How to Make a DIY Cardigan, Tube Top & Mini Skirt Set From a Sweater

Martina Pan
by Martina Pan
10 Materials
3 Hours

Today I have a fantastic thrift flip for you; transforming an oversized sweater into a lovely DIY cardigan, tube top, and mini skirt set! My dad had an old sweater lying around, and I decided to turn it into a 3-piece co-ord.

If you want to know how to make a cardigan and the rest of the set, keep reading!

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized sweater
  • Measuring tape
  • Buttons
  • Needle
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Crop top
  • Skirt
Oversized sweater before the DIY

DIY cropped cardigan

Removing the sleeves and button placket

To make it easier, remove the sleeves from the sweater and the button placket. We will use the front part of the sweater for the back part of the cardigan. 

Tracing a crop top for the pattern

Use a cropped blouse or top to make the cardigan sewing pattern. Cut around the top and add seam allowance. Also, fold in the sleeves to cut around the armhole. 

Front of the cardigan

Now, you have the front part of the cardigan. 

Marking the middle of the cardigan

To make the neckline, get the midline of the cardigan by folding it in half. Then, draw a line in the middle. 

Drawing a V-shaped neckline

Draw a diagonal line measuring 7.5” from the midpoint to the shoulder. Repeat on the other side. 

Cutting out the new neckline

Cut along the V-neckline and then cut along the center of the cardigan, which will be the opening part. 

Making the back of the cardigan

For the back part, take a piece of fabric to fill in the gap from the button placket. Like this, the back part will have three panels. 

Tracing the armholes

Trace the sleeve area of your crop top and cut. Ensure that you have two pieces. This should be cut on fold, as shown. 

How to make a cardigan

The parts of the cardigan are complete! Let’s sew everything together. 

How to sew a cardigan

Sew the sides of the cardigan together, right sides facing. Make sure not to sew the part where you’ll connect the sleeves. Also, don’t forget to lock your stitches at the start. 

Make your own cardigan

After the sides are done, go ahead and do the back part, sewing all three panels together. Follow the same as above; sewing right sides together and locking your stitches at the start. 

Cropped cardigan DIY

Before attaching the sleeves, make sure to sew the short side together first. 

Attaching the sleeves

Now, attach the sleeves, Be sure to align the seams and pin them along the sides of the cardigan. 

Sewing the sleeves to the DIY cardigan

Next, sew the sleeves to the DIY cardigan. 

Trimming the excess fabric

Cut out the excess fabric from the back panels before hemming the raw edges. The fabric is thick, so it’s better to do this step first. 

Hemming the raw edges

Now, hem the raw edges with a single fold over. 

Adding buttons to the DIY cardigan

I decided to add buttons to this DIY cardigan at the last minute. Although I don’t intend on wearing it closed. I attached the buttons by hand, and I don’t regret adding them; it balances the look! 

DIY tube top

How to make a tube top

I cut around 18 x 35cm (7 x 14.75 inches) from one of the original sleeves. 

Using stretchy fabric for the tube top

Aside from that, I cut an extra piece of fabric. Weirdly, this fabric stretches on one side only. I want extra room for me to move. 

Adding stretch at the back of the tube top

I intend to put the fabric piece on the back of the tube top. However, its position should be placed where the stretch goes sideways. 

Sewing the sides of the tube top

Sew the sides of the tube top first. 

Attaching the stretchy fabric piece

To attach the small fabric piece, first cut the center of the back of the tube top. 

Sewing the DIY tube top

Now, sew everything together, making sure the right sides are facing, as always. 

Hemming the raw edges

Next, hem the raw edges of the tube top.

DIY mini skirt 

Tracing an existing skirt for the pattern

For the skirt, I used an existing skirt to trace the pattern. So find a skirt that fits you well and trace and cut the sides. I don’t intend to follow the length of this skirt; I just like the fit. 

How to cut a mini skirt pattern

Here, I cut it in a way where the bottom has the original hem of the shirt (great time saver). Also, don’t forget to cut the same for the back part. 

Sewing the side seams of the mini skirt

The next thing to do is sew the sides together, right sides facing. 

Trimming the excess fabric

After sewing the side together, all that’s left to do is hem the waistline of your skirt. Before hemming, cut any excess fabric so it;’s neater. 

Folding over the top to make a waistband

Fold over the raw edge and pin along the waistline. You’ll notice I did not use elastic. This is because the fabric is stretchy enough to fit. 

Sewing the waistband

Now, sew along the folded edge for a clean finish. 

Cropped cardigan and tube top

DIY cardigan, top, and skirt set

DIY cardigan, top, and skirt set

That’s it! You have a 3-piece set from a boring, oversized sweater. Here’s my beautiful DIY cardigan, skirt, and tube top. See how easy it is to make your own cardigan? Never mind the skirt and top, too.

I hope this tutorial gives you some upcycling inspiration, and let me know in the comments below what you think of this lovely set! 

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized sweater
  • Measuring tape
  • Buttons
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Veronica Atha Veronica Atha on Jul 06, 2022

    That is awesome! Great job thinking outside the box (or sweater) lol!

  • Marlene Marlene on Jul 06, 2022

    Omg! U did an amazing job on ur adorable outfit!! It's the cutest outfit n looks so cute on u!!!!!👍️🤩