Repurpose Project: Men’s Sweater into a Boy’s Sweater

repurpose project refashion mens sweater

After taking a brief survey of what you all wanted to see on the blog, one of the popular requests was for more clothing refashions or repurposing projects. This is just the start of many to come and although may seem a bit intimidating, trust me, it really is quite simple.

I have a board on Pinterest where I save projects for the kids I want to try out or patterns I want to make. And I love all of tutorials from Dana over at MADE. There are lots of tutorials out there but I didn’t find one that gave exact instructions on the type of sweater I wanted to use, one with a buttoned neckline. Austin has always favored his dressier sweaters to have buttons and even though we took a men’s XXL sweater and cut it down to a boy’s size 8, with buttons we were able to repurpose the original neckline, buttons and all!

Refashion mens sweater into boys sweater pinterest
Okay, so to start this repurpose project, you will need to collect just a few things, a sweater that currently fits your child to use as a pattern, pins, scissors and your sewing machine. That is literally all. I found my sweater at a local thrift store thinking it would fit my hubby but it was too big, so into my refashion stash it went. While we were going through our winter clothes, I realized Austin would need a few more sweaters and this was the one he picked out (although I am not sure he had faith in me that I could do it).

repurpose project*To begin, lay your sweater that currently fits on top of the sweater you will be cutting down, matching the bottom waistband.
*Then trace the outline of your sweater, minus the sleeves, adding about 1/2″ for the seams.

refashion mens sweater to boys body pieces 1024*Cut through both layers at the same time. (It was easier for me to make sure I was able to get a good cut by pinning the bottom front and back pieces of the sweater together.)

refashion mens sweater to boys cutting neckline 680*Next cut off the existing neckline on the outside of where it is currently sewn together.

refashion mens sweater to boys sleeves 680Now on to the sleeves!
*Mine were much too wide, but I was able to use the existing cuff by lining up my pattern sweater and tracing around the edges. Since I needed to sew the sleeves closed, I gave myself about 1/2″ for the seams.
*Then with the right sides of the fabric together, I sewed the sleeves closed. Set aside.
*Turn the front and back pieces of your sweater so the right (outside fabric) is facing each other. Either using a serger to finish the hem or using a zig-zag stitch, sew the shoulder seams closed.

mens sweater refashion into a boys necklineTruthfully I was worried about making the neckline work, but once I started it really wasn’t difficult.
*Layout your neckline cutout on the sweater. Trace the edges so you can cut-out the section for the buttons to be sewn in. (You couldn’t see my lines with my night time lighting so I did an outline in pins so you could see it.)
*Cut out the section where the strip of buttons will be sewn in.
*Time to tackle the neckline! Turn the neckline inside out and with the right sides together pin. Sew as closely on the seam where it had been previously attached as you are able. Turn it right side out and make sure you didn’t miss stitching any of the little corners.

*Now with the right sides facing each other, sew both side seams from the bottom of the sleeve down. My sweater was huge and I was able to use one of the existing side seams.
*Final step, with the sleeve turned right-side out, slide it into the sweater. The right-sides of the fabrics should be touching. Pin and sew together. Again, I used a zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying.

Now turn your sweater right-side out and you are ready to go. I should have pressed it, but my little man was in quite disbelief when he woke up the next morning with a sweater that looked the same, but actually fit him!

refashion mens sweater to a boys silly faces
When you ask a very vibrant 7 year old to model for you, you get some rather fun shots.

Troubleshooting: *I wish for the neckline I had sewn a straight stitched seam and then gone back after and sewn the zig-zag so it would have laid just a bit flatter but with washing and ironing it now looks much better.
*Dana also had to create her own neckline, so if by chance yours doesn’t work out, you can check out her suggestions for creating your own.

I apologize for my dark photos (and lack of with a few steps), this was completed after the kids bedtime. This is just the start of our refashioning tutorials for too big and too small clothing. You can check out a few of past refashion tutorials here, most of which were for little girls. I have many upcoming for the little men in your life soon!

Please let me know what you would like to see coming up in the refashion series!

For more fun Pinterest Remakes, check out projects that some of my favorite bloggers decided to tackle this month:

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