Monday, 4 November 2013

Cashmere upcycle

When I get the opportunity, I really enjoy upcycling materials.  Something I've used and worn out, it makes me feel great to give a piece of material new life!

Today I'll (briefly) show you how to use a sweater to make mittens and/or a winter hat.  I say it will be brief because once you understand the concept and have some basic sewing skills these things are so easy to make.

This sweater was found in someone else's closet and has moth holes up near the neck line...perfect for an upcycle.

 I use the sleeves of sweaters to make the mittens.  The cuff on a sweater makes a perfect mitten cuff and doesn't need to be hemmed.  In the picture below you can see a faint outline.  I use a mitten (that already fits) and lie it on the sleeve so that the cuffs match up.  I use the side seam of the sleeve as the outside edge to the mitten, this way it doesn't need to be sewn.

I like to make sure that the mitten pair is fairly even in size.  So after cutting one mitten out I use that as the template for the other mitten on the left over sleeve.

As you can see in the picture below the cuff and sides of the mitten don't even need to be sewed.  Turn the mitten inside out to sew.  I use a zig zag stitch to sew from one edge of the mitten all the way up and over the thumb to the other edge.  There shouldn't be any holes left behind!

I use a 1/4 inch seam and also clip all the curves on the inside of the mitten so it lies flat and fits well.  It's very important to clip seams around the thumb or it may not be comfortable.

(I forgot to snap a picture of my little girl wearing these, she loves them because they are so cozy)
Making the hat is even easier.  I use another hat that fits as a template.  Line up the bottom edge of the template hat with the bottom edge of the sweater and outline.  Pinning the two layers of sweater together helps to achieve a nice even curve on both pieces of the hat.

After the two pieces are cut out, use a zigzag stitch and a 1/4 seam and sew one continuous line of stitches from one bottom edge to the other.
When sewing the hat, make sure right sides are together (so it appears to be inside out).

For the hat above I used the outside edge of the sweater so I had less to sew closed.  I used my two year olds hat as a template.  This one fits her well with some room at the top.

Any questions?  I'm sure people that already know how to sew think this is super easy but for those that don't I hope this inspires you to make your own mittens and hat!

Is there anything that you like to upcycle?  I would love to hear about it!


  1. Fun! I've done that before with wool...that cashmere looks so soft! =)

    1. Oh the cashmere is amazing...I wish I had enough for myself!

  2. How very creative, Sara.
    Thanks for joining my Show & Tell. Don't forget to post the link on your blog:

  3. Love the mittens idea, great upcycle!

  4. I love your repurposing; a friend just felted an old wool sweater and recycled it into a hot water bottle cover.