love the sweater & I also do the clear elastic for stabilizing but the tip of sewing a band for the hem is fabulous. I never thought of it but will definitely be using that tip. Thanks for this post & pattern.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thanks so much! You’re very welcome, Angie!

  24. Mo

    Yasss Mrs. Anita! You styled it well! I must say I have as many sweaters as u have jeans. Lol! It doesn’t get that cold where I live so i may wear it once or twice during the winter. Great tips! Looking forward to the video. Happy New Year!

    1. Anita Morris

      Hahaha! It gets cold in my town, but not like some cities with snow. The 50’s is freezing for me. Hahaha!!! Thanks for reading.

  25. Sarah

    Beautiful work – I may have to try this one.
    May I also say that I hope you are proud of yourself for the really special, reverent way you observed Christmas and CEMO’s birthday. That first year after a loved one passes is just so hard. You have to do what feels right to you, and it sounds like you did just that. Well done. Praying for you and your boys.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh Sarah, thank you so much! Yes, we’re just going with the flow and allowing God to have His way. Healing comes as we allow the grief to take its place. I appreciate your encouragement.

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