I love sweaters, but I keep adding them to my wardrobe without discarding the old ones. What do you do if you have too many sweaters? If you are preparing for the upcoming winter season or are in the midst of winter doldrums, then get out your old sweaters for a winter upcycling fashion craft. A cowl-neck scarf can be made from a sweater of any fiber and is a great project for a teen sewing class, sleepover or a snow day. The scarf is a ring that can be draped around the neck and the back of the ring can be pulled up as a head-covering if desired.
Sewing with sweaters does take a little bit of prep work before you make that first cut, or the stitches will come unraveled. The unsightly cut edges are concealed by using a recycled T-shirt for the lining.
Lay your sweater flat on your work surface. Measure up 12 1/2 inches from the bottom edge and mark with a permanent marking pen. Lay a yardstick across the width of the sweater at this mark and draw a line across the sweater. Flip the sweater over and repeat on the other side. You will now have a continuous line marked around the sweater body.
Place the sweater body over the deck of your sewing machine. Zigzag stitch around the sweater on the marked line. Do not pull or stretch the sweater and do not sew the front to the back. The zigzag stitch is to prevent the stitches from unraveling once the sweater is cut.
Sew another zigzag line around the sweater 1/4 inch above the first line.
Cut between the stitched lines to remove the bottom portion of the sweater. Save the top of the sweater for other projects.
Lay an old t-shirt on your work surface that coordinates with the color of the sweater. The T-shirt body needs to be the same width or larger than the sweater’s body width. Cut off the hem of the t-shirt. Measure up from the cut edge 13 1/2 inches and mark. Note: That is 1 inch longer than the sweater measurement. Draw a line across the T-shirt body. Cut across the T-shirt body through both layers.
This step is for T-shirts that are wider than your sweater. Lay the sweater body on the T-shirt body. Line up one side edge. Mark the T-shirt at the other side edge of the sweater. Pin the layers together. Sew the T-shirt on the traced line. Cut away the excess 1/4 inch from the stitching.
Place the T-shirt body over the sweater body. If you had to preform Step 6, make sure the raw seam is facing outward. Match the zigzag edge of the sweater with one cut edge of the T-shirt and pin. Zigzag around the pinned edge using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Flip the attached T-shirt body to the inside of the sweater body. Finger press the sewn seam and pin. Top stitch a 1/2 inch from the edge using a zigzag stitch.
Turn the scarf body around with the hem of the sweater at the top. Fold the raw T-shirt edge to the inside and match the fold to the edge of the sweater hem. Note: This edge of the sweater has not been cut or stitched, so it does not need to be turned under. Pin the folded edge. Sew a zigzag stitch 1/2 inch from the pinned edge.