Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Sewing: Clothing » Baby Clothing » Embellish Tshirts…..with old SWEATER SCRAPS (or any ol’ scraps, really)

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. :)






 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Featured Sponsor:

Ashley Johnston
  • Save

Ashley Johnston

Owner 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!
  • Save


  1. BarBór says:

    Wow, great idea! Especially with the pockets. I very like simple ideas :)
    have a nice day!

  2. Lindsey says:

    I am sure getting to model while standing on the table thrilled little Miss Chloe as well! So cute! I know my girls would love it!

  3. Laura says:

    GREAT idea! My four year old loves orange. And it just so happens that we had a well used Halloween shirt and a very plain navy henley. After about 10 minutes yesterday afternoon, he now has a very adorable “new” pocket shirt. And is thrilled with it. :)

  4. Elena says:

    Hello, Ashley!

    your works are awsome!!! How it is fun to wear such clothes!

    I would like to ask you one question. Could you give me a link where you wrote about “100 ideas to spend time with the kids” (I can not find it now…. :(

    Thank you in advance :)

    1. Ashley says:

      Hi Elena, are you talking about the 50 Kid Gift Ideas?? If so, it’s here:

      Otherwise, the 100 Ideas with Kids was probably on another blog. Or maybe Pinterest somewhere?? :)


    2. Elena says:

      Thank you very much for the reply. the 100 Ideas with Kids was here ;) t was about what to do with the kids at free time< how to entertain them. I remember that it was in your blog, I guess there were many ideas from different blogs in one. Or may be you recommeneds one of those blogs…..anyway thank you for help :)

  5. Guest says:

    Oh my! This is too cute! :) I want this on little baby clothes! :) and it’s not even that difficult to do.

  6. Sofya @ The Girls' Guide to Guns and Butter says:

    I absolutely love this mittens idea (and I can’t believe how big your little girl is getting!!). Thank you for so many wonderful ideas. I can’t stop browsing!

  7. Dee says:

    It seems like I am in plenty of company in loving the mitten pockets. And your littlest is sooooooooo cute. I have loved watching them grow up; it seems like she was a baby just yesterday. Thanks for sharing your lovelies with us.
    My first grandchild is due to be born in 2 days and I can barely wait to meet my newest lovely.

  8. Amanda says:

    Really enjoying discovering your blog, lots of ideas to try and use up my stash of clothes to upcyle! Am also member of gluten free club have you seen Harry Eastwood book Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache full of cakes made with rice flour have tried a few of them and all turned out delicious x

  9. Alex @ northstory says:

    I love this! I made Valentine’s cards this year using old work socks to mask as hearts so this is SO up my alley. Love the mitten one!

  10. Renè says:

    Hi, I love the vision you have for re-purposing! Can you send me in a direction you’d recommend for re-purposing men’s polo and button up shirts into CUTE and stylish women’s clothing? I’ve seen a few sites online but nothing that spells it out quite like I need. I’m a beginner/slightly experienced sewer. I’ve made some cute things but mainly by accident :) Thank you in advance, and love your blog!

  11. Anna says:

    These each turned out so cute! And I have to admit I have a sweater repurpose stash as well! Yep, it’s the texture of those sweaters that need to live on…as something else!

  12. Beth says:

    Oh my goodness, yes, the mitten pockets! And that last picture of your little Chloe stretching them out – her FACE! Ahhh, she is too cute.

    I am so (so, so, so) glad that you have a boy in your little brood… I have only boys and I’m always so excited when you include something boyish in your creations! (I have to admit, though, I have made things from your blog for my friends’ daughters at different times. I can’t help myself!)

    Thanks for another great tutorial! I’ve learned so much from you!

  13. Ksenia says:

    How cute! Love the mitten pockets.

  14. Irina says:

    Lovely…especially like the gloves pockets…thank you for sharing…pinning.

  15. Gina at CampClem says:

    Oh! Oh! And when summer comes, you can add a yellow upside-down triangle under the hat and turn it into an ICE CREAM CONE!! Just turn the long sleeves into flutter sleeves and it’ll be ready for another season, wheeeeeeeee!

    1. Beth says:

      Awesome idea!

  16. LittleBrownTomato says:

    Such a cute idea!

  17. Amanda says:

    I seriously pin something EVERY time I come to your blog. The mittens are my favorite!

  18. Anne says:

    Absolutely adorable! Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. Spring says:

    Love love those little mittens. I agree with everyone else, best models, that little one is a crack up! So cute! Thanks for your great detail in explaining.

  20. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    Dying Ashley – this is so stinking adorable!

  21. Gina at CampClem says:

    Totally bloomin’ cute. Love the mittens the mostest!

  22. laura @ on{thelaundry}line says:

    SO CUTE! And your kids are getting so big, wow!!

  23. Naomi says:

    so cute I might try this. Thanks

  24. Laura says:

    It’s so cite, it’s fantástica. Kisses

  25. Cerise says:

    So cute! Love the mittens, how fun.

  26. dannyscotland says:

    You have three of the most adorable models for your amazing clothes, but I have to say, that little Chloe just makes me smile every time I see her! Thanks for continuing to bring us all inspiring projects and for sharing your children’s smiles with us.

  27. Ann says:

    My two year old just pointed out the mitten shirt and said, “I want that.” So there you go!

  28. Crystal says:

    Those mitten pockets are so cute!

  29. brooke elyse says:

    cute!!! and that little one… she is growing up so fast!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Ashley

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

Back to Top
Share via
Copy link