Upcycle a Thrift Store Sweater Just in Time For Valentine’s Day


Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Thrift store clothes amaze me.

Even after all these years of shopping second hand, I’m still thrilled when I find quality clothing for very little moolah. And even better, they don’t even have to fit when you know how to alter and refashion.

All it takes is an eye for possibilities.

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Take this thrift store sweater and shirt for example:

The shirt was stained and the sweater was too big. Each cost fifty cents on half price day at my local thrift store. YAY!

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

  The sweater was a quality brand and I loved the colors together. Perfect for a cardigan with plaid elbow patches.

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

I wanted to keep the existing raglan sleeves so I took it in using the existing seams. Just pin, sew and trim to fit. I also took in the side seams the same way.

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Pullover sweaters don’t do too much to flatter me, so I decided to make this into a cardigan using the red plaid shirt for trim and elbow patches.

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Then, since Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, I thought a plaid heart elbow patch would be fun.

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

And there you are, a new sweater just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

Upcycle a thrift store sweater with this easy to follow photo tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress

You might also like:

Ten Ways to Refashion a Sweater

About these ads

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've just recently joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to Upcycle a Thrift Store Sweater Just in Time For Valentine’s Day

  1. Sweet! What a steal Beth. Fifty cents? You definitely have that eye. Another great refashion my friend!

  2. You are so talented! Being able to see the completed outfit in your mind is a real talent. Really cute!

  3. Deann Campbell says:

    So cute….you are so talented and you must have a great thrift store to shop at, plus a very creative eye.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Ahh, this is totally adorable! Great use of a thrift store find, especially with the cute elbow patches. : )

  5. What a wonderful idea and this one is simple enough that a lot of us could easily tackle it! I love cardigan’s! This is going in my file to do later!

  6. Sandra says:

    As always; great post. I’m just curious tho'; what kind of thread and stitch do you use when refashioning a sweater?

  7. nonnyk says:

    I love what you have done to this sweater!! So creative!!

    Have a wonderful day!!
    Nonny
    http://www.notionsfromnonny.blogspot.com

  8. Home Seasons says:

    Loving the elbow patch! It’s so creative how you turned a sweater into a cozy cardigan for Valentine’s Day. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Barb says:

    Love this one!

  10. Jean C. says:

    Cute re-fashion! Now I need to go visit the local thrift store! Valentines Day is just around the corner… also the day after is my daughter’s birthday! She would love this idea! Just need to not make it hearts… she has this thing about getting Valentine’s Day stuff for her birthday! LoL…but, there is always… St. Patrick’s Day! Green… that’s a good color! LoL…

    • Thanks, Jean! The patches would be just as cute as an oval. I debated back and forth between a heart and an oval, but when I imagined my kindergartener’s faces, the heart won out. Happy Sewing!
      Beth

  11. That is so casually cute! I really love that sweater and what you did with it.

  12. CherryPix says:

    I especially like this remake! Just wondering, did the knit unravel much when you trimmed the seams and cut up the centre?

  13. Love this!!! You are always an inspiration and I try and visit you on youtube whenever I can :)

  14. MJ says:

    You have lovely ideas and execution. Thanks for sharing! I love thrifting, but you have better prices than we have around here. Much better!

  15. Sew cute! :)
    Love the new look.
    Cheers,
    Laura

  16. Portia Strong says:

    definitely going to try this

  17. Sew (pun intended) creative. You really have a talent!
    Paula

  18. Jo H. says:

    I really like the fabric strip used as a facing in the front of the sweater … storing that bit away in my head for future :) I loved it when my children’s elementary teachers got in the spirit of special occasions like you are doing.

  19. Love the way the red plaid looks with the bulky knit. How perfect to find a sweater with 2 off-center cables with space to cut in between. Thanks for another great idea!

  20. Cul de Sac says:

    Really like this! and the patch is just too cute :) ahh all the ideas you have…!

  21. lucindalines says:

    This is so cool. I am excited to try some of the ideas I have been seeing.

  22. I have just commented on the Refashion Co-op (and thank you for sharing there too) but I just wanted to add that this is also a great tutorial. I will share it on my Facebook page as well.
    Eddie

  23. I wan’na try something like this. Great job.

  24. CraftyStaci says:

    Love the contrast trim inside the front. Your closet must be amazing! :-)

  25. As always, inspirational!

  26. Sharon says:

    Your finished product is so wonderful! I’ve been saving a sweater and now have a model to use to do it. Thanks for the idea and inspiration!

