How to Make a Patchwork Sweater Skirt

by Jeanne
10 Materials
2 Hours

I love to reuse material & repurpose clothing! In this tutorial, I'll be showing you some sweater recycle/upcycle patchwork skirts I have made. These skirts come together fairly quickly, especially if you have a serger.

I buy sweaters, t-shirts, and sweatshirts/pants from the thrift stores and use those for the clothes I make. I like to do this because it's eco-friendly and costs less than buying new fabric or sweaters. It also gives the garment a unique look.

(Full Instructions are below)To make the patchwork, I cut different sizes of rectangles. Those pieces vary from 2" x 3" to 5" x 7". If you want a more uniform look, choose a size and make all your pieces the same. Once all the pieces are cut, I begin making strips by sewing together pieces that are the same height. When all the strips are ready - this will depend on the length of the skirt you are making - I sew the strips together. For this skirt, I had 5 rows. I used an existing skirt to cut the shape for the new skirt. When both the front and back of the skirt were cut, with wrong sides together, I serged them. After that, I added a waistband. For most of the patchwork skirts I make, I use the waistband from a pair of sweats or yoga pants.

When I sewed on this waistband, which cam from a pair of yoga pants, I used my sewing machine and sewed the waistband right side together with the skirt, then topstitched for added strength. The bottom of the skirt is serged so no hem is needed.

The waistband on this skirt, as well as the pocket are from a sweatshirt. The waistband is from the bottom of the sweatshirt. I used my serger to attach it to the skirt. The the pocket is from the wrist area of the sleeve. It is stitched to the skirt with my sewing machine.

Supplies Needed: Sewing machine or sergerThread, sewing pins, scissors Cutting matSweatersSweatshirt or sweatpantsFor skirts: Waistband - either:2" wide elastic - enough for waistline + 2"Waistband from sweatpantsRibbing from the waistband of a sweatshirt

Instructions:Cut strips of various sweaters 3" - 5" wide and of various lengthsSerge or zigzag the strips short sides together in a patchwork pattern until you have two separate pieces the width of your hipsSerge or zigzag the strips long sides together until you have the length you desireUsing an existing skirt or skirt pattern, cut the patchwork pieces into the shape you wantStitch the back of the skirt to the front at the side seamsSerge or zigzag the bottom of the skirt to create the hemTo create the waistband, you have two optionsOption 1:Cut a 5" wide section of one of the sweaters from side to side including both the front and back of the sweaterMeasure waist and alter the width of the strip to fit then sew at that point to make it smaller as needed, leaving an opening for the elasticFold strip and stitch the two raw sides together, this will create a casing for your elasticStitch the sewn side to the top of the skirtThread elastic through the opening and stitch the ends of the elastic togetherStitch the opening closedOption 2:Use the ribbing at the bottom of a sweatshirt & alter it to fit your waistline, leaving an opening to thread elasticThread elastic through the ribbingAttach waistband to the top of the skirt using either a serger or sewing machine Option 3 - fastestUsing a pair of sweatpants in your size Cut the waistband off, leaving a seam allowance of about 1/2". No elastic will be needed. With a serger or sewing machine, attach the waistband to the top of the skirt either wrong sides together for an unfinished look or right sides together for a finished look.

Suggested materials:
  • 2nd hand sweaters   (Goodwill)
  • 2nd hand sweatshirts   (Hubby's old ones)
  • Yoga pants   (Goodwill)
See all materials

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