Sweater Upcycling: Easy DIY Knit Crop Top and Cardigan Set

Mset Fashion Design
by Mset Fashion Design
8 Materials
2 Hours

That old sweater in your closet can be put to great use with this DIY sweater refashion tutorial. I will show you how to upcycle your sweater into a crop top and a cardigan: a piece set from one old sweater!

This is a super easy sweater upcycle, so find that old sweater you don’t wear anymore and let’s begin!

Tools and materials:

  • Old sweater
  • Scissors
  • Waistband elastic
  • Matching fabric (optional)
  • Sewing pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine with zigzag foot
  • Buttons (optional)
Old sweater to be upcycled

1. Deconstruct your sweater

Here is the old sweater I’m going to refashion into my two-piece set, and this is how to do it.

Cutting fabric

Fold your sweater in half and then cut just the bottom half approximately in half. For my sweater, there was an obvious cut line.

2. Make the crop top

The piece you cut from the bottom of your old sweater is your new crop top!

If you need it to be more fitted, simply take in the sides by sewing in new side seams.

Adding straps

3. Add straps

I reused the ties that were on the front of my old sweater to make straps for my crop top.

Just pin and sew the straps in place on the wrong side of the cut edge of the crop top.

Pinned crop top

4. Hem the crop top

Fold in and pin the top edge of your crop top and sew it in place, using a zigzag stitch.

Adding details

5. Add crop top details

I used some matching fabric to make and sew a bow on to the front of my crop top, for extra detailing.

Cutting fabric

6. Make a cardigan

Cut down the center-front of your remaining sweater.

Making waistband

7. Make a waistband

Measure the length of wide elastic you need for the cardigan waistband, being careful to not stretch the elastic.

Cut the elastic to your desired size.

Folding bottom hem

Fold in the bottom hem of the cardigan to accommodate the size of your waistband elastic, and pin it in place.

Where to sew

Then, sew along the casing edge.

Pulling the elastic through the casing

Pull the elastic through the whole casing from one side to the other, and pin the ends of the elastic in place.

Where to sew

Sew in the elastic by stitching small vertical rows in the casing on either side of the front opening of the cardigan, about an inch from the center.

Cutting excess elastic

Pull the excess elastic out at the center and snip it off.

Pinned center-front edges

8. Hem the center edges

Fold in, pin and sew the center-front edges of your cardigan.

Completed DIY knit crop top

Here is the crop top I refashioned from my old sweater.

Completed DIY knit crop top and cardigan

Sweater upcycling

And here’s the two-piece set of my crop top with my cardigan.

I decided to add some buttons and buttonholes to my cardigan.

I’m thrilled with how my DIY old sweater upcycle turned out.

I hope you give this sweater refashion a try! Leave a comment to let me know how yours turned out.

Suggested materials:
  • Old sweater
  • Scissors
  • Waistband elastic
See all materials

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