Subscribe to updates via email!

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater

An '80s Power Dress Refashion for a Modern Woman (Me!)
Thrift Store Style: It's All About the Layers!

Today’s refashion is what I am going to call a Frankenfashion. Let me explain.

It all began with this men’s Izod sweater vest I thrifted for $1.

refashionista in large mens sweater vest
Blerg.

After a miserable year working in an awful shop that sold golf shirts in college, I know that Izod’s stuff is usually cut to be pretty roomy, as was the case with this vest.

izod label
Luxury, you say? Vintage, you say?

Now for the second part.

I also had this sweater I had worn a few times, but which had a fatal flaw.

refashionista sweater
Can you tell what it is?

Here…come closer…

refashionistastain
Stain!!!!

It might not be super-visible in this photo (squint a little), but when I thrifted this $1 ’80s sweater, I completely failed to notice a coffee-looking stain towards the bottom that I could NOT get out even after multiple washings and stain removers.

I mean, I still wore it. I just did that french tuck thing that everyone is doing (but which looks good on no one) to hide it.

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 1
If Tan says it’s okay, I’m still down though.

In summary: I had a too-big-for-me men’s sweater vest that I didn’t like much and a sweater I did like, but was tired of the paranoia induced by hiding its stupid stain.

A Frankenfashion was born!

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 2
Life uh…finds a way.

I decided I wanted my new refashion to have a slightly oversized/comfy shape. I decided I would take it in 1.5 inches on each side.

ReFashionista
Measure & mark!

Then, I cut off the excess fabric.

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 3
Snnnnnip!

I didn’t pin it first, as there are a couple of additions I needed to deal with first.

I cut the bottom band off my white sweater and then cut that into a front and a back piece. I serged the raw edge (as otherwise, I’d be entering Fray City).

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 4
Serrrrrrrrrrge!
How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 5
See? No fraying here!

If you don’t have a serging machine, don’t worry! Just run a zigzag stitch along the raw edge, and it’ll do nicely. 🙂

I chopped off some of the bottom of my sweater vest…

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 6
Byeeeee!

Then, I added the bottom pieces from the white sweater to it.

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 7
A very cozy Whirrrrrr!

It was now time to close up those sides, which I did!

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 8
Pin! Then stitch!

We’re not done yet, friends. While my sweater vest was now more fitted, shorter, and had a nice contrasting bottom band, I didn’t want a sweater vest!

Time to take this refashion home to sweater city!

To add the sleeves to the vest, I cut them off the original sweater carefully, making sure the curve aligned with the vest, with a little left over for a seam allowance.

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 9
Sleeve me alone!

Then, I tucked it inside, making sure the outward-facing fabrics were touching each other.

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 10
In you go!

I pinned my new sleeves down…

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 11
Our creation is almost complete!

And then stitched them into place!

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 12
Just a little more!

And just like that, my sweater vest-to-sweater refashion is complete!

refashionista sweater vest to sweater refashion
Neat, huh?

I wore my new sweater to lunch with Erin at Gourmet Shop!

refashionista sweater refashion after
Look at all the fancy foodie things around me!

We had to wait over half an hour to be seated, as everyone else in town had the same delicious lunch destination in mind as we did…

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 13
We hate waiting.

But then we discovered a wine tasting was being offered in the next room, so all was well!

refashionistananderin
Wine not?

This has nothing whatsoever to do with my refashion, but look at this awesome salad I had to compensate for three days of eating just about nothing but cheese:

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 14
So healthful!
ReFashionistacloseup
A closer look at my sweet sweater!

So that’s it!

refashionista sweater vest refashion before and after

….OR IS IT?????

How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater 15
What will become of it?

TO BE CONTINUED….

An '80s Power Dress Refashion for a Modern Woman (Me!)
Thrift Store Style: It's All About the Layers!

49 thoughts on “How to Refashion a Sweater Vest into a Sweater”

  1. Hi there!
    Once again you turned out a very clever piece!
    The sum of the two outshines the seperate items. I love the crochet look of the sweater though. I had an idea for the remains of it!
    How about cutting off most all of the bottom, leaving enough to create a yoke up above. Then find a peasant style skirt at one of your thrift shops, and attach it to the crocheted like yoke.
    Make a spring and summery dress, comfy and cool!
    Sincerely,
    Ann of Daytona ☮️

    Reply
  2. Encore un très joli refashion , bravo !
    Je ne sais pas pourquoi dans Queer Eye, on appelle le fait de mettre le devant de son tee-shirt dans le jean ou la jupe ” the french touch ” parce que je n’ai pas l’impression que ce soit typiquement français.

    Reply
  3. Love it! I find attaching sleeves intimidating, so bravo for braving it out! I could see the remaining white sweater as a summer sleeveless, maybe with a bottom hem in gold?? Would be cute with jeans and fancy sandals.

    Reply
  4. yep A serger will cut and sew the two pieces together. Never done it on sweaters though I would probably practice on a scrap? Not sure how much they would stretch.

    Reply
  5. Love the sweater! BUT, I tuck almost all my shirts like that and I love how it defines my waist. It looks cute on so many people!! It would look cute on you too, I think you just don’t like it 😉

    Reply
  6. First thing, excellent refashion. I love how this turned out.
    Second thing, question. I don’t have a serger so i’m not 100% sure how they work. Can you put the seams together and run them through the serger together?

    Reply
  7. No matter how busy, tired, etc…. I am, I am soooo happy to see a new message from you in my Inbox. Your great sense of humor and imaginative re-dos are a delight. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do to the left over white sweater sans sleeves.

    Reply
  8. Gillian, This sweater/vest refashion is a very fashionable addition to keep you warm. I like that you thought it through and then went with it. I truly do like what you do with discarded clothing instead of them going into the landfill to rot. I have been refashioning clothing for many years. Like yourself, you name it, and I have done it. And thank goodness for the sewing machines and especially sergers that are available to make our sewing look more professional and attractive. Thank you for returning to your blog.

    Reply
  9. Yes! You vastly improved two by making them one. And you’ve still got part of one to recession. Can’t wait. And thank you for what you said about the French tuck. I agree, wholeheartedly.

    Reply
  10. I turn those huge sweaters from the 90s into great cushion covers. the back is usually plain and I make a button placket so I can just slip pillow inside to get a fresh new look on my sofa. Love your vest combo.

    Reply
  11. Thanks for the inspiration. Going into my closet now to see what I can merge together. Isn’t a serger FUN?! I love mine too.

    Reply
  12. Love that idea, love reading your refashions, I wish we had those prices in our area, at thrift stores, unreal what they want now a days.. Awesome job!!!

    Reply
  13. It just makes me happy when I see a post from you! The creativity, the humor, the up cycling, the event to wear your creation to- all make me feel light with the world. Thanks!

    Reply
  14. Is it weird I saw the left-over sweater and though “CROP TOP”? Like … immediately. That or a cropped sweater vest circa 1995? (Think Clueless style with a collared dress shirt underneath)

    Reply
  15. This one is awesome. It’s so practical, and has turned two so-so items into one that is unique and which would no doubt become a standard in my wardrobe. I love your ingenuity!

    Reply

What do you think?