sewing project.. a simple knitted skirt


Sewing project of the week! Creating a simple high waisted skirt out of a vintage sweater. Now when I say this sewing project is fast and unbelievably easy and ridiculously straightforward, I mean it. When you fall in love with a chunky knit sweater at your local thrift store but find the oversized dolman sleeves too obnoxious or the mock turtleneck too ugly, try this project out!


Initially, I wanted to recreate a pair of sweater shorts Urban Renewal had made for UO, but I realized fast that I hadn't purchased a big enough sweater to make them. Instead, I got inspired by this amazing alpaca knit skirt (above!) my friend Natalie is selling - and this cable knit pencil skirt by American Apparel.


What you need for this project? A cute oversized knit sweater (I hardcore fell in love with this one because of the rows of tulips), pair of sharp sewing scissors, sewing machine with matching thread, and elastic for the waistband (the measure of your waist plus an inch for sewing/fabric room purposes.. does that make sense? it's late). The thicker the elastic, the thicker the waistband - so adjust accordingly. Also, my friend Lauren suggests a smaller knit sweater for sewing, because the larger the knit, the harder it is to sew. Find out the size of the knitting by stretching the knit between your hands and seeing how small the holes are between the yarn (smaller holes are better!). A safety pin (for slipping the elastic through the waistband) is recommended but not necessary.


First step.. cut the sweater right underneath the arms in a straight line. Measuring the distance from the armpit to the bottom of the sweater lets you know the length of the skirt, minus a one inch seam allowance at the top of the skirt.


Next step.. sew the waistband using a one inch seam allowance (for 5/8 inch wide elastic or smaller). Sew with a zig zag stitch, as the zig zags allow for stretch - which is inevitable with a knit sweater. Leave about an inch open for slipping the elastic through.

Because of sewing with a chunky knit sweater, my seam binding and iron didn't really work to help with the hem.. oh well! Lesson learned. I kept a close eye on my waistline hem while sewing by periodically checking the one inch length with measuring tape. Pins would work too, if you're less lazy than I am.


Once the seam is (pretty much) finished, slip a safety pin onto the edge of the elastic and push it through the waistline hem. Pull the two ends of elastic through and sew them together, then finish of the waistline!


Honestly.. that is all, guys. You've got yourself a pretty cool knit skirt, created from a repurposed vintage sweater. Please make your own version and send me photos!

Tomorrow, I'll show you how I styled mine!