Hack the Arm Candy Tee into a sweater

Hack the Arm Candy Tee into a sweater

Ruby wears a sage green sweater tucked into light denim jeans. Her arm is draped over the shoulder of one of her dress forms.

Last week was really cold and snowy here in Philadelphia, and I decided I needed some more warm clothing. I had found some wool jersey remnants on super-sale at my local fabric store, and was eager to turn them into something I could put on my body!

I decided to use the Arm Candy Tee as a base, and add some details to make it a little different from all of the other Arm Candy Tees currently in my wardrobe. I've also been trying to explore some more sci-fi-inspired details!

I added a mock neck for extra warmth, and faux button plackets at the shoulders for a sort of military-utility-inspired vibe. The faux placket makes a great detail to showcase some cool buttons!

Three images of Ruby showcasing the left and right shoulders with the faux button plackets.

You too can easily use the Arm Candy Tee sewing pattern as a base to make a multitude of different styles and designs. 

Click here to get the Arm Candy Tee sewing pattern and instructions.

If you want to make one like mine, here’s how to do it:

Flat sketch of Arm Candy Tee with mock neck and shoulder placket modifications

I made a size J graded down to a size H at the hip (you can read more about how to choose a size based on your fabric’s stretch percentage in this blog post). The wool jersey I used for my sweater had 50% stretch across the DOGS. I used the longer hem length, and the long sleeve variation for maximum coverage and warmth.

Cut a wider rectangular piece for the neck band.

  1. Determine how tall you want your mock neck to be. My finished mock neck height was 2” (5 cm). Double that measurement (to account for it being folded in half), and add 1” (2.5 cm) to account for the ½” (1.3 cm) seam allowance along both long edges, where the band attaches into the neckline of the shirt. The width of the neck band piece I cut out was 5” (12.7 cm).
  2. To determine the length of the neck band piece, as well as the notch placement, refer to the Rectangular Pieces measurement chart on page 9 of the instructions. These measurements are contingent on the size you are making.
  3. Cut your neck band piece perpendicular to your fabric’s direction of greatest stretch.

Illustration of how to widen the neck band pattern piece

Cut two additional rectangular pieces for the faux shoulder plackets. Placket width should be determined by the size of the buttons you’d like to use.

For a 1” (2.5 cm) wide placket (¾” or 2 cm diameter buttons):

  1. The rectangles should be 3” (7.6 cm) wide. 2” (5.1 cm) accounts for the piece being folded in half, plus ½” + ½” (1.3 + 1.3 cm) on either side for the seam allowance.
  2. Measure the length of the shoulder on the size you are making across the cut line (inclusive of seam allowance). This is your rectangle length.
  3. Cut two pieces according to these measurements, perpendicular to your fabric’s direction of greatest stretch.

Measure the shoulder to determine the length of the shoulder placket.

Before your sew your shoulder seams (the first step of the sewing process, on page 16 of the instructions):

  1. Fold each placket in half, wrong sides together.
  2. Pin each along the shoulder edge of the front body piece, matching raw edges, with the folded edge facing down towards the hemline.
  3. Now place the front and back body pieces right sides together, and sew along the shoulder seam at ½” (1.3 cm) seam allowance.
  4. Press the “flaps” of the faux placket strips toward the front body.

Fold shoulder placket in half and pin the raw edges to the edge of the shoulder.

Catch the raw edges of the shoulder placket in the shoulder seam, between the front and back body pieces.

Follow the instructions for the neck band application. The only difference is that your neckband piece will be wider. Be sure to catch the inner corners of the faux shoulder plackets in the seam of the neckline.

Finish constructing the tee according to the instructions. Take care when setting in the sleeves to catch the outer corner of the faux shoulder placket.

Once the tee is finished, sew several buttons across the shoulder to tack down the free edge of the faux placket. 

Make sure corners of placket are anchored in the shoulder and neck seams, and the free edge of the placket is facing towards the garment front.

Now you’ve got an adorable solarpunk sweater! Be sure to use the hashtag #ArmCandyTee if you decide to post it on social media. You can also leave a review of Spokes & Stitches sewing patterns on PatternReview.com, so that other sewists can learn from your experience with it!

Ruby peeks over her shoulder wearing the sage green Arm Candy Tee sweater.

Click here to get the Arm Candy Tee sewing pattern and instructions.

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