Upcycled Sweater to Skirt

Lately, I have been interested in upcycled clothing. It seems that finding fabric for apparel is difficult and expensive. When I try on clothing in the stores, I often think this would look great if only ….. But who wants to pay full price for a garment just to have to start cutting and sewing on it when you get home. So my daughter and I went to a great thrift store, and decided to see what we could upcycle. Before we went, we looked up some ideas on pinterest, and found a couple of great blogs called “The Renegade Seamstress” and “Trevor Loves Mommy”. These ladies have some great ideas for upcycling clothing. At the thrift store we found some great pieces that we are going to try to transform into something more modern, unique and custom fit to us. We had a great time looking at the clothing for its potential, rather than what it currently is.

I have finished my first upcycle project and it turned out great! I was inspired by this blog post by “Trevor Loves Mommy” . http://trevorlovesmommy.com/2015/11/11/refashion-tutorial-upcycled-henley-with-sweater-sleeves-and-bonus-skirt/

I loved the idea of converting a large sweater into a skirt, and found this sweater for $4.97 at the thrift store. IMG_3942

I then took a pencil skirt I already owned, that I knew fit, and laid it out on top of the sweater.


Then I cut out around the skirt leaving about a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the sides. The hem is already done on the sweater so you don’t have to leave any extra for that. Then I left as much extra as I could on the top, in order to turn down the waistband. I didn’t have a lot of extra room here due to the neck-band, so I used a 1/2 inch wide elastic so I didn’t have to give up much of my length in the waist band. IMG_3944
You might want to have one of these handy, as you will get some fuzz from the loose loops that you cut.IMG_3952
Then I sewed each side seam with a 1/2 inch seam. (Tip: Start at the hem and sew towards the waistband so you can be certain that your hem will be lined up perfectly.) IMG_3945
I serged my side seams just to make the inside a little more finished looking. You could also use the zig zag stitch to finish off your edges. Your skirt may be a little stretched out on the side seams at this point, but don’t panic. Just iron it with plenty of steam, and it should flatten back into place.

My sweater was made from an interlocked fabric. This means that if you cut it, it won’t fray, aside from the loops that you already cut. Since the sweater is thick, and I wanted to keep my waist band as flat as possible, I decided to turn my waistband under only once to make the casing for my elastic. (If your sweater is not interlocked, you will either have to turn the raw edge under twice, or use a wider elastic, and sew the right side of the sweater to the elastic, and then turn using the elastic to encase the raw edge as in the linked tutorial above by “Trevor Loves Mommy”.  So I turned my waistband under a little more that a 1/2 inch and sewed all the way around, leaving about a 2 inch opening to thread my elastic through.IMG_3951
Then using a large safety-pin, I pulled the elastic through the waist band and the sewed the elastic together several times to secure. Then I finished sewing the 2 inches of the waistband closed.IMG_3953
It only took me about an hour or so to complete, and I think it turned out really cute. What do you think?Sweater to Skirt


  1. Kathy | 24th Nov 15

    I really thought the skirt was too cute. Your instructions were very easy to understand…..now to find a sweater……

    • bakingandbobbins@gmail.com | 24th Nov 15

      Should be easier up there than down here in Florida. Ha!

  2. Sue Garino | 25th Nov 15

    Robin, you always come up with the best ideas. The skirt turned out beautifully!!

    • bakingandbobbins@gmail.com | 25th Nov 15

      Thanks Sue! My daughter is home this week and we hope to upcycle some things for her also. I wanted to make her a sweater skirt, but large sweaters are not too plentiful in the thrift stores here in Florida. Ha Ha. Will have to keep looking.

  3. Trevor Loves Mommy | 1st Dec 15

    So awesome to see your refashion. It makes me positively giddy to see your version of my project. It’s amazing to see how the same project can look so different just by choosing a different sweater. I love the simple but bold pattern of your sweater.

    • bakingandbobbins@gmail.com | 1st Dec 15

      Thank you so much! I loved your skirt and your blog!

  4. bakingandbobbins@gmail.com | 7th Dec 15

    Pingback: http://www.refashionnation.com

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