Tag Archive | thrift

Upcycling jumpers into cushion covers (DIY)

At least once a year I will go through my clothes and put the items that I don’t wear any more in a bin bag & store them in the loft. I’ll then get my bag from the previous clear out and go through the items in there. The items will then go into three piles: clothes that I want to wear again; Clothes for the charity shop; and clothes for upcycling. This time around I found a lot of clothes that I wanted to upcycle & so I thought it might be fun to do a little DIY blog.

One of the jumpers that I found was a Primark purchase from a while back that I don’t believe I ever wore because firstly: it’s not really my style; and secondly it’s most certainly not my size (I’m a UK 10-12, it was a UK 6)- I think I must have been having a bad shopping day. Ordinarily I would probably give away an unworn item to a friend or a charity shop, but because baby is on the way I thought it would be nice to make something for the nursery. It would be really easy to cut along the seam and make a simple but cute blanket, but I already have my baby blanket that my nan knitted me, and so I decided to make a cushion cover. As always: if you do decide to make this please let me know how you got on & feel free to ask me any questions if you need anything clarifying. Good luck!! 😀

What you’ll need:

  • One old jumper (for this bow design I used a roll neck knitted jumper)
  • A needle & thread in a similar colour to your jumper (a sewing machine may make some parts easier, but you will need to hand stitch certain parts – I chose to hand stitch throughout)
  • A square cushion pad, roughly the same size as the body of your jumper.
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Buttons or a Zip (optional)

Step by step:

  1. Lay your jumper flat on the bed & turn inside-out.
  2. Take your fabric scissors & cut along the neck seam to separate the roll neck from the rest of the jumper.
  3. Pin a straight line from shoulder to shoulder & stitch just bellow this line & turn jumper right side out.
  4. Cut along the seam of your roll neck to open it into a rectangular shape of cloth.
  5. Pin down the three edges that you have cut & securely stitch a hem (the top of the roll neck will already be hemmed.)
  6. Pin a straight line down the centre of your jumper to establish a middle point.
  7. Bring the right sleeve to the centre point (it should cross the body of your jumper diagonally) and stitch to the front of the jumper (be careful not to sew through both sides) cut off any excess material & discard.
  8. Bring the left sleeve to the same centre point and pin a straight line (parallel to the top) across the sleeve – your left sleeve should be pinned in line with the bottom of your right sleeve & the excess sleeve should be hanging straight down, there should be enough excess sleeve to allow you to fold upwards & create the centre of the bow shape.
  9. When you are happy with the placement stitch just bellow where you pinned.
  10. Fold your strip of material made from the roll neck in half along the shorter edges & roughly pin so that you have a thinner rectangle shape (make sure that you fold the material so that the edges you previously hemmed are on the inside & hidden.)
  11. Find the middle of the material then – only at this center point – sew the two edges together. Now when you unpin the long edge you should be able to see the shape of a bow forming. 
  12. Place the material on top of both sleeves, ensuring that the center point that you sewed together earlier is exactly on your pinned center line & just above the sewed line of your left sleeve.
  13. Pin the four corners down into place (make sure all of your seams are touching the body of the jumper, so that they remain hidden). When you’re happy with the placement: sew the four corners down. 
  14. Create pleats in the bow by making an “m” shape with the center material. An easy way to achieve this is to place one hand under the bow and the other on top & press down. When you have the desired pleat: secure by sewing the middle point down.
  15. Bring the left sleeve over the top of your bow to create the centre, pin & sew down – the neatest way is to ensure that you pull the sleeve under & around the bow.
  16. To ensure that you get a bow shape that stays looking like a bow: pin & stitch any area that you feel needs to be secured, but don’t sew around the entire bow as this will stop the material from stretching correctly.
  17. Remove all pins & finish by adding either a zip or buttons to the bottom of the jumper. Or if you would prefer a simpler solution: stuff with your chosen pad & stitch closed. Fluff up & enjoy.