How to Make a Cute & Cozy Knit Sweater From Scratch in 5 Simple Steps

by Oaishe
6 Materials
2 Hours

Want to know an easy way how to make a knit sweater? I use knitted fabric rather than just knitting to make this sweater which would take a much longer time!

You can buy knitted fabric at the fabric store or refashion an older larger sweater to make this cozy top. Let me show you how to make a knit sweater in under 2 hours that’s perfect for chilly days!

Tools and materials:

  • Knit fabric 
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Your own sweater to serve as a template
  • Sewing machine
  • Ribbed fabric for waist and cuffs (optional)
Measuring the pattern for the knit sweater

1. Make the pattern

I used 22 X 22 inch squares of knit fabric, but you can adjust the size of the fabric to your measurements and level of loose fit. Fold the square in half. 

DIY knit sweater pattern

Then, fold your own sweater in half and lay it on top of the knit square to use as a template. This pattern is boxy so I used it as a guide at the front for the neckline and shoulder slope. 

Pinning the template to the fabric

Pin the template in place to the fabric. I didn't use marking chalk because it wouldn't show up on the fabric. Make sure to keep at least a ½-inch seam allowance in mind, especially if your template is small. My template was large so I didn’t need to add seam allowance. 

Cutting the fabric for the knit sweater

Cut the front piece first. Then, use the front piece as a pattern for the back piece, but cut the back neckline higher than the front.

Pinning the shoulder seams ready to sew

2. Sew the sweater shoulders

Place the front and back right sides together. Pin and sew the shoulder seams using a zigzag stitch. 

Cutting out the knit sweater sleeve pattern

3. Make the sleeves

Cut the sleeves matching the sweater template. 

DIY knit sweater sleeve pattern

First, measure the armhole measurement. Fold the fabric in half and use half that measurement.

How to make a sweater sleeve

Then, make a curved shape at the top to fit the sleeve cap, as shown.

How to make a knit sweater tutorial

Now figure out your wrist measurement, divide by 2 and add an extra inch.

Knit sweater sleeve pattern

Then, create a curved shape for the inner seam of the sweater sleeve.

Pinning the sleeves to the armholes

Pin the sleeves into the shoulder area and armhole. Make sure the right sides of the sleeve are touching the right sides of the sweater, though you will be sewing it together on the wrong side. Sew with a zigzag stitch.

Sewing the inner seams of the knit sweater

4. Sew the rest of the sweater

Once the sleeves are in, sew the sleeve inner seam and the side seams.

Pinning ribbed fabric to the waist

5. Sew the ribbed fabric to the waist, cuffs, and neckline

You can fold over all the raw edges and sew them down to create a finish. I decided to add ribbed fabric to the waist, cuffs, and neckline.

Ribbed fabric is usually smaller than the diameter of what you’re sewing it to. For the waist and cuffs, you’re going to sew the ribbed fabric into loops.

Make the ribbed loop at least 1 inch smaller than the waist. Fold the loop in half. Tuck the sweater into the loop so the unfolded edge meets the raw edge of the sweater. Pin in place.

Sewn waistband on the knit sweater

Sew right at the edge.

Sewing cuffs on the DIY knit sweater

Follow the same technique for the sleeves by sewing together a loop, folding it in half, meeting the open edge of the loop to the raw edge of the sleeve, and sewing the two edges together.

How to sew a collar on a knitted sweater

To finish the neckline, measure the entire neckline and cut a strip of ribbed fabric. The strip I cut was about 22 inches long and 2 inches wide.  

Pinning the ribbed fabric along the neckline

After sewing this strip of fabric into a loop, I folded it in half and pinned it along the neckline with the open edge of the fold at the raw edge of the collar. 

Finished collar on the DIY knit sweater

Sew it together using a zigzag stitch.

How to make a knit sweater

How to make a knit sweater tutorial

I hope you can make yourself a warm sweater for the cold weather! Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this easy tutorial on how to make a knit sweater without knitting just using basic sewing skills!

Suggested materials:
  • Knit fabric
  • Pins
  • Scissors
See all materials

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 1 comment
  • Leslie Leslie on Nov 11, 2021

    Thank you for sharing your process. Your sweater looks to have come out well.