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Friday, December 2, 2016

"Make an Ugly Sweater" Contest + Tutorial

Are you ready for a fabulous CKC contest?!   If you came to read the rules for our Make an Ugly Sweater contest, you have come to the right place!  

We have been talking about this contest for months and we're so excited it's finally here! It's time to break out your inner tacky and create something awesome!

First of all, I want to say that I think deep down inside, none of us really think they're ugly sweaters.  I think we love how they put a smile on our face and calling them ugly just gives us an excuse to wear them with pride.

Yeah? No? 

Either way, we absolutely cannot WAIT to see the sweaters you all come up with!  

We do want to keep this contest family friendly and fair to everyone, so let's set down a few rules: 


1 - All themes and images must be family friendly and child appropriate.

2 - You must use a CKC pattern as the base for your sweater. (Tutorial below.) You may use any CKC pattern you'd like as long as it ends up looking like a sweater. To help you out, our fantastic York's sweater pattern is on sale at 50% off  for the duration of the contest. (It's a great one to have in your collection anyway!) 

3- You can decorate the sweater however you'd like: pretty, ugly, cute, funny, Christmas, random, etc.  Anything goes as long as you follow rule #1. 

4 - Embellishments can be sewn, glued, stapled, taped, or whatever you want to do, as long as you follow rule #2 and sew the actual sweater itself.

5 - To enter, post a modeled photo of your awesome ugly sweater to our CKC Facebook Page (click here).  Be sure to tag Create Kids Couture and use the hashtag #uglysweaterckc.  Entries are due at 11:59 pm est on Sunday, December 18.  Winners will be announced the following day. 

That's it!  If you have any questions, you can email 

If you want some tips for making your sweater, continue on below!

I made the sweater above for my son's school program where all the 2nd and 3rd graders at his school will be singing a song called "Atrocious Sweater."   I can't wait!  

We love how it turned out, and if you're participating in our Ugly Sweater contest, you're about to find out just how fun they are to make! 

When blinging up your sweater, you could simply use fabric glue of course. There's no shame in that.  But I usually like my projects to be super sturdy and machine washable so I sew whenever possible. I definitely don't want his sweater falling apart during the program!  

The biggest tip I have for embellishing a sweater is to add all of your bling before constructing it. 

Above you can see that I cut out the pieces for my sweater and started adding bling right away to the front piece, before sewing anything.  That allows you to center designs better, and especially makes it easier to sew.  You don't want the bulk of the other layers in your way.  Plus, if any of your designs go all the way to the edges, sewing last allows you to catch them in the seams. Much more tidy. 

So after you have your front piece cut and laid out on a flat surface, go ahead and lay out your design however you want it to be.  For my tree, I used wide rickrack and tucked the upper end underneath so it wouldn't fray over time, and then pinned it in place. Then I laid the ribbon back and forth, pinning each fold in place.  I purposely left the ribbon somewhat loose for a textured look. You could also do it totally flat.  At the bottom of the tree, I tucked the end behind again. 

  For the star, I used straight ribbon and folded it into the shape it needed. There are no cuts in the star shape, just folds.  The trunk of the tree has multiple folds too, rather than cuts. The less raw edges you have exposed, the better!  (Unless, of course, you want the frayed look for your ugly sweater.) 

Once you have everything where you want it, you're ready to sew!  You can use contrasting thread or colors that match your embellishments.  My biggest recommendation is to use clear thread, which makes it easier to sew from one piece to the next.  And actually, I usually use thin fishing line for my thread. This is just regular fishing line from Walmart that I wound onto a spool to fit my machine.  It's fantastic because it's a little stronger than thread and blends right into your designs. (This is how I sew on my sons' scouting patches too.)  The only complaint I have about using fishing line is that it occasionally gets stuck coming down, but the occasional re-thread solves that completely.

Ta-da!  This is how it looks after being sewn. You can't see any of my stitches here because I used the clear fishing line. I sewed through the layers at multiple points, rather than sewing along each ribbon edge. I like the textured look so I left the pieces somewhat free, but you can sew however you choose.  I used a narrow zigzag stitch to make it secure without a lot of straight lines. 

Once you have all your embellishments on, go ahead and finish constructing your sweater!  I did everything as instructed in the York's pattern and it turned out great.   

And... You're done! Now all you need to do is throw that sweater on your child and snap a photo for our contest.  

My kiddo absolutely loves his "atrocious sweater"!  His older brothers couldn't stop laughing and both his sister and his little brother want one of their own. So I think we'll call that a success!  You can't tell in the photo but the red is that fuzzy Santa fleece.  Perfection.    

Now it's your turn!  If you need some extra ideas, go ahead and google "children ugly sweaters" and check out all the fun images.  But I bet you already have some great plans in that head of yours. We can't wait to see what you make!  

Let's Create! ~ Kristen 

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