  27. Pingback: Ten Ways to Refashion a Sweater | The Renegade Seamstress

  28. Crystal says:

    Found your blog through pinterest tonight! Loving it! I just got a sewing machine for christmas and I’m really eager to update my wardrobe using it. I will definitely be trying to do something simular to this sweater!

  29. I adore this! Man oh man. I must learn to sew.

  30. Jan Antal says:

    I have had trouble with cotton sweaters stretching when I sew them into a new item. Do you have any hints on how to prevent this? I love your creative ways to recycle and want to try them.

    • I know what you mean about the stretching. When I was making mittens, I had that problem with the cotton sweaters, too. If I were to do it again, I would iron on some fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the sweater. Selection of the right fabric is an important part of the refashioning process, that’s for sure. :)
      Happy Sewing!
      Beth

      • Jan Antal says:

        A while back you recommended using iron on interfacing to prevent the parts of a cotton sweater from unraveling as you are recycling it for use in a project. A recent project involved cutting apart a fisherman’s knit sweater and making it into a pillow. The interfacing worked perfectly. Thank you!

  31. Jess says:

    WOW!!!! Im just learning to sew .. took a beginners class .. I cant wait til I have the confidence to do things like this .. I love it!

    • Hi Jess,
      If you’re willing to take some chances and expect a few failures along the way, I recommend just jumping in and trying a few things…..don’t wait til you think you might be ready….you might just surprise yourself and create something wonderful now.
      Happy sewing!
      Beth

  32. Pingback: Up-Cycled Fashion | A Homeschool Mom

  33. Teri Holland says:

    Hi, I love your blog and hope to do some of these things very soon with things I don’t love in my closet and things found at the thrift store! I have a question about sewing on the sweater material – does the stitching look funny on the front of the sweater after sewing the contrasting fabric on the inside edge? Looks like it would look weird on top of the sweater – like it didn’t belong. Does it sink in and not show much? Thanks for letting me ask questions!
    Teri

    • Hi Teri,
      Thanks for your visit! I’d love to see some of the things you make! As far as the stitching goes, on this sweater, it just sank in and wasn’t noticeable at all. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’ll be happy to try and answer them! Happy sewing!
      Beth

  34. Loved your sweater upcycle!!! Did you do stay-stitching on the sweater before you cut it to prevent raveling?

    Regina D
    NC

  35. blaanca says:

    that looks like a lovely idea. winter is coming (soon). thank you for this great tutorial

    http://www.kleinekleinigkeiten.wordpress.com

  36. Blondie says:

    I’m so glad I subscribed to updates on this post. My daughter and I went shopping at Goodwill yesterday and she picked out a couple of men’s sweaters that “we” plan to restyle (refashion). Perfect timing to re-read this post for pointers. Since we live in South Central Texas, I think we have some time. And we plan to take pictures and post about it on my blog. Beth you are such an inspiration and when I grow up… lol, I want to be just like you. Hehehe…

  37. Boondoxlady says:

    Awesome! Now I’ll be watching my thrift stores for materials to make my own! ;)

  38. Lisa says:

    My goodness you are crazy talented and inspiring! Happy to chance upon your darling blog!

  39. gloria says:

    Great idea. I’m curious too about the stitches showing up on the outside of the sweater. Also, maybe I’m not understanding your instructions, but if you make a line of stitching to sew on the contrast fabric closest to the opening, then you sew “around all four edges”, aren’t you going to have two lines of sewing closest to the opening, one on top of the other? Wouldn’t you need to make sure the second line in right on top of the first in order that it didn’t look messy?

    • Hi Gloria. Thanks for your good question. When you sew the first seam, right sides are together. When you fold the lining piece over so wrong sides are together, the stitching becomes invisible, it is now the seam. When you sew “around all four edges”, it is topstitching. I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions.
      Beth

  40. clara says:

    Megusta es una forma facil de camviar una prenda que no te gusta,es fantastico.

  41. Ines says:

    what a great idea and such a good tutorial…I was looking around what really to do and so I found You by linking through pinterest…THANK YOU for sharing it! Ines

  42. Elaine says:

    Great idea . Now I know what to do with all the turtlenecks I can t wear. They are always too hot!

  43. Marianne says:

    So, so cute and clever!!!

  44. Santia says:

    I just discovered your page, it is awesome! One question. When you cut the sweater up the middle, how do you keep the cut from fraying and unraveling?

Your comments make me happy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s