Introduction: Winter Beanie From a Sweater

About: Mom, wife, traveler, baker, jewelry maker...and so much more!

This is the first part of three of the project "Complete Sweater Upcycle" in which I'd like to show how I upcycled a whole sweater into a winter beanie, a handbag and a spring beanie.

The winter beanie was made from the collar of the sweater where the material was the thickest but it can be made from any part of the sweater and you can also upcycle other clothing made from all kinds of different materials as long as they are elastic. I added a little pompom which I will also show you how to make.

I did all the sewing in hand but you can use a machine as well.


- sweater

- thread and needle

- scissors

- woolen yarn or other type of thread for the pompom

- piece of cardboard

- pencil

Step 1: Tracing the Beanie

Cut a straight stripe of fabric from your sweater (cut the whole width) that's at least 5 cm taller than you want your beanie to be. You can use another beanie for measurement or just measure your head. (picture 1)

Now you have a piece of fabric that is stitched together in one place so you have two layers of fabric. Cut the stiching so you can open the fabric. (picture 2)

Find the middle of the fabric and fold one end to the middle. (picture 3)

Fold the other end over so now you have 3 equal layers on top of each other. (picture 4)

Put another beanie on the fabric as shown in picture 5 and trace it. Or you can trace your head directly. The sides of the beanie should aligh with the sides of the fabric, you should actually trace just the top of the beanie. If your fabric is too long even after you've folded it, just cut it shorter.

Cut the fabric where you've traced it and open. You should have 3 beanie shapes connected. (pictures 6 and 7)

Step 2: Stitching

First, stitch the ends together. (picture 1)

For the next steps I created a paper template because I find out it's much better visible than on the knitted fabric.

Fold each of the three round tops in half and stitch them all the way to the middle. (picture 2)

When you have all three stitched, your beanie is of a strange triangular-starry shape. My template is open in the middle butyou should have everything stitched. (pictures 3 and 4).

We don't want those little "horns", they make the beanie uncomfortable to wear. So you need to stitch and cut them aproximatelly where I show you with the red line in picture 5. But it's a bit tricky, so I recommend you first to turn the beanie right side out (we've been working wrong side out until now) and try to adjust the shape and pin it. After you're happy with the shape you turn it again wrong side out, stitch and cut just a bit above the stitched line (which can also be a curve). I also recommend you to reinforce the stitching with a blanket stitch.

Picture 6 shows the wrong side of the beanie - 3 long stitched lines and 3 short ones.

Step 3: Pompom

Time to make the pompom, yeeeeey!

Cut two equal circles from cardboard and cut out smaller circles in their center. Mine are 12 cm in diameter and the small cutout is 4 cm in diameter. Place both circles on top of each other. (pictures 1 and 2)

Start wrapping your yarn around the cardboard passing throught the hole in the center. Try to cover the circles equally. (pictures 3 and 4)

The more layers you make the thicker your pompom will be. (picture 5)

After you're done, start cutting the yarn at the edge while holding it in place in the center. (picture 6)

Pictures 7 and 8 show the whole thing cut around.

Lift one of the cardboard circles and tie a very tight know with another piece of yarn inbetween the two cardboard rings. This yarn should be rather thin (like embroidery cotton) and much longer than the yarn in the pompom. (picture 9)

Remove the cardboard rings and this is what you have now. (picture 10)

Hold the piece of yarn with the know between your fingers and shake the pompom to give it the right shape. (picture 11)

If you've noticed, some yarn pieces are longer than the others and in general, the pompom doesn't have a smooth curvy shape yet. So start cutting it to give it the correct shape. I like to hold the pompom between my fingers to check for longer threads (picture 12) and also to hold it upside down (picture 13). The long yarn should still stay long, don't cut it, you'll need it later.

Step 4: Attach the Pompom

Using the longer yarn sew the pompom to the beanie and you're ready to go!

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