Monday 9 April 2012

Monday Make: How To Upcycle An Old Jumper

I'm starting the week with a new how-to. Yip! And it's a two-in-one project which makes it twice as good. This week we're learning how to upcycle an old jumper into a cosy cowl and armwarmer set. And with the wind rattling my rain-splattered window panes as I type, what better way to spend today! (Other than lying in bed watching old movies and Mad Men Season 5 Episode 3, but I did that yesterday...)

So onward to the project! You will need one old jumper. I chose this one my housemate gave me because it was a bit hole-y. 

I love the deep plum colour and the soft feel of the Merino wool. So snuggly.

To make the cowl, all you need to do is cut away the waistband and then cut horizontally across from one armpit to the other. Take the middle section and put the other parts to one side for the time being.

Then all you need to do is grab either side of the section and pull. This stretches the tube to make it wider and you will find the edges naturally curl in on themselves meaning you don't really have to hem the raw edges.

Pop it over your head and double up for extra snuggle factor. Too easy.

Now it's time to make the matching armwarmers. Remember that sleeve section you put aside earlier? Grab it and remove the sleeves. The cuffs are going to become the top end of your armwarmers. You could really make them any length you prefer. I want mine to be nice and long.

Set aside the body section of jumper. We wont need it again for this project but don't throw it away! Fabric scraps always come in useful. (I'll show you some creative ways to use these scraps in future tutorials).

By the way, I'm right handed so bear this in mind for the next steps. Lay your left arm on the left sleeve, making sure the left side of your arm is flush with the folded side of the fabric while the seam is to the right. Cut around the shape of your arm, allowing 1cm for seam allowance. The cut line will curve in at your wrist, out at the base of your thumb and in again at the base of your fingers.

Now make the right arm by flipping the left sleeve over and laying it on top as a template to cut around.

Your sleeves should now look something like this:

Next we're going to sew some raw edges. You only need to sew the tops and the bits that will be the thumb holes for now. Use an overlocker (serger) if you have one, or a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.

Now fold the piece lengthways, with right sides facing together, and sew from the top to the crook of where the thumb joins the hand (approximately 4cm down). 

Then sew from the base of the thumb right down to the bottom, making sure the gap you didn't sew is big enough to fit your thumb through.

Finally, you need to hem the top of the glove. You could do it on the sewing machine with an invisible stitch but I just hand-sewed mine with a coordinating thread. 

Weave any loose ends into your seams. Flip right side out and repeat for the other side. And voila!

Thanks for checking out this tutorial. Hope you liked it :o)

Love Leanne xx
Chi Chi Dee Handmade 

Ps, If you liked the idea but don't have time to make this cowl and armwarmer set for yourself then they are available to buy in my Folksy Shop ;o)

See you next week for another Monday Make!!! Bye-eeeee!


  1. That is such a smart and easy way to upcycle :) I use the same technique to make the neck warmer too! :)


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