refashionista before and after jar dyed sweater
Dye Refashions,  Refashions,  Sweater Refashions

A Super Comfy Bowl Dye Cropped Sweater Refashion

How to Refashion a Floofy Denim Jumper Dress
An Easy DIY Tie Back Top Refashion & A Chat About "The Situation"

Hello again, friends! How are you all holding up? Personally, I’m already starting feel pretty cooped up, but am pushing through it with a combination of gardening, refashioning, and reading a few books I’d been meaning to get around to.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I’ve gotta say, I’m VERY thankful I have a well-stocked refashion stash at the moment (This is probably the ONLY time I’d advise everybody to hold up on thrifting for a bit), which included this pale blue sweater:

refashionista bowl dye sweater before
It’s not bad, exactly. It’s just not good, exactly.

As noted in the caption above, this isn’t an ugly sweater, but it’s not that great either, is it? Pale blue looks awwwwful on my skin tone, and this sweater needs to be a lil shorter to be on-trend.

However, I love that mock turtleneck, and it’s super comfy– definitely worthy of a refashion!

First, I needed to address that blue hue!

I grabbed a bottle of tan dye.

rit dye tan
You’ll do, methinks!

If you’re at home with kids, this part of the refashion is a great kid-friendly activity, and a less-messy alternative to tie dye!

I mixed a small amount of dye in a big metal bowl with hot water.

adding hot water to dye
Getting into hot water!

Tan dye is weird, y’all. For some reason, it always ends up being a little green, as you can see above.

I have no idea why.

Still, green was better than that boring blue that made my skin look like that of a corpse, so I shrugged my shoulders and carried on!

refashionista bowl dyeing sweater
Push it down…just like your mounting claustrophobia!

I let it sit for about an hour.

refashionista sweater in bowl dye bath
Just enjoy your soak, little buddy.

From the pic above, you can see I didn’t go crrrrrrrazy with dye saturation on this one (probably only added an ounce or two to the bath). I really only wanted a subtle effect for this refashion.

Still, the same rules for uneven dye techniques applied. DON’T TOUCH IT while it’s soaking! Don’t stir it! Don’t shake it! Just let it sit there and believe it’ll all turn out okay. #metaphor

After its bath was done, I rinsed my sweater in my washing machine (no, it won’t dye your machine), and then put it in the dryer.

So now my sweater was much improved, but I still needed to deal with that length!

refashionista cutting jar dyed sweater
And deal with it I did!

“Wait!”, some of you are yelling into your phones or monitors, “What is she doing? You can’t just cut off a sweater, or it’ll fray!”

“What tomfoolery is this?!?“, you are most certainly not exclaiming.

Don’t worry. This isn’t my first rodeo, and I’ve got it all figured out!

First, I made a simple hem by pinning the bottom under once, then stitching it down with a straight stitch.

refashionista pinning jar dyed sweater
First you pin…
refashionista sewing hem on jar dyed sweater
…then you stitch!

Now to address that raw edge!

I set my machine to a wide zigzag stitch.

refashionista zigzag stitch machine setting
Yes. My machine is fancy, but just about any machine has a zigzag stitch!

I ran my sweater under the needle again, placing the zigs and zags on opposite sides of that raw edge!

refashionista bowl dyed sweater zigzag stitch

Now fraying won’t be an issue!

I gave my new hem a quick press, and was done!

refashionista bowl dyed sweater after
I loves it!

Ain’t it cute???

refashionista bowl dyed sweater after long image
Stop walking weird. Why is your foot doing that?

I styled my sweater with my fave Jack Rodgers sandals, denim shorts (It’s in the 70’s here), and thrifted leaf necklace. ๐Ÿ™‚

My newly-refashioned sweater reminds me of some I’ve seen at Lululemon lately too, which is definitely an added bonus, since my sweater only cost $1!

refashionista bowl dyed sweater after close up
I’m digging those cuffs too!

I wore my new sweater while experimenting with different poses/angles to pass the time.

refashionista bowl dyed sweater trying fashion blogger poses
This is the best I could come up with. Is it working?

Fortunately, Mr. Refashionista looked outside, saw what I was doing, became immediately concerned, and invited me back inside to play board games instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

refashionista playing board game
Thanks, hubs!

Sidebar: The game we’re playing is Arkham Horror: Final Hour and it’s really fun!

What do you think? Is this something you think you’ll try at home with a sweater you haven’t worn in a while? ๐Ÿ™‚


refashionista bowl dye cropped sweater before and after
Refashionista Bowl Dyed Cropped Sweater


  • Melanie

    I much prefer these posts to the news at the moment! You picked exactly the right time to restart your blog, thank you.

  • judy ross

    Once again you have gone from grotesque to great. I too, shared your post on Facebook. I have a relative (teenager) who is trying her hand at sewing and refashioning.

  • Catherine

    Super cute. It may be if you are using an aluminum pot that there is a reaction to color, maybe a stainless steele pot would be best.
    You have so many great ideas, thank-you for sharing.
    as always you look adorable.

