Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Scarf from an old Sweater (and it doesn't even need to be wool!)

I'm still working hard on play food for Firecracker's upcoming birthday, but thought I'd write up this project I did for Christmas.
For Christmas this year we were on a pretty tight budget.  We've just moved and there's no permanent job lined up yet.  (Although I did substitute teach for my first time today...subbing kindergarten is WAY different than teaching high school chemistry!)  Since we just moved to the Lower Yakima Valley where it is quite cold this time of year, warm things made good gifts.  I'd had this red sweater for a long time.  I loved the color and texture, but it had developed some holes that make it pretty much unwearable, plus the cut was not all that flattering anyway. 

I've seen a lot of tutorials out there for turning sweaters into things, but they always seemed to be felted wool...and this sweater was acrylic, so I was kind on my own for it.  I decided I'd try lining it with some fleece a friend gave me a while ago to give it a little more stability.  The fleece seemed to have a comparable stretch to it, and would give it added warmth.

The key for using this kind sweater is to do as much of the sewing BEFORE the sweater is cut as possible. 

I started with the scarf because it seemed the easiest and I figured that would give me a good indication of whether or not the rest of the project was feasable.  It went great!  Here's what I did:

I removed the sleaves and opened up the underarm seam.  For this sweater, that meant carefully cutting just the thick thread sewing them together and not the actual yarn.  This gave me two pieces that looked like this:

Next I lined them up, right sides together and sewed them together with a straight seam (so you'll have to do this in a few inches from the shoulder).  When I sewed the seam, I included a thin strip of fleece to help keep the seam even and keep the presser foot from getting caught on the knit or stretching it out as I sewed. 

{Sorry this pic is sideways...I'm too lazy to turn it and repost it tonight.}
Once I sewed it, I cut the sweater along the fleece and then zigzagged it to reinforce the seam further.  That resulted in the seam getting a little rippled like this. 

What I discovered I should have done {TAKE NOTE!} is sewed the zigzag along the edge, and THEN do the cutting.

Once I was finished with this seam, I cut a piece of fleece the size I wanted the scarf to be and pinned it to my two sweater pieces that had been sewn together.  Then I sewed those side seams and zigzagged the edges.  THEN I trimmed the excess parts of sleave off.  DO NOT sew the ends yet!  You should have two open ends, so you can turn your scarf right side out.  Because I used "raw" edges at the ends were the cuffs for the sleeves, I turned the edges of the fleece in, but did not turn the sweater in.  I sewed these parts closed by hand with red embroidery thread. 

I also did a little decorative stitch along the long sides to help the scarf keep it's shape.

And for a little teaser...here is Hubby wearing his new hat and scarf.  Tips for making the hat will be coming soon! can be seen here!

I'm linking this up to "Trash to Treasure" Tuesday at Reinvented and



  1. So glad to see that the sweater has a new life!

  2. Wow, great job. That sounds a little to complicated for me yet, but I've got a few sweaters to practice with! :) Thanks for linking up!

  3. It came out very pretty - knits are so difficult to work with (for me they are), but you make it look so easy, and you did an excellent job!

    Thank you for linking on Thursday's Treasures!

  4. Very cute! I'm trying to turn a sweeater into a few things, but I hadn't thought of a scarf!
    Very clever!

  5. Wow You are so inventive and creative! Looks like it will keep Hubby really warm this winter!


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