Adventures in Dressmaking: Amazing sweater-into-infinity scarf-tutorial

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amazing sweater-into-infinity scarf-tutorial

You maybe have seen several of my sweater makeovers on here recently.  What can I say?  It's cold out and I have a pretty good collection of nice sweaters that don't fit or have anything interesting going on.  But here's a sweater upcycle and tutorial that's totally different!

I got this 100% angora several years old Banana Republic sweater at Goodwill Outlet once.  It had been shrunken a little (originally a large), and was for craft purposes only--it was soooooo soft I couldn't pass it up.
I thought about doing several things with it, but in the end I really wanted to make it into a scarf, one where all my raw edges were hidden and only the soft outside showed.  I have seen "infinity scarves" before that are a  jersey knit on the back side and a lovely silk or something on the front, and of course when you wear it they cross a little.  I thought about doing that with this sweater and a tee I had in my pile, but I ended up having enough of just the little sweater!  You probably will, too.

Check out the tutorial to do it yourself!
  • Begin by carefully cutting up the sweater, along the seams first.  You want to save the maximum sweater in the biggest pieces possible.  You'll get a lot out of the sleeves, too!

  • Once you cut free the sleeves and torso,  you can decide on the width of the panels.  On mine, the majority of the sleeve pieces was about the width of half of the torso, so I was able to cut the front and back bodice pieces in half lengthwise.
  • Now, cut off the excess and funny-shaped pieces on the ends of your panels (neckline/collar, etc.).
  • Next you'll sew almost all the pieces together on the short ends, right sides together. Make two scarf-shaped pieces, symmetrical, rather than a loooooong piece.
  • Press the seams flat as much as you can, being careful of the fiber content.
  • Now, you'll sew the long seams--sew together your two long scarf-like pieces.
  • As much as you can, press the long seams flat.
  • Turn the long tube right side out.
  • Now, carefully sew (right sides together) the ends together, leaving a small opening.
  • Press that seam open as much as you can.
  • With a needle and matching thread, whip-stitch the opening closed.

Yay!  All done!
This thing is soooo cozy and super soft!  What a great use for a cashmere or other really nice fiber sweater, that doesn't have a flattering shape or doesn't fit you.

There are a few different ways to wear it, too!

My first infinity scarf project!!  I'm loving it.

34 comments:

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  1. Gorgeous!! I would never have thought to do that but now...I kind of need one.

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  2. This is such a great idea! I've got this great sweater that I've been trying to figure out what to make with it... this project just might be it!

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  3. What is the story on your sewing machine? I have a Viking 150 that I bought new in July of 1984, and I'm still using it. Which model do you have? How did you get it? (My guess is that it may be older than you are!) I love my old Viking, but you don't see many of them around anymore.

    iabrenda0312@aol.com

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  4. What a fantastic idea!! You're so creative!

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  5. I love infinity scarves! I've knit and crocheted a couple but now I'm thinking I'll have to go find a sweater to deconstruct.

    Your blog always makes me see Goodwill in a whole different light. A cheap-craft-supplies light. :)

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  6. What a great project! You are so creative and your projects always amaze me. When I become brave enough, I am going to try this one.

    I have never sewed or done anything like any of your projects. I have seen several of your projects that I would like to try. Can you suggest any particular ones to start with?

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  7. i've done this and you're right, beyond snug-able. btw, too bad WE didn't come up with the whole Snuggie concept. it's just a backwards robe wit no tie! dang, we'd be millionaires by now and we coulda split the fortune 70/30, you'd get 70 because let's face it, you're the real talent! hahaha, love this post!
    YOURS, MINE AND OURS

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  8. Love it! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

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  9. This is awesome! I had two lovely cashmere sweaters that I bought at the thrift store but didn't know what to do with. I made two of these scarves tonight out of them. Mine came out a bit smaller but they're perfect little neck warmers.
    Thank you so much.

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  10. this is funny becausei just posted a tshirt infinity scarf on my blog this morning! great minds think alike?

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  11. You come up with the most ingenious ways to reuse and remake! I love this one!

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  12. great tutorial. i have been wanting to make something like this out of a flannel shirt. now i have all the steps once i find the perfect shirt. thanks!

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  13. Thanks, everyone!
    @Stephanie, this actually may be a great starter project for you! Some of my tutorials on how to take in a sweater, for example, are good starts, too. And some of the t-shirt embellishments are really fun and it doesn't matter if they turn out totally perfect, since they're sort of abstract!

    @Anonymous, that is awesome! I would love to see pics of the infinity scarves you made using this tutorial!!

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  14. Please let me tell you about how grateful I am to have found your blog! It is absolutely amazing, I had almost given up all hope in finding a good tutorial-based blog. You have connected me to so much more. Thank you very much, keep up the good work! You are a gift from God.

    -plums

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  15. Great idea, good instructions. Will use this idea for a last minute gift for someone I know will appreciate a hand made recycled gift.

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  16. Amazing, I have just the sweater. So excited about this.

    I'm leaving to China next week and it is going to be freezing there, but in San Diego my warm weather options are seriously limited! Hopefully I have time to do this!

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  17. I love this project--I've made three of them so far! Thanks for posting it. I linked to your tutorial on my blog--you can see my versions of it there :)

    www.bethbeingcrafty.blogspot.com

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  18. Glad to hear, @Crafty Beth! They are awesome for gits, aren't they?!

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  19. My daughter asked me to make her one, and BAM!...I found your blog. I showed her the picture, and she said, "YES! That's what I want!" :D

    Could you tell me about how long the scarf is before you sew it to itself?

    Thanks for the great work you do, and the inspiration you give us.

    Merry Christmas!

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  20. Glad she likes it, @Missy!! You'll love making it, so fun and easy. Unfortunately I don't know how long it was before I sewed it together, and--sad story--I LOST this scarf last year at a restaurant on Valentine's Day. =(. So I can't answer that for you! I think it would work in a lot of different lengths, though. Shorter would have been fine, or even longer for a drapier look.

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  21. This turned out perfect!! I am totally keeping that in mind this year!

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  22. Oh I like too much. The next post I speak from Spain about scarf tutorial.

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  23. That looks great! I wish I had read this before I took my "extras" to Goodwill.

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  24. Hi Suzannah!
    Thank you for this great tutorial with step-by-step pictures. Those are so helpful!! I can't wait to make these for Christmas gifts this year:) I share tutorials on my Etsy shop fanpage and I shared this one today. My shop is called Eljah*B. I invite you to stop by www.facebook.com/eljahb and here is my shop link as well www.eljahb.etsy.com

    Thank you for all of your creativity!!
    Blessings:)

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  25. Just made one - thanks for the fabulous tutorial! I got confused at the end with joining the ends together and made a mobius strip but it worked out. :-)

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  26. How do you see the ends together st the end so they don't show if you have already turned your tube right side out? That part is confusing to me! Thanks
    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Check out the photo with the hand-sewing... you sew right sides together on MOST of the ends of the tube; it's a little tricky but just do it as far as you can, wrapping around inside out, manipulating it on the machine!

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  27. What a great idea. I just got a new singer sewing machine and this will be my first project. Thank you for the best idea ever.

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  28. Thanks for the great tutorial! I bought a sewing machine last month and this is my first project since learning to machine sew. I used a solid color cotton knit turtleneck and it turned out beautifully. I also used the collar to make an inexpensive headband to keep the hair out of my eyes while I sew. LOL.

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  29. I have a few cashmere sweaters that I've thrifted - this is the perfect project! Thank you!

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