Sweatshirt Makeover: Olympic Style Sweatshirt Turned Cardigan

Sweatshirt makeovers are difficult for me. I love sweatshirts. They’re soft and warm and I really don’t want them to be anything other than something comfy to throw on over my top on a day turned chilly, but then I don’t want them to look like most sweatshirts tend to look, boring and/or frumpy.

Somehow or other this white Olympic style sweatshirt turned up in my clothing stash.

Go team!


I really don’t know where it came from. I know the progeny of each piece of clothing in my closet and refashioning stash came from but this one is a puzzle. I know I wouldn’t have bought it new and it turned up way before I started doing any garage sale trolling for my refashioning bug. Anyway, I never wore it but I kept it because I love how if fits and adore the sleeve detail.



First step was to bind the top of where I wanted the zipper to end up on the new top.

Step 1: Open the zipper. Stitch a bar tack by hand or machine over the teeth on both sides of the zipper, each side separately. In other words don’t stitch the zipper closed.

over and under

and across to build up the bulk of the tack so the zipper can't run over it


Hint: if you have a heavy gauge thread, use that and you’ll spend a lot less time working the bar tack.

Step 2: Cut off the excess zipper just above the bar tack, in between two of the zipper teeth.

Then I used a seam ripper to take the zipper out down to the top of the cumberbund-like waist and right at the point where I had bound the zipper. Spread fray check on the zipper bar tack and the zipper tape to prevent fraying.

waist band


I folded the front to the inside to create a deep v-neck. Since I wanted to be able to wear it open I finished the inside of the v-neck by folding it under once and then again and top-stitching it all down – AND DONE.




3 thoughts on “Sweatshirt Makeover: Olympic Style Sweatshirt Turned Cardigan

  1. This is so cute! I’m trying to figure out how I can also add that seam detail at the waist that your shirt already had. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, I was lucky to have that already part of the sweatshirt, but actually it wouldn’t be that difficult to add. Just cut the sweatshirt off at your waist adding 5/8″ for a seam allowance. Then size the bottom portion that you cut away to be a little more fitted than the sweatshirt and sew it into a tube. Gather the sweatshirt to fit the tube and sew the two pieces together.

  3. Pingback: Friday Favorites–New Life for Old Clothes « Crafty Staci

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