Don't throw away your favourite sweatshirt just because the cuffs are stretched or have holes in them. Instead, recycle that comfortable, warm piece into a casual jacket for all seasons. Even if the body of the sweatshirt has some holes or other unsightly issues, you don't have to part with your beloved piece. Look at the sweatshirt with a judicious eye and note how a little stitching can take the piece from just "old" to vintage or punk. You don't even need advanced sewing skills.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Old sweatshirt
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Decorative fabric or patches
- Fusible mesh
Spread out your old sweatshirt on a clean, flat surface. Cut off the cuffs at the ends of the sleeves and the stretchy, cuff-like material at the bottom of the sweatshirt. The edges will curl and fray.
Further fray the edges by snipping into them 1/16-inch. Sweatshirt material doesn't fall apart as it frays like other fabrics. The fraying just gives your jacket an extra nuance of personality.
Starting at the bottom of the sweatshirt, cut a vertical line up the front centre, creating a space for your jacket zipper. Fray the edges of this cut as you did the sleeves and hem; no need to be overly neat if the rest of the jacket isn't.
Turn the sweatshirt wrong side out. Pin the left edge of the jacket opening against the left edge of the zipper mesh. Repeat on the right side of the jacket opening.
Gently spread out the sweatshirt to see if the zipper is straight. Unzip the zipper part of the way to make sure it moves properly.
Stitch along the rows of pins, removing the pins as you go.
Turn the jacket right side out again. Examine it for holes or stains. Cut pieces of fusible mesh to cover these places.
Clip additional shapes out of decorative fabric or use pre-embroidered clothing patches.
Place the fusible web over the hole or stain and place the fabric or patch over that. Slide a piece of scrap cardboard inside the jacket to prevent the mesh from fusing the sides together.
Hold an iron, turned to the cotton setting, over the fabrics for 10 seconds, fusing it to the fabric.
Tips and warnings
- Sweatshirt fabric doesn't usually fray on its own. If you want a heavily frayed edge, make your snips as small and closely spaced as possible.
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