Brilliantly Creative / Crafties

Refashioning Old, Misfit Sweaters Into Cute, Crocheted Cardigans

Sheesh! What a day! What a week! Where have I been? Oh, you know, I’ve been up to general craftiness. In a wind of inspiration, I’ve been scouring my closet for clothes that can be recycled in one way or another. I have a whole stack of t-shirts and blue jeans that are aching to be cut into strips and crocheted into rugs or baskets, plus I have a whole pile of boxy turtleneck sweaters that I must either make a bit more feminine with some tailoring or that will make fabulous throw pillows. But I was most excited about two sweaters, one purple, one yellow, that begged to be refashioned into springy cardigans because every girl needs a fresh spring cardigan.

Old Purple Sweater

I tackled the purple sweater first. My best friend Jenny may recognize it as the Christmas gift she gave me a few years ago. I love the color, but it’s a little snug, which doesn’t exactly make it work appropriate, so I laid it out on my table and went to work.

Sarah Straightening Sweater

My mother-in-law let me borrow her sewing machine (just having it on my dining room table makes me want to tackle projects!), and I cut the front straight up the middle. I gave the new edges some zigzag stitches to keep them intact and used some sock yarn to crochet them up Sarah style. I also chopped off the sleeves to make them 3/4 length and crocheted around their edges, too. Here’s the finished product:

Sarah in the Purple Sweater

Oh, and I added a button. It’s fancy.

Purple Sweater Details

Here’s the cardigan draped across my chair. (I don’t have one of those seamstress form-y things.)

Full Purple Sweater

The yellow sweater was next. I loved this sweater’s color, and something in the store made me think it was awesome, but it never really worked. I think it was supposed to be worn off the shoulder or something because the color was uber wide and a little too short. Chopping it up the front was a little precarious. The knit pattern was pretty loose, so I couldn’t secure it with the machine, but I also didn’t want any of the stitches to fall out. I managed to keep them intact while crocheting up and down the new edges.

Sarah in Yellow Sweater

I used the same sock yarn that I used on the other sweater. I love this yarn because it has some great colors in it, so I can wear these sweaters with just about any t-shirt in my closet. Perfection.

Full Yellow Sweater

After crocheting, I tweaked the shoulder seams. I pinched and pinned them in place. I sewed some new seams so the sweater didn’t look weird. I may whip out a button to secure the top, but overall, I’m very happy with the outcome.

Yellow Sweater Detail

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I have a little bit before I need to start on the next big project (an afghan for my niece who is arriving in September), so I bought an amigurumi robot book, and I’m crocheting an army of robots from remnants of yarn from old projects. Uber cute! I’ll post pics when I’ve got some ready for battle.

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9 thoughts on “Refashioning Old, Misfit Sweaters Into Cute, Crocheted Cardigans

  1. !!! You can hemstitch?! I’m so jealous!! The cardigans turned out über cute and I can’t wait to see the robots. I’ve never gotten the hang of crocheting anything other than a scarf myself, and I can’t follow a crochet pattern to save my life. But I do think those little amigurumi are adorable, so you’ll have to post photos asap!

  2. Great ideas! I’m going to look through my sweaters to see what I can transform. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Susan

  3. What a cool way to recycle! I’ve recycled sweaters also, but I usually just take the apart and redo them completely.
    This is so much easier!

    • @lifestudent Yes, I read somewhere that the economy is making us more conscious about what we save and fix versus what we throw away. We’re becoming a thrifty nation! A tip for darning socks. Stick a light bulb in them so you have a form by which to stitch.

      @Irene Glad you found this article useful! There are so many other ways to use sweaters, too. Throw pillows, hats, wristlets…all sorts of ideas I haven’t ventured into yet.

      @Susan I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

      @Vicky Yes, Mom, 4-H has served me well! Aunt Kathy said she printed the post to share with her FACS students!

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