How to Sew a DIY Oversized Sweater That's Cozy & Easy to Make

6 Materials
2 Hours

For those of you who live in chillier climates or warm climates where the evenings feel a bit chilly, you’re going to love this DIY oversized sweater tutorial. I’ll show you how to make this oversized sweater using an old shirt or sweater as your pattern.

Tools and materials:

  • ¾ Yard sweater fabric
  • Old shirt or sweater (for pattern)
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Lingerie elastic
  • Sewing machine with zigzag foot
How to make an oversized sweater

1. Create your oversized sweater pieces

Fold your fabric in half and then fold over one side in half again so you have 4 layers in total.

DIY sweatshirt ideas

Fold an old sweater in half lengthwise and lay it on your fabric with the fold of the sweater on the fold of your fabric. Trace around the sweater allowing ½ inch for a seam allowance.

At the neckline, trace the outline of the back of the neckline. Do not include the sleeves in your tracing - create a straight armhole line instead.

Cut out the oversized sweater bodice piece from your fabric. You should have 2 bodice pieces.

Adjusting the neckline for the sweater

On one of your bodice pieces, adjust the neckline to about 1½ inches lower than the other one. This one will be the front bodice piece.

Tracing the pattern for the sleeves

With your remaining fabric still folded into 4 layers, trace the sleeve of your old sweater onto the fabric.

Do not lay the old sweater sleeve along the fold of your fabric because you will want 4 sleeve pieces.

If you want your oversized sweater to have fuller sleeves, then add to the width of the sweater you are tracing.

Cutting out the sleeves

Cut out the sleeves from the fabric.

Matching the sleeves to the shoulders

Check that the shoulder of the sleeve pieces flow in a straight line and match the shoulder of the bodice. If it is not, cut away any extra fabric. 

How to sew an oversized sweater

2. Sew your oversized sweater bodice

Place the right sides of the two bodice pieces together and mark the bottom of the armholes with pins.

Now pin the shoulders and two side seams of your oversized sweater together and sew those seams, making sure you leave the armholes open.

Pinning the sleeves ready to sew

3. Sew the sleeves

With right sides together, pin 2 sleeve pieces together along the long edges for each sleeve. Then sew the sleeve seams.

Pinning the sleeves to the armholes

4. Attach the sleeves

Keep the oversized sweater bodice inside out. And your sleeves right-side out. Insert the sleeves through the armholes of the bodice, so that the right sides are facing.

Pin the sleeves in place at the armholes, lining up the sleeve seams with the bodice seams. Sew the sleeves in place.

Finishing the neckline for the sweater

5. Finish the neckline

Cut one strip of fabric about 1 inch wide and long enough to fit around the circumference of the oversized sweater neckline.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise and pin it to the neckline. Then fold it over again and sew it to the neckline, close to the seam.

Hemming the sleeves of the sweater

6. Sew the hems

Fold the cuff of the sleeves to the inside twice and sew in place. You can do the same with the hem of the sweater or leave it unhemmed if you prefer an unfinished look.

Embellishing the sweater neckline

7. Embellish the neckline (optional)

If you wish, you can decorate the neckline of your oversized sweater by attaching lingerie elastic, with the scalloped edge of the elastic pointing away from the edge of the neckline. 

How to sew decorative elastic

Overlap the beginning and ending ends of the elastic when you sew it in place. Sew the elastic in place with a zigzag stitch very close to the edge, pulling the elastic a little bit as you go.

Adding a topstitch to the neckline

Now turn the neckline to the inside once so that just the scallops are showing. Topstitch along the edge of the neckline with a straight stitch. 

DIY oversized sweater

DIY oversized sweater tutorial

You are going to feel so comfy and cozy in this DIY oversized knit sweater that you may want to make more than one to get you through the chilly days and evenings.

Please leave a comment to let me know how your oversized knit sweater came out.

Suggested materials:
  • ¾ Yard sweater fabric
  • Old shirt or sweater (for pattern)
  • Scissors
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