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Embellish Tshirts…..with old SWEATER SCRAPS (or any ol’ scraps, really)


It’s still snowy around these parts.  So, we’re still happily adding layers when we go outside, wearing slippers around the house, and eating a variety of soups for dinner.  And since it’s so chilly, I keep thinking about the sweaters in my recycle pile.  I know, I am kinda crazy when it comes to re-purposing old sweaters (find more in the Clothing Section of my blog.).  They just give a nice new texture to any project.  And, well, not spending a single penny makes me happy too! ;)


Oh, and ever since I pinned this Mitten Pocket Sweater to my Pinterest board, I knew I wanted to re-create it. 


 And today’s the day.


But, now that my kiddos are getting older, if I make something for one child…….the other 2 notice.  And ask repeatedly if they’re going to get a new shirt/doll/bag/etc as well.  (Well, little Chloe is kinda young to notice….but she watches her big brother and sister like a hawk.  And if they fuss, she fusses.  Great. ;) )  I know these years are limited (that they’ll wear my projects), so I don’t mind one bit.  So I needed 3 designs for this Sweater Scrap Tshirt theme. 







And yeah, you could also use knit fabric or woven cotton fabric to create the same look…….but cozy little sweater pieces made the perfect mittens, snow hat and front pocket.


And, I love a good “old to new” type of project. 




Oh, those little mittens.  I adore how they turned out.




And Elli’s little Snow Hat shirt surprised me.  I ended up really liking it. (I had doubts it would turn out at first.)  Doesn’t it make you want to bundle up and get cozy??




And Connor’s.  Well, I wanted something more boy-ish.  And the pocket idea came right to mind.  My favorite part about it, is that Connor thinks it’s SO RAD to have his hands share one pocket.  Easy to please, that one.




I’m sure there are 53 other sweater-scrap designs you could add to your shirts.  Whatever it is……those sweaters sure make us feel cozier here in snowy Colorado.




And this one?  Well, she’s happy as clam to have perma-pockets on her shirt.  She just couldn’t stop giggling about it.  LOVE.




Would you like to embellish a few Tshirts with some Sweater Scraps??



First of all, cut out any ol’ shape you want, out of some paper. Hold it onto your shirt to be sure it’s the exact size you’d like.  Then, you can re-trace the shape onto another piece of paper and add a 1/4 inch all the way around……or you can just eyeball it as you cut.  (If you’re using the bottom finished edge of the sweater for the opening of your mitten, you don’t need to add any extra seam allowance to the straight end.)



Now, to make it MUCH easier to sew your sweater shape to your Tshirt, use woven cotton fabric as your lining to keep the sweater stable (it’ll keep the sweater from stretching).  Cut out a piece of the woven cotton the exact size of your sweater piece.  If you’re making mittens and you used the bottom edge of the sweater so that you didn’t have to hem the opening of each mitten, give the bottom edge an extra 1/4 inc seam allowance, so that it can be tucked under.



See the extra 1/4 inch along the bottom?


Now, place the sweater piece and the lining together, right sides together, and pin all the way around.  For the bottom edge, fold it up a 1/4 inch and pin it in place.


Now, sew all the way around the mitten, leaving the bottom edge open.  But if you look at the image on the right, I included the folded up edge in  my seam.  (TIP: when sewing with stretchy fabric, it really helps to increase your stitch length, so that your needle hops over more of the fabric with each stitch…..and doesn’t pull so badly while sewing.  Also, sew slowly and lift the presser foot and re-adjust frequently.)


Now, clip the fabric, right where the thumb shape meets the finger shape and then turn the mitten right side out.  (Sorry, no image of making the cut by the thumb but what that does is allows the fabric to lay flat after turning right side out.)  Press the mitten flat after turning right side out and then sew the bottom edge shut, using an 1/8 inch seam allowance.  (Sew with the sweater facing up so that you can adjust the fabric as needed…..this image is showing the other side because it showed the seam better.)


Repeat with the other mitten.


Next, pin each mitten to the shirt…..near the bottom hem.


Then, sew around both mittens (using an 1/8 inch seam allowance), leaving each end open.  (TIP: when sewing with stretchy fabric, it really helps to increase your stitch length, so that your needle hops over more of the fabric with each stitch…..and doesn’t pull so badly while sewing.  Also, sew slowly and lift the presser foot and re-adjust frequently.)


And that’s it for the mittens.


To make the front Pocket like I did for Connor’s…..I did the exact same thing as the mittens.  I cut my shape out of paper, held it up to the shirt (made adjustments as needed), then cut it out of the sweater 1/4 inch bigger on all sides, cut the same shape out with woven cotton, sewed them together, turned right side out, etc.  However, when I sewed all the way around the pocket, I left a 3 inch opening along the bottom long edge…..and then turned it right side out through that opening.  Then, when I ironed the whole pocket flat, I tucked those raw edges towards the inside a 1/4 inch and ironed them flat.  I didn’t worry about the opening because I knew it would be sewn shut when it was attached to the shirt.


Also, before attaching the pocket, I made a seam (1/8 inch seam allowance) right along both diagonal edges of the pocket (where the hands would go in). 


Then I pinned the pocket to the shirt and then sewed it along the top and bottom……and a little bit on each side.


See?  Leaving those diagonal edges free allow for little hands to enter into the pocket.


To make Elli’s Snow Hat, I made it the same way……except I sewed the entire hat down.  It didn’t need an opening for a hand to go inside.


And for the pom-pom on top, I cut lots of little strips of knit fabric (just like I did for this Sweater Hat) and sewed them right to the hat, right down the middle of the strips.  When you fluff them out, you’ll never see the seam.


And that, is it. 


Sweet little Sweater Embellished Tshirts for all 3 kiddos. :)






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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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