Upcycle an Adorable Button-Up Cardigan

7 Materials
1 Hour

For the longest time, I had been thinking about ways I could upcycle an old sweater that I had sitting in my closet. Finally, I decided to transform the sweater into a really adorable button-up cardigan. In my tutorial, I will not only show you how to upcycle an old sweater, I’ll show you a few different ways to style your new cardigan as well.

Tools and materials:

  • Pins
  • Double-sided silicone tape
  • Buttons
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Sweater
How to turn a knit sweater into a cardigan

Cut down the middle 

For the first step, turn your sweater inside out and then fold it in half and use pins to mark the centerline. 

Use tape

Use double-sided silicone tape and stick a strip along your marked center line, leaving a gap at the top. I like to use silicone tape instead of bias tape because I find it easier to work with.

How to cut a sweater into a cardigan

Use two more pieces of tape to create a V at the top of your sweater. 

Cut down the middle

Next, cut along the center of the tape, down the middle of your sweater. 

How to turn a pullover into a cardigan

Once you have reached the V, cut along the centers of the two slanted pieces of tape. 

Hem the sides

Hem the sides 

Peel the white coating off of the tape and fold and stick down the edge of the cardigan opening to create the perfect, clean finish on the sides. Repeat the same for the slanted tape lines. Sew along the folded fabric to keep the folds securely in place. 

How to make a sweater into a cardigan

Add buttons 

For the final step, turn the cardigan so that the fabric is facing the right way and sew on buttons and buttonholes. You can choose to sew more or fewer buttons or to mix and match your button shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Tuck in

You can wear this cardigan tucked into a cute pair of pants or a skirt. 


You can also wear the cardigan backward, styling a twist in the front with the buttons closed at the back.

Wear open

Of course, you can always wear it as a regular, super cute cardigan. Which style is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Pins
  • Double-sided silicone tape
  • Buttons
See all materials

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5 of 7 comments
  • Shannon P. Hopkins Shannon P. Hopkins on Sep 12, 2021

    I've read that sewing through adhesive tape is aggravating due to the needle "gunking up". You said you like using double sided silicone. How do you deal with adhesive buildup on the needle?

    • See 1 previous
    • Shannon P. Hopkins Shannon P. Hopkins on Sep 12, 2021

      Thank you for the quick response. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. =)

  • Bet ! Bet ! on Dec 15, 2022

    What a lovely idea ! I admit I'm going to copy it as it is so good !! Now my sweater will not go to a Thrift shop !!