Sew a Sweater Skirt in One Hour

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When I started this sweater-to-skirt project, I went scavenging at my local thrift stores for an ugly Christmas sweater - I had visions of bright red with green trees, jingle bells and all the the trimmings of the classic Ugly Christmas Sweater.

How to Sew a Skirt from an Old Sweater
What I found what this moderately ugly winter sweater zip-front cardigan. I decided to give it a try. I was able to knock out this project quite quickly and sewed this Christmas Sweater Skirt in about an hour. There are extra steps for dealing with a zipper sweater - simply skip those if your sweater does not have one.

What you will need:
Sweater in a size that will fit around your hips {Get creative: I have created sweater skirts out of my husband's discarded sweaters.}
Elastic for waist {I have also scavenged elastics from discarded sweatpants or pajama pants to make these skirts.}
Sewing Machine that has a zig zag stitch option. {I also used an overlock serger for this project but any time this is used, a wide zig zag stitch can be substituted.}
Your Favorite Skirt to use a a pattern

This project is quite forgiving and has a lot of room  for error, given the stretch of the sweater knit.
ugly christmas sweater skirt upcycle
First, lay your favorite skirt over the sweater and cut around the edge, leaving some extra for seam allowance. I followed this shape but straightened it a bit instead of curving at the hips. It made the waist fit better. I also didn't turn the sweater inside-out because I was being mindful of the zipper. For other skirts I made, I have turned prior to cutting. It is up to you. It will work either way.
How to make a sweater skirt
You will be cutting the sleeves off of your sweater. Save these precious items to make matching leg warmers - Tutorial coming soon!
sewater skirt pattern - Sew a Sweater Skirt in One Hour
You will have something that looks like this. Pretty basic. Now turn so right sides are together, wrong sides facing out, and serge (or zig zag stitch) the sides. You have a natural hem because of the bottom of the sweater. I start at the bottom and go toward the top, then if there is shifting, it will be hidden in the waist band.
How to sew a sweater skirt & pattern
Now the zipper. This was a beast. I wanted to leave the pull but that didn't work. This is the quickest and easiest way to deal with a zipper {Skip this part if your ugly Christmas sweater doesn't have a zip}. First, I sewed over the zipper with a wide zig zag - this will prevent any wardrobe malfunctions of it coming undone in the middle of your party - unless you're hoping for that, then by all means, live on the edge and don't secure the zip! Go slow so you can adjust your needle as it may hit the metal teeth of the zipper. At the top, I cut the zipper out so it doesn't poke on my belly at the waistband. Then I zig zagged the edges together, going over the top few teeth of the zipper to secure. This will turn over the elastic.
How to sew a sweater skirt
Next, serge the top {or just stitch with a zig zag}. This will make turning the material around the band much easier and ensure fraying is prevented. You're almost done!
How to make a sweater skirt from an Ugly Christmas Sweater - Sew a Sweater Skirt in One Hour
Measure your waist band. I like to use Non-Roll Elastic. I am a size 14 and used 32" of elastic. I sew my waistbands differently and stitch the elastic ends together instead of threading through then stitching.

After I stitch the elastic, I try it on for fit, then turn the top of the skirt and stitch around the elastic band. I used a wide straight stitch so I didn't grab any of the elastic with a zig zag stitch. I was a little short on length for this skirt and didn't want to waste the space I would have needed for a zig zag stitch. The long straight stitch works but if you can, I would use a zig zag so there is a little more give and you accidentally don't rip any seams.

That's it! Super easy, crazy fast Ugly Christmas Sweater remake. I think I actually like it as a winter sweater skirt...I am still looking for the classic ugly sweater to make a truly Ugly Christmas Sweater Skirt.
How to Make a Sweater Skirt Tutorial & Pattern - Sew a Sweater Skirt in One Hour

Do you want one too - But don't want to make it yourself? Hire me!

Hyvaa Paivaa for hire - custom sewing
You find the ugly sweater of your dreams, then contact me via the comments here or Facebook - and I will give you a quote for your own winter sweater skirt. Ship me your sweater and send your measurements, and within approx. one week, you will be the proud owner of your very own Ugly Christmas Sweater skirt - without any of the hassle! Want the matching leg warmers? I can do that too!


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