Home Made Sweat Shirt Re-Do


Some of you may remember the last post I did about a sweat shirt re-do I did about a year ago. I didn’t post a tutorial about it because I just saw an inspiration picture that I wanted to make, and went ahead and did it. Most people that left comments wanted a tutorial, and I went ahead and made another, trying my best to take pictures along the way.

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The finished product! I will show you how we got here. You need: One sweatshirt that’s too big for you. And a half yard of accent fabric. You can use any light weight cotton fabric. You also need 5 of the buttons you cover with fabric, you can get them at your local craft store.

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This is an unflattering photo of the sweater before, when I got it.

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Here’s a side shot of the sweater before. It’s a jansport and came from an outlet mall for about $15. It’s REALLY soft on the inside, so I knew I wanted to use it for this project.

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It took me about 45 minutes to take the pocket off carefully. There were a LOT of seams, and the entire bottom band had to be separated from the rest of the shirt. That’s ok, you’ll need it to be done for later. And save the pocket, I put mine back on later.

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This is Bogey. He loves to help.

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Yes this shirt is covered in cat hair. Yes I have a cat and he loves crafts, as shown above. So, the next step was to put the shirt on to figure out where to take the sides and the front in. The bottom band fit perfectly, but it was very flying squirrel like around the mid waist and armpits. I took some of the fabric from the front of the shirt, and separated it visually into thirds. I took it and folded it over onto itself to create a little seam, to later sew fabric into, and pinned it over. You can see that in the picture above. You also see where I took the excess side fabric and pinned it to know where to sew the sweat shirt to fit.

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You want to do the same to the sleeves. DO NOT pin right up to your arm. You will have a hard time getting into a sweatshirt that’s too tight. Leave yourself a little room You can always make it smaller, but not bigger. Carefully take the shirt off without poking yourself with the pins.

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Next I cut about a half inch over from where I pinned on the side. Do the same for the other side. You can omit from having to pin both sides by taking the piece of fabric you cut from one side and laying it over the opposite side, and cutting around it.

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I then looked at where I had pinned up the shirt in the front. I cut at the fold, (shown above) then once I had cut along the fold, I cut the sweater where the fold touched the other side, because I knew I was sewing it together anyways. When you’re done cutting those two slits up the sweat shirt, it looks like you have a really tall thin football shaped piece of fabric left over. You can keep the sliver of fabric that comes out after you had cut it and save it. I will tell you what for later.

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Go ahead and turn the sweatshirt inside out and sew the sleeves together.

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Cut a piece of your fabric you will use for the inside trimmings and cut a 1″ wide piece by the length of the sweatshirt. Lay it right side facing right side on the opening of the front of the shirt. You will end up tucking it in when you sew it together. I will show you.

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Starting at the top, sew the patterned fabric to the slit in the shirt.

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After you’ve sewn it all the way down, fold it inward, so you see just a little bit of the fabric. pin it to the other side of the front of the shirt. You can just overlap onto the raw edge of the other side. It doesn’t have to be neat from the inside, mine isn’t.

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Go ahead and sew the front shut again.

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I sewed mine from the bottom to the top, it was easier that way.

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Once I had sewn the accent fabric in, I went ahead and sewed the bottom band back together.

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This is the point where I put the pocket back on. I made the pocket a little smaller, and then put it on upside down, because the openings were bigger at that side once I narrowed the pocket down a little bit.

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Next I had to look at the hood. I wanted to line it with my accent fabric so I took that fabric, and laid it on top of the hood, and traced it. I traced two side pieces and one middle piece.

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This is what the top of the hood looks like from the outside.

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I sewed the three hood lining pieces together then pinned them into the inside of the hood so I could sew it around the brim, and the back.

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Sew it around the inside of the brim, being careful not to hit the drawstring, if your sweat shirt has one.

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It should look something like this when you’ve sewed the hood in.

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You’ll want to buy a 5 pack of buttons you cover in fabric. The set comes with a button cover, backing, and the mold and press to make the button. Follow the instructions on the package.

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Set your buttons aside.

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Remember that little sliver I told you to keep? Cut it into a little rectangle, about 2″ x 4″ and sew the edges under and stitch. You’ll be using this as a little top accent piece.

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Once you’ve sewn the rectangle’s edges over, sew it onto the sweater under the center of the opening of the hood.

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Next add your buttons and you’re done! I added one on the rectangle at the top, and then the other 4 along the side.

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Closeup of the pocket and side.

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Another close up of the pocket.

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No more bat wing!

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This is what the side of the sweat shirt looks like. Yes I’m not wearing make up, but hey, I had a craft day. Who am I looking fancy for.

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This is a close up of the top of the shirt.

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My hand fits in the pocket perfectly.

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I’m very happy with my new super cozy sweatshirt! Because I started with a large shirt, it’s long enough and the sleeves fit great, but it is now slim and flattering. I hope you are able to re-purpose some of your old shirts too! Happy sewing!

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29 thoughts on “Home Made Sweat Shirt Re-Do

  1. This is really good – well done you! My husband has a few of hoodies he doesn’t wear any more so I shall be raiding his wardrobe in the morning! Thanks a lot for doing this. Great job.

  2. This is great. I like the look of long tailored hoodies. Maybe I will try this with one that’s even bigger to make it more like a hoodie dress.

    P.s. Go Wisconsin!!!

  3. Awesome tutorial! Thank you for the inspiration. My husband has some huge hoodies he never uses; I’m going to dust them off and give them a new life!

  4. Great tutorial! I think I’ll give it a try. Just puzzled by this part ” cut at the fold, (shown above) then once I had cut along the fold, I cut the sweater where the fold touched the other side,” I’m trying to figure out what you mean by where the fold touched the other side?

  5. Excellent tute! I was given 4 huge sweatshirts a few years ago and they have stayed in the closed as I couldn’t wear them as they were. Now I know how to alter them, thank you! Saw a Pinterest pin today with a link back to you, glad I clicked over!

  6. have you found that after washing it a few times it begins to unravel on the sides where you have sewn? if not how exactly did you sew the sides and with what stitch? thanks!

      1. thanks! i had made flannel pajama pants from a tutorial like this and the blogger only did it with a simple stitch and iv washed them only once and its unraveled and are no good now… wanting to avoid that this time around. thanks for the quick response too!

  7. You’ve inspired me!ive wanted to do one of these sweatshirts for the longest time and havent gotten around to it,im starting tomorrow! yours looks awesome! Good job!

  8. Thanks for the picture tutorial. I made mine tonight in 4 hours. I chose not to line the hood. Looks cool. I recommend using contrasting colors for the buttons and trim. I also lined my hoodie pockets with accent material. Going to make one for my sister next.

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