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Upcycled Sweatshirt to Classy Cardigan

Carolyn Wainscott back again with a sweatshirt makeover into a classy cardigan. My fave old throw over cardigan that I work in around the house and have even run errands in was created by simply whacking off the sleeves to the length I wanted and cutting open down the center front. I favor 3/4 length sleeves. That took about 3 or 4 minutes-no sewing-no trims, in fact, I have it on as I write this piece.

 But I wanted something a little more refined to wear out. I have looked for a long time to replace a couple of old cardigans with pockets but haven’t been successful. It was easier to find sweatshirts that would do the job. They were bought a couple of sizes too large to fit over other sweaters.

Shopping in my stash yielded fabrics to match the sweatshirts for pockets, cuffs and edge trim and one afternoon’s work turned out 2 sweatshirt cardigans. Two pairs of sweatpants also had to be cut shorter and hemmed. I don’t like the elastic around the ankles so now they have a dressier look. They were on sale for $5 in the men’s department and they fit nicely and match the sweatshirts.


measure the length for your sleeves [you may choose to leave the sleeve as is but I wanted matching cuffs]

 measure around sleeve bottom [mine were 15″]-cut 2-16″ x 9″

sew 9″ sides-right sides together

turn right sides out,

fold in half-wrong sides together


sew inside sleeves

fold to outside of sleeve-top stitch all around cuffs


cut down center front and around neckline removing ribbing

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bias strip

cut bias strip-2″ wide x the length around front sides and neckline -[mine was about 86″]

fold to wrong side and press 1/2″ on each long side to create double fold bias strip


fold in 1/2″ on one end of bias strip

sew bias strip to inside front starting at bottom of one side-1/2″ seam allowance-sew all around front, neckline, down other front side to bottom of ribbing-folding under 1/2″ at other end of strip


fold 1/2″ bias strip over edge, sew all around


For the blue cardigan, I chose not to finish the front edges with bias [kind of ran out of material-lol]. The edges were simply folded over and stitched all around.


cut 2-16″ x 8″

fold in half, right sides facing to create a square

sew around 3 sides leaving 2″ open for turning

clip corners, turn right side out, press

top stitch to cardigan

voila-you are done

unless you decide to add buttons, snaps, etc.

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Toasty warm and ready to go.

It took longer to write about the sweatshirt makeovers than to make both of them. I’m pleased with the way  they both turned out, love the big pockets-that is the main reason for making these-the pockets.

Happy Crafting

Carolyn Wainscott