Thrift Store Recycled Sweater Tutorial


Time for another Feathered Fibers tutorial, this time it is how to remake or reconstruct a thrift store sweater into a stylish garment you would love to be seen in.  This is a beginner’s project:


I have remade about 8 thrift store sweaters over the last few years.  I first learned how to do this from Leslie Riley, a very talented mixed media artist.  Anyway, here are the supplies you need:


Need 1 sweater from the thrift store, rummage sale, or even “borrowed” from the back of your closet or husband’s closet.  The sweater above was in perfect condition with the exception of extra long, stretched out sleeves, which I plan to shorten.

**Helpful Hint: Use a sweater that has knitted holes large enough to get a crochet hook and yarn through.  The sweater in this example is perfect for this project!

**Helpful Hint #2: Wash the sweater and block dry to get the thrift store cooties out of it before you start.

**Helpful Hint #3: Take your thrift store sweater with you to the yarn shop if you don’t have the perfect yarn already in your yarn stash.

Also need:


crochethooks also scissors, sewing machine, pins, thread, etc.

This sweater is pretty easy, all I’m going to do is adjust the sleeves, finish them off, and then add more decoration to the collar.  Before you grab your scissors, there are several steps that you must do first.

Step 1: Measure the alterations and pin where the sewing lines will be.

Here is how to handle a pullover sweater (like in the blue sweater at the very top of this tutorial):


Here is what you can do with a turtleneck sweater:


As I was saying, Step one is to figure out your design and where your stitching line will be.  I pin along the line where my stitching will be to use as a guide:


The next- and VERY important step is to sew 2 lines where you have pinned, about 1/4 of an inch apart. Follow the picture below for a visual reference:


You do this so that you will have a secure space to place your crochet stitches, plus the sweater will not unravel.  Once you have done all your double stitched lines, you can trim about 1/4″ from the stitched line like I have done here:


Because this project is easy, all I had to do was the sleeves.  Now it is time to crochet:


You may choose to do single crochet stitch, double or any other combination of a crochet stitch.  Here is a picture with one sleeve finished and one sleeve not finished:


For a bit more decoration, I also crocheted the collar, too:


I also could have crocheted the bottom edge at the bottom, but I didn’t want to overdo it on this one.

Finishing touches:  You can make the favorite closure of your choice, button hole, frog closure, tied closure, really whatever you like.

Congrats!!  Your thrift store project should be finished.  Please send me a picture as I would love to see your new sweater, too.

Pat yourself on the back…you have just saved another item from ending up in a landfill!

Here are some close ups of other sweaters I have “remade:”






Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I have a whole page of various tutorials covering many subjects.

Take care,  Carla

Toothbrush Rug

While at my favorite quilt store yesterday, I came across a new gizmo (new to me that it!). It is a new take on an old American craft using found materials. I am talking about a “toothbrush” rug and the process for making it originally actually used the end of a toothbrush (which you cut off and adapted.)

Capitalizing on this old craft is a business called “Aunt Philly‘s,” which offers a series of toothbrush rug patterns and items. Here is the basic pattern:

It is a bit different process than the typical rag rugs. I plan to make one up soon in my spare time as an experiment. I’ll show you the results in a later post.

Carla Quote: “Do not throw out your old clothes!

As I told the class yesterday, I never throw stuff away. Instead I love to find new uses for the old items. With clothes- buttons and zippers are cut off and added to my stash. Old clothes fabric can then be stripped to make my fabric crochet purse and/or a project like this toothbrush rug. My friend, Susan I., would save her old clothes to remake them into new ones- a process called, “altered couture.”

To surprise my students, I made a quick visit to the thrift store on the way home and bought 3 dresses to basically strip and make into a Carla purse. I’ll take pictures as I go and make a tutorial for you all, too. I want to surprise them at next week’s class and show them I wasn’t kidding. LOL!


This economy is really affecting businesses such as my local quilt store, bead and yarn store. In a downturn market, the first businesses to feel the pinch are those associated with discretionary spending. If you can, please support these stores so they may stay in business!!

Hugs, Carla