Give Your Sweatshirt a Makeover!

Give your sweatshirt a makeover

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dreaming of spring brighter colors, less layers, and swapping out my boots for sandals! However, February has reminded us that winter isn’t done with us just yet. Yes, even us west coast folks are feeling the chill in the air and reaching for our jackets, or at least our sweatshirts. Which brings me to this fun, winter-inspired sweatshirt makeover.

Since fall fell upon us, sweatshirts have been having their moment so we all stocked up, right? If you don’t have one in your drawer or in your closets, I’m certain you can find a nice fitting, inexpensive sweatshirt hanging on the clearance rack at Target. Sweatshirts however, are more than just a trend. Sweatshirts are forever.

But as we all know they can get a little frumpy or boring — that’s where a rad piece of fair isle fabric comes in to shnazz it up and save the gray!  So until spring is here, you might as well cozy up in something cute. Baby it’s cold outside, so stay indoors and get sewing while it’s snowing!

Let me show you how to turn your simple sweatshirt into a statement in a few easy steps!

  • What You Need: 1 of 9
    What You Need

    Sweatshirt: For this particular DIY, it is best to use a sweatshirt where the arm seams come at a diagnol from the neckline, like a baseball tee. I found this particular one a while back at Target. Also, notice the black trim which coordinated nicely with the fabric I used, though a solid color would work fine too!


    Knit Fabric: I found this super awesome fair isle chevron knit at Joann's last month. I am pretty sure it is still in stock. However, you can use whatever fabric you fancy that will coordinate with your sweatshirt. Plaid would be fantastic, I would just avoid anything too bulky. I got 1.5 yards just to be safe. 


    Tissue Paper: This is what I use to make a template. Gift bag tissue is always laying around and it works perfectly. 


    Fabric Spray Adhesive: Used to hold and position fabric into place while sewing. If you're not into sewing this would work, but only temporarily as the adhesive will likely not hold after a wash. (Note: Most no-sew projects have a very short wear life. Sewing is your only guarantee to a long lasting clothing DIY! I am not the worlds best seamstress, but a simple stitch is doable! You can do it too!)


    Additional Supplies: Scissors, Pen, Pins, Sewing Machine

  • Step 1: Use tissue paper and trace a template. 2 of 9
    Step 1: Using Tissue Paper, trace a template

    Lay your sweatshirt out on a nice flat surface, then place your tissue paper over the body of the sweatshirt and make sure it covers the entire surface. Next, grab a pencil or pen and trace the outline of the front side of the body which should be visible through the tissue paper. Make sure to trace along the inner seams of the neckline and the waistband, basically the area you want to cover on the sweatshirt. 

  • Step 2: Cut your template. 3 of 9
    Step 2: Cut Your Template

    Once you have drawn up your template on the tissue paper, in the words of Uncle Joey, cut it out! However, you may want to cut a little outside of the line to allow yourself some extra space to work with just in case. You can always trim it later, as opposed to not having enough fabric. 

  • Step 3: Pin template to the fabric. 4 of 9
    Pin Template to the Fabric

    Now you must lay out your fabric on the sweatshirt, and figure out how your want to position the pattern of the fabric. Important detail: Once you have it figured out, lay the template overtop, line it up and pin the tissue to your fabric only!

    NOTE: Do not pin it to the sweatshirt yet!!!

  • Step 4: Cut the fabric. 5 of 9
    Step4: Cut the fabric!

    Carefully cut out the fabric. Once again, make sure that you are not attached to the sweatshirt, and that you are only cutting out the fabric. Also, notice how I am giving myself a little extra space around my template just in case!

  • Step 5: Position fabric, make adjustments. 6 of 9
    Step 5 Position fabric and make adjustments

    Now that you've cut your fabric, lay it over the sweatshirt, and line it up with your seams. If you need to do some trimming and adjusting, now is the time.

  • Step 6: Use spray adhesive to back of fabric, position, and iron into place. 7 of 9
    Step 6 spray fabric spray adhesive to the back of fabric, position and iron on to sweatshirt

    Once everything is trimmed and lined up beautifully, flip over your fabric, spray it with spray adhesive, and stick it in place. Then iron it on to activate the adhesive. This step will help to hold it well into place while you sew. 

    NOTE: This adhesive is a temporary fix, and would not last through the wash. 

  • Step 7: Pin and sew the fabric to the sweatshirt. 8 of 9
    Step 7 Pin and saw the fabric to the sweatshirt

    For the last step, you will sew the fabric to the sweatshirt. I still did a little bit of pinning around the perimeter of my fabric just to give a little extra hold in prep for sewing. Sewing takes a bit of precision, especially around the curves, but do not fret, just sew at a slow to medium speed as you carefully stay close to the edge! 

    Once you are done sewing, trim any thread and bulk!

  • Makeover Complete! 9 of 9
    Makeover your Sweatshirt!

    Honestly, I have been wearing this sweatshirt for days! I am really pleased with how swell it turned out, and plan on doing a few more — maybe in plaid, floral, or tribal there are SO many options! 

Photos by Priscilla Chang

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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