Sweatshirt to Asymmetrical Cardigan Makeover

February 15, 2015Allison Murray
Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

I can get stupidly attached to the silliest things. For instance, I had this almost kelly green sweatshirt that I loved. It wasn’t anything incredibly special… I picked it up at WalMart for less than 6 bucks when it started to get cold. BUT I loved that color and when I went back to get another it turned out that everybody else loved that color too.Yep, they were all gone.

So one day when I noticed a gigantic grease stain that came from who the heck knows where I decided that I’d try out something I’ve had in my head awhile. I mean, my sweatshirt was already ruined, unless I want to walk around looking like a chick who constantly has greasy food falling out of her face and onto her boobs (which I didn’t) so why the heck not?

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

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In the end it turned out really cool (although flawed as it was a first attempt) and I was so happy with it. Happy enough that I actually stopped working and took a mirror selfie to send to my Momma and sister along with a supply list if they wanted me to make them a couple. Turns out they thought my selfie was pretty awesome because it was just so bad and apparently sparked some discussion about what I was thinking at the time.

me-Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

And now you see why I don’t normally post pictures of myself. This is me on any normal day of work where I, you know, cut up sweatshirts with scissors and put tons of effort into bathroom selfies. I don’t wear a bra or makeup and it would appear on this day I didn’t see the point in combing my hair. Let’s just move on, shall we?

For this project you will need:

  • Hanes Sweatshirt (same size you usually wear)
  • 2 large buttons & matching thread
  • Scissors, needle, tailor’s chalk, straight edge, etc.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

So here is my before. I bought this sweatshirt JUST to go with a tank top I have that doesn’t match anything. I also grabbed some cheap buttons that were around 80 cents. Total investment? Just over $7 with tax.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

The first cut you’re going to make will be the diagonal. I’d really suggest putting the sweatshirt on and seeing where you’d like for the opening to begin. Mark with tailors chalk at the neck and the bottom. Connect the dots with a straight edge and cut. If you don’t want to go to all of that trouble, you can just sort of eyeball it trying to mimic what I have done above.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Next cut a straight line from the cut in the neckline to the bottom hem. Now it is possible to also angle this cut for a larger opening, but I’d recommend the straight cut first and if you’re not happy with the size of the opening, cut a bit more on a diagonal.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Now you’ve got a piece of scrap sweatshirt fleece that looks like this!

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

And this is where Max decided to get in on the action… See how is mouth is open strangely and he looks a bit freaky? My dear Max had just smelled the sweatshirt and apparently scented something unfamiliar. Cats will open their mouths to pass the scent past the Jacob’s organ to learn more about the smell. This is called Flehmen Response and if you have a cat, you’ve probably witnessed it a time or two. Strange cat fact school is now closed. Back to the tutorial at hand!

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Bring the collar of the left side to overlap the right (as you see it on the table not as you’d wear it). Make sure you have enough room to sew your buttons on underneath and place where you’d like for them to go.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Use a pen or your tailor’s chalk to mark the spots on the fabric beneath and sew your buttons on accordingly.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Bring the top flap back over and on top of the sewn down buttons. Use your finger to locate the center of the buttons and mark the top piece with a short line.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Pinch the fabric on your mark and cut a small slit.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

This fleece stretches you’ll probably need a smaller hole than you will think. Cut small and then try your button and if it doesn’t work make the slit just a tiny bit bigger and try again.

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

And there we have it! All dolled up with my tank that has nothing to go with it’s pretty darn spiffy! And it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, though you could probably go much faster when not taking pics of each step :)

Turn a sweatshirt into a fun, asymmetrical cardigan with scissors and buttons!

Remember that this gem only cost me about $7 and is a bit fancier way of keeping warm when it’s chilly!

Comments (7)

  • sharon

    February 15, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    brilliant! i know exactly which sweatshirt (or six) that I can do this to. and during fashion week, as well!
    perfect timing.
    sharon

  • Sarah Tron

    February 16, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    Just to clarify: I should insert the cutting mat into the sweatshirt before making that cut? That’s what the pic looks like, but I want to be certain before I start cutting wildly!

    And really, who wants to do their hair & make up for a day of crafty-ness? Not me! With you all the way, right down to the cat on my project!

    1. Allison Murray

      February 17, 2015 at 9:05 PM

      Yes! Sorry for that. Definitely inside of the shirt! And cats are awesome :) Have fun making your sweatshirts!

  • Joanne (Jo) Goranson

    February 16, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    I absolutely love this asymmetrical make over of the sweatshirt! By the way the picture of you is better looking than what I usually wear when I am creating. I never care if my colors match on my “putter clothes” (my Dad’s word for things to wear that you don’t care if they get paint on them or anything else). I also never wear bras and while I always wash my face and brush my teeth I usually have my hair sticking up because that’s what happens when I sleep. Anyway, this gives me an idea about doing more than just a sweatshirt this way. Since my husband retired we have fled cold MN in the winter for the warmth of AZ and I have some T shirts that would look wonderful this way. I know that the fabric is different so I will probably have to use bias binding where I cut the shirt up but I think it will work. Anyway, I am going to try it. I have some quilts that need to be finished to be sent to a judged show for SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Association), but one those are done I am switching from quilts to fiddling around with making over clothes. The first thing I will do is try your method on T shirts. I’ll send you some pictures when I get them done.

    1. Allison Murray

      February 17, 2015 at 9:04 PM

      Please do send pics. I’d love to see the tee shirt version!

  • Dale

    February 16, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Love it!

  • Rae

    October 3, 2015 at 6:32 AM

    When I bought my $6 names sweat suit…this is exactly what I planned to do to it… great minds think alike…..

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