Refashionista: Sweater into Skirt (tutorial)

I'm a huge fan of upcycling and I love refashioning old garments. Sweaters are a fountain of ideas when it comes to refashioning - there are so many ways to repurpose and remake them. But this refashion is still my absolute favorite. The idea came to me about a year ago and I made several skirts for my shop back then. I shared this tutorial on Merrick's blog a couple of months ago, but I thought I'd share here as well, in case you missed it back then.

The above two are versions I did for the shop. It's pretty easy and quick, but very very cute. A sweater skirt is perfect for the cooler months! Just pair with some colorful tights and boots and you're good to go.

Get the tutorial after the jump!

Here's how you can make one for yourself:

You will need:
1) A sweater one/two sizes bigger than your usual size. The waist of the sweater has to fit your hips.
2) Wide elastic the width of you waist measurement.
3) Sewing machine, scissors, pins, and patience (like in any other sewing endeavor).

Step 1. Cut off the sleeves. Cut at the highest possible point (on my sweater it's shown with the pink line). This will determine your skirt length. The longer the sweater, the longer you can make your skirt. Makes sense, right?

Step 2. Take the top of the skirt in a bit like the pink markings on the above picture, so there's a nice little curve. Sew using a zig-zag stitch or with your serger. Also, zig-zag or serge the top edge of the skirt.

Step 3. Take your elastic and sew the ends together. I overlapped the ends by 1 cm/0.4'' and then just zig-zagged them together. Now you have to pin the elastic to the skirt body. To do this, fold the elastic in half and mark the half point (one of them is the connecting seam), then fold it in half again matching the previous points and mark again at the fold lines. Or just divide your elastic length by 4 and make 3 marks at that interval starting at the seam line.

Now do the same things with your skirt body. The side seams are two markings already, so all you need to do is mark the center back and the center front.

Attach the elastic to the skirt body matching the markings on both to each other. I matched the elastic seam with the center back of the skirt. Make sure the elastic and the skirt body overlap (right side of the skirt is facing the wrong side of the elastic) by about 3 cm/1.2''. Pin in place!

Step 4. Last step! Sew the elastic in place at about 1-2 cm from the skirt body (shown with the pink line in the above picture). Make sure to stretch the elastic and the skirt while sewing, so you don't rip the seams when putting the skirt on. You can use a straight or a zig-zag stitch, although the zig-zag stitch might be safer.

All done! Now enjoy your new skirt.

If you have any questions about the tutorial, let me know in the comments. I'll try my best to clarify.

Get exclusive DIY content delivered to your inbox!


  1. This never crossed my mind! I'm always looking for the perfect sweater skirt but alas never find one! I never thought to make it! These look really great!!! So easy?!?! =)

    Ergo - Blog

    1. I had the same problem, and that's when I figured it would be easier to just make myself one. Their easy to make, now you just need to find the suitable sweater in the thrift store.

  2. This is really a nice idea ! Thanks !

  3. Replies
    1. I can think of 2 ways to add pockets to this skirt. One way would be to cut the side seams open half way in step 2 and sewing in a side pocket into the seam. Here's a nice tutorial on how to do that: http://thehabygoddess.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-add-side-pocket-to-existing.html.
      The second option would be to add pockets to the front of the skirt. I did a tutorial on adding front pockets on Callie's blog: http://www.coffeeandcardigans.com/2012/10/guest-diy-embellished-pocket-cardigan.html.

      Hope this helps!

  4. This reminds me of how a friend used socks to make pockets....might this not work in the sweater/skirt idea?

  5. ¡Me encanta! I love, it´s so cute and easy to do ^^

    1. Thank you! Hope you'll enjoy making and wearing your own!

  6. Am doing this later today or tomorrow! Thanks for sharing! ;)

  7. Thank you for this clever tutorial! Here is my take on it, I hope you like it and feel proud for inspiring us :)

    1. Thank you for sharing your make, I love it!


Leave your thoughts below! I appreciate every comment, question, thought and kind word. Thank you!

Next Post Previous Post Home