Wild & Wanderful

Sweatshirt Refashion | Tutorial

clothing diyKaty McKinleyComment

What I’ve come to realize over the years is that I’m a hoarder.  I keep everything (clothes included!) because I think that I might be able to use them down the road.  I don’t even want to admit how many sweatshirts I own…because I don’t even hardly wear the darn things anymore.  My college-days attire has been retired.  And yet, I continue to hold onto them.

A light bulb went off!  What if I rework all of these old goods into something that I would wear now?  Aha!  Genius!  Or at least….kinda genius.

a to b

I know, I know.  Another cardigan tutorial?  Hey – the cold weather season is coming!  All I want to do is wrap up in warm layers and eat soups and other comfort foods.  Deal with it. :)

First start out by finding an old sweatshirt that you’re dying to reconstruct.  It doesn’t have to be giant on you…just a sweatshirt.  Let’s face it ladies, sweatshirts aren’t exactly flattering to the figure.  It doesn’t hurt to take it down a few notches!


Get your scissors out and cut those sleeves off!!  Don’t toss them, just set them aside.  We will be needing the sleeves, just after a few adjustments.  Make sure cut the arm seams off of the body of the shirt at this point. 


Next, you’re going to measure and cut straight down the middle of the front of your shirt.  Make sure you’re only slicing through the top layer!  If you’re anything like me, the less sewing the better.


Take the main body piece of the shirt and turn it inside out, then put it on.  Head to your nearest mirror with some pins and pinch/mark where you’d like to take the sides of your shirt in.  Feel free to close the armpit hole a little tighter, I did!  Once you have one side finished, pin the other side exactly the same.  {Hello…awkward hand placement in the pictures below!  Haha.}


Head to your sewing machine and stitch along your marks.  If you are super cool and own a serger, go ahead and finish the edges with that.  Otherwise…uncool people like me need to zigzag stitch just outside of the straight line you sewed, to reinforce your new hem and edges.  Then simply snip off the excess fabric.  Your sides are taken in and complete now!!


Keep your shirt body inside-out and turn your sleeves inside out as well.  I desired having a 3/4 length sleeve (because I tend to roll up everything long-sleeved anyway) so I lined the body and the sleeve up to the point where they were the same width. 


Mark and cut both sleeves the same length.


Keeping the body inside-out, turn a sleeve back to normal and stuff it inside of the armhole.  Line up the edges and pin it in place. 


Head on back to your sewing machine.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge and finish the edges by a zigzag or way of the serger.


Now this part probably took me the longest because I couldn’t decide what to do.  The sweatshirt I chose to upcycle has a huge logo on the left breast.  I wanted my shirt to be something I could wear whenever I wanted…work, casual, etc.  So after about three or four different ideas, I settled on putting a large fabric flower over it.

I cut a strip of fabric about 26” x 6”.  Folded it in half and pressed the edges.


Next, I took a needle and thread and stitched along the raw edge loosely.


Pull the thread to gather the fabric until you’re able to create a full “bloom”.


I found a button I liked and hand stitched the flower right on top of the logo.  It covered it perfectly!! :)  The only problem was that it was loose on the edges and if I moved at all, you’d be able to see the logo.


So I found thread in the same color as the main blue color of the fabric and put tiny, discrete stitches to hold the sides down.  Eureka!  No more logo!


The finishing step was to zigzag stitch across the entire front opening, on both sides.  Sweatshirt fabric doesn’t fray…but just a plain edge wasn’t doing it for me.  The zigzag gave it the “finished” look I so desired.


That’s it!  You’re done!  How awesome is your newly transformed piece of clothing?


Now it’s time to show this bad boy off!!  Or in my case…pose awkwardly while your husband tries to wrangle a 2-year old and photograph you at the same time.  Success!  Haha.I hope I explained it as well as I could.  I’m new to the sewing-tutorial game, so if you have any questions or get stuck please feel free to ask!!