The Open Elbow Sweater Refashion

3 Materials
40 Minutes

Do you ever see a trend that is super silly but you’d still like to try?

Such was the case with myself and open elbow tops. I’d seen them everywhere and giggled loads but then started thinking they might not be so dippy after all and decided to try to create my own version:

Check out how I transformed a plain knit in minutes with The Open Elbow Sweater Refashion + discover how to easily create a no-sew version too!

You’ll need: a sweater, marker, scissors and embroidery thread + needle.

Quick tip: to make a no sew version simply use a shirt made out of non-fraying fabric like t-shirt/sweatshirt jersey, fleece, polyester, nylon or felted knits.

Pop the top on and mark the center of your elbow on one sleeve.

Fold the shirt in half with the shoulder, sleeve and underarm seams lined up then lay it on a flat surface. Starting from the outside edge, cut through both sleeves until you reach your mark.

(if you used a non-fraying fabric then you’re already done, pop it on & enjoy!)

Fold under the raw edges and finish with a blanket stitch:

I like to use a contrasting thread when I blanket stitch to add a bit of extra detail.

How easy was that?

I’m still not 100% sure if I’m into this look or not but I think it’s definitely a quirky refashion that anyone can do to liven up a boring top in a flash!

Check out all of my tutorials for gals here and then continue your passion for upcycling and refashion with my Confessions of a Refashionista e-book series – also makes a fab thrifty gifty for anyone interested in sustainability and DIY!

Suggested materials:
  • Preloved sweater
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery thread & needle

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Confessions of a Refashionista
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Join the conversation
  • Leslie Leslie on Jan 07, 2022

    Hi Sheri, I am also not sure of this trend as I am with many of todays trends. I am wondering if making the cut not so deep would make it look better. I am also thinking that attaching bias tape to the two cut sides and folding it over the edge to make a cleaner look to the cut, then if wanted add the blanket stitch. Also maybe an oval cut? The deeper cut without reinforcing the edges of the cut makes it look sloppy it think. I am trying to help with your idea and not criticize in a negative way.

  • Annie Annie on Dec 04, 2022

    Actually I think you look very cute, I have always loved arm warmers with shorter sleeves perfect for days when it is not so cold, and you could wear a long sleeve tee underneath on colder days thanks for the idea