Transform a Pullover to Cardigan Sweater Jacket Tutorial

Turn any standard sweater into a more wearable, versatile cardigan with just some fabric strips and a button.

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Looking to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank? Consider transforming a pullover sweater into a cardigan. Maybe you found an interesting sweater at the thrift store you'd like to transform, or you have an old sweater that needs a refresh.

With a few snips of the scissors and some new seams, you can easily turn an unflattering pullover sweater into a more wearable and versatile cardigan. Basic sewing skills are required, but even beginners can complete this project in less than an hour.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington
Image Credit: Beth Huntington

How to Turn a Pullover Sweater Into a Cardigan

Things You'll Need

  • Patterned pullover

  • Tape measure

  • Contrasting fabric

  • Sharp pair of scissors

  • Button

  • Thick hair elastic

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

1. Cut fabric strips

First, cut two strips of fabric that are 2 inches wide and 2 inches longer than the front of your sweater.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

2. Fold and press strips

Fold under 1/4 inch on the long side of each strip and press it by folding or ironing it down. Choose a button and cut an elastic hairband in half.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

3. Cut the sweater

Cut a line straight up the center front of the sweater with sharp scissors. Don't worry if you end up with jagged edges — you'll be covering up the raw edges later.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

4. Pin on the strips

With right sides together, pin the unpressed sides of each strip to the raw edge of the center cut you just made.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

5. Add button closure and strips

Determine where you want the button closure on your cardigan, then fold your hair elastic in half and pin it under the fabric strip with the ends facing in. Sew each unpressed side of the fabric strips to the raw edges of the center sweater cut.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

6. Fold and press strips again

Flip the fabric strips over and press 1/4 inch down on the other edge of each fabric strip. Fold and press each end of the fabric strips.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

7. Pin strips again

Fold over each fabric strip so that wrong sides of the strip and sweater are facing together and raw edges are hidden now. Pin this in place.

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Image Credit: Beth Huntington

8. Topstitch the strips

Topstitch around all four edges of the fabric strip and add the button so that you can button your cardigan closed.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

You're finished with your cardigan — Mr. Rogers would be so proud! Now you can stay toasty warm and look stylish while you're at it.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

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