Zara Dupe Tutorial: Easy Crop Sweater DIY Idea

Enitan Agbabiaka
by Enitan Agbabiaka
6 Materials
1 Hour

Today, I’m turning an old cowl neck sweater into a Zara dupe!

I’m making a DIY cropped sweater that’s inspired by one I saw at Zara.

It’s easy and fun to do and it’s very quick too! Just grab a fabric marker and your scissors and let’s go.

Tools and materials:

  • Cowl neck or turtleneck sweater
  • Fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
Marking sweater

1. Mark the shape

Try on the sweater.

Mark at the center front how high you want the cropped sweater to come. We’ll work down from this point.

Shaping turtleneck

2. Shape the turtleneck

If your sweater is already a turtleneck, you can skip this step. Mine was a deep and wide cowl neck, which wasn’t the look I wanted.

Lay the sweater flat, right side out.

Carefully line up the neckline at the front and back.

Fold the sweater in half lengthways.

Measure 5 inches across the collar from the folded edge in several places and connect the marks.

Shaping turtleneck

At the bottom of the collar, connect the line you drew to the end of the shoulder seam with a slightly slanting line.

Shaping turtleneck

Cut out the new collar shape.

Shaping turtleneck

Unfold the sweater and trim off any excess or uneven fabric from the collar.

Shaping lower edge

3. Shape the lower edge

Draw a curve from the point you marked down to the side edges on the front of the sweater.

Make sure it’s even on both sides. If you’re not good at drawing freehand, use a measuring tape to help you.

Shaping lower edge

Cut out the front curve first between the side seams, as the back will be lower. 

You may want to put a piece of cardboard inside the sweater to protect the back.

Shaping lower edge

Fold the cut edge of the front down and use it as a template to shape the back.

Shaping lower edge

Cut out the back curve and put the excess fabric to one side.

Finishing edges

4. Finish the edges

Turn in the lower edges of the curve twice and pin them in place.

If your sweater is very bulky, you may want to sew tape to the cut edges and only fold them in once.

Sewing sweater up

5. Sew up the sweater

Sew the side seams of the collar with the wrong sides facing, as the turtle neck will be rolled to the outside.

Turn the sweater inside out and sew the shoulder seams as usual.

Sew the hem at the lower edges of the curve.

Extending sleeves

6. Extend the sleeves

Retrieve the excess fabric that you put aside.

Fold the front in half lengthways.

Measure 4.5 inches up from the ribbed edge.

Cut across the front at that point.

Extending sleeves

Cut open the side seam and the center front fold to make two cuffs.

Fold each cuff in half lengthways and sew the short edge.

Attach the raw edge of the cuffs inside the bottom edge of the sleeves, so the original sleeve ribbing is visible.

Crop sweater DIY

Crop sweater DIY

Crop sweater DIY

And there you go! That was a simple and quick crop sweater DIY. Now you have a trendy Zara look-alike for free - or almost free. I think the extra-long sleeves make the perfect finishing touch.

What do you think, though? Is this something you would wear? Let me know in the comments.

Next, learn How to DIY a Cute and Easy Sherpa Shoulder Bag.

Suggested materials:
  • Cowl neck or turtleneck sweater
  • Fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Carol Carol on Nov 11, 2023

    I’ve been thinking of doing something like this with some of my old tops for a while now. Thanks for your tutorial. I now have a better idea of what to do. 👍🏻

  • Ursala Ursala on Dec 06, 2023

    Very cute & it looks pretty simple to create.

    Thank you!