For the bigger pieces I sewed them down and for all the tiny pieces I glued them on.
Crafts, Projects, Sewing

Ugly Christmas Sweater

This project will be the last in the Christmas DIY series. It is definitely not a traditional project and I realize it will not be to everyone’s taste, but it is all in fun.

Now for most Christmas sweaters you expect familiar depictions of the holiday season with lights, Santa, reindeer, snowflakes and the like. This Krampus sweater is a bit of a darker twist.

Santa Claus is known as the giver of gifts to children who have been good all year. His counterpart is known as Krampus and is the giver of punishment to naughty children. Instead of a jolly man coming down the chimney with gifts and snacking on milk and cookies; Krampus was thought to be a horned goat-like creature who would administer beatings to wicked children with his bundle of sticks, chain them up, then throw them in his sack to whisk them away to his lair.

This legend has been in circulation throughout parts of Europe since the 1800’s, but in recent years has become the focus Christmas cards, books and movies.

For your very own ugly Christmas sweater, here's what you will need.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors – both paper and fabric
  • Felt – white, black, red
  • Thread – white, black
  • Fabric glue
  • Needle
  • Sweater
  • Pins
  • Reference picture
  • Tailors chalk
  • Small length of chain
  • Pipe cleaners – white

Using a reference picture you first want to draw out your Krampus on to the tracing paper. Add as much detail as you can except for the really small pieces needed for the faces. Next I found it best to label the spaces with the colour they will be, it helps when you start to cut out the details.

A good template, some felt and a sweater are the main ingredients.

After laying out and the pinning the template to the black felt.  I traced around the template with tailors chalk then removed the pins and cut out the form. I did this twice because I’m going to be doing the same design on both the front and the back of the sweater. The whole template will be cut from the black felt then all the details will be cut out from the white or red and placed on top.

Next it was time to layout the white felt and start cutting the strips for Krampus’ belt, the sack/basket, the straps for the sack/basket, the child’s face, hands and shirt. The child’s face will need two tiny holes cut for eyes and one for a mouth. I also wanted to put snowflakes across the bottom of the sweater so I cut out diamond shapes. Each snowflake needs eight diamonds in total. To have three on each side I will need forty-eight diamonds. I just used a straight edge and a pencil to trace these out I didn’t use a template or precise measurements and the cut out pieces are definitely not all uniform.

Using the template and the white felt, I started cutting out all the detail pieces.

Once all the pieces have been traced and cut out, it’s time to start assembling the sweater. Taking a needle and black thread I positioned and pinned down the black felt Krampus and then hand sewed him to the sweater. Leave Krampus’ right arm from the elbow to the hand un-sewn for now. Once Krampus was attached all the white detail pieces can be added and sewn on, including the snowflakes.

All of the snowflakes and most of the Krampus pieces were sewn on by hand.

Next it’s time to cut out and add all the tiny face details. Like the tongues, mouth, nose and eyes. These are just tiny pieces cut out of the felt and attached with fabric glue. Take the white pipe cleaner and cut a few small pieces, these can also be glued down where the un-sewn hand will be. These will be his bindle of whipping sticks. The chain can then be sewn to the hand on the sack/basket side and then draped across to the other arm. I also sewed down a few links at the hip and put the chain under the arm and then back over and sewed it to Krampus’ other hand. You might want to sew down a few more links in other areas to control the drape of the chain. I then sewed down any remaining area on that arm.

For the bigger pieces I sewed them down and for all the tiny pieces I glued them on.

Then I repeated all these steps for the back of the sweater.

I think that the non-uniformity of the snowflakes helps add to the ugly sweater effect.

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Happy Holidays!!!!

These are all three of the Christmas projects for this year.

9 thoughts on “Ugly Christmas Sweater”

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