  • scottaenator

    Ok so the sweater I mentioned before itโ€™s the sleeves I want to change so I am guessing this technique would work the same.

  • adventures of making

    Good to hear you’re doing well! Good job on painting the sweater! I have the same trouble with pale blue; I love it on the rack, but it looks terrible on my skin.
    And I never thought I’d say it, but I think the fake turtle neck is very elegant! It oddly reminds me a bit of the wedding dress of our queen, Maxima. Who would have thought, that an old sweater looks like a royal wedding dress?

  • Claudia

    Lots of sewing therapy going on here, I have two more days before working from home with the kids, so I think I may rummage around my closet for something to refashion. Keep inspiring us!

  • heathers23

    Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. I shared it yesterday on fb, so hope you get more followers. Very fun & inspiring!!

  • mm1970

    That’s funny because pale blue looks GREAT on me, and I like the longer length, even if not in style anymore. More flattering to my particular figure. However, not a fan of the neckline, and I probably personally would have tried to cinch it in or something.

  • Mimi Hill

    I don’t know if you have a serger, I’m guessing not since you don’t ever seem to use one(?), but for those of us who do…cutting off sweaters is an absolute breezed! No fraying, no loosing part of the sweater…just chop and go !

  • Lena von Hinterdorf

    Nice refash! I’m sorry they don’t sell this dye in my country.. only the ones you have to soak in boiling water… ๐Ÿ™ I’m happy you’re back to blogging again as I was missing you. And in these times, any distraction (and a pleasant one at that) is much appreciated! Keep safe!

  • monica

    Loved!! “push it down, like your mounting claustrophobia”
    Gotta find some humor in these trying times.
    Because I’m almost 6′ tall, I sometimes shop in the Men’s dept for clothes. Therefore some adjustments are usually needed to make it less boxy. Thanks for all the ideas. I really enjoy your blog.

  • Debbie

    Your refashions always look great! I bought about 10 sweaters when they were on sale for 2 dollars each on the last day I was going out and about. I need to alter about six of them. Feeling very inspired, now?

  • Cathleen

    Love this!! Our Thrift Stores have closed here, and they’re no not accepting donations either. So what is in my closet is there for a while, which should be interesting as the season changes. Really happy to see you in my in box for inspiration! Keep ’em coming!

  • Kathy Haddock

    Thanks! I like the uneven dye technique so that will work. Love the sweater, but it is also stretched out. Needs lots of refashioning.

  • Gina Broom

    Love this idea! Especially since these are so popular right now. My question is, what is the fabric content of your sweater? Does it matter if it’s not all cotton?? Thanks!

  • Lisa K.

    Thank you, Ms. Refashionista! Your posts are so creative and fun to read, especially now, while sheltering in place. Stay well!

  • Kathy Haddock

    Love this one! Quick question…how do you choose which colors of dye to use? I have a beautiful pink “Liz” sweater, that I thrifted (yay!) but it is stained cause I’m messy and has stretched. Would love to dye it but not sure what color to use. Thanks!

    • ReFashionista

      When you’re dyeing something that already has a color to it, take that into consideration, as that color is going to “mix” with the color you’re adding. ๐Ÿ™‚ ALSO, if its stained, keep in mind the stains will still show (even more so) when dyed, so I’d suggest an uneven dye technique (like this one!) to help hide that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pamela

    Iโ€™m so glad you are back to blogging actively, especially now. I have worked with sweaters redoโ€™s, I donโ€™t cut first I sew the zig zag first holding it down so it wonโ€™t stretch. Then cut off, fold up and sew hem again holding flat so it wonโ€™t stretch. Depending on what fiber the sweater is you can also press after to help the wavey hem.

    • ReFashionista

      Gooooood question! Tighter knit sweaters work WAY better for this type of refashion. I also set my stitch fairly wide to help. I think mayyyybe a walking foot attachment might help too since it’s the feed dogs that stretch the sweater out? Not sure on that though.

  • Jean Ann Kezlan

    First of all, I love your posts, thank you……..I do have a question…I have 2 …guess we call them tent dresses, like batik or tie dye, scoop neck, sleeveless , mid calf length……You have seen them before right=? I love the fabric, but live in a hot and humid climate. Do not want the length and think the fullness of the tent shape would look sort of silly if I just shorten the dresses……..Any ideas?

    • ReFashionista

      I know EXACTLY of what dresses you speak, as I always buy them and then hate how they look on me. lol
      I suggest taking them in from the back first, making a triangle shape (does that make sense) to remove the fullness from the bottom before hemming.

  • Sarah

    Love your sweater! I did something similar back in University, after my favourite shirt became stained from wearing it to $1 beer nights at a crowded bar – those little soft plastic cups spill easily! It went from pale pink to a much cooler mottled army green. Very jealous of your weather, as it’s just barely above freezing here in Ontario.

  • MamaSquirrel

    Nice refashion! I don’t have a choice right now about not thrifting, because the store where I volunteer has shut down.

    • ReFashionista

      Think of it as an opportunity to thrift your own closet for a few items you haven’t worn in a while that could use a little refashioning love! ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you think?

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