How to Convert a Sweatshirt Into a Jacket

Turn your old sweatshirts into light jackets for cool weather.

Photo: Jeffrey Hamilton/Photodisc/Getty Images

One of the worst ways a fall and winter wardrobe can be unfashionable is to be out-of-date. Although cold weather wear can often be drab instead of fab, the fashion-savvy among us can polish any garment of coal into a stunning gem. If old crew-neck sweatshirts and plain hoodies abound in your closet, it's time for a little polishing. Get your gears going for an update and spruce up those simple shirts by transforming them into cute light jackets.


Draw a line straight up the center of the front side of an old sweatshirt. Hoodies work, too --- even the ones with big front pockets. Use the measuring tape to make sure your line is directly in the center.


Take the plunge and slice the front of the shirt open on that line. This will be the jacket opening.


Fold each side of the opening under 1/2 inch. Iron the sides so that the folds flatten out.


Grab a zipper that's as long as the opening. Here's where your style savvy comes in. Most light jackets make use of a big metal zipper, but you can take your pick of any funky color or type.


Open the zipper and pin the left side of the zipper tape underneath the left side of the sweatshirt opening. Don't let the sweatshirt material overlap the zipper itself, or you'll be singing the zipper blues later.


Fit your sewing machine with a zipper foot. Sew the left zipper tape to the sweatshirt, 1/4 inch away from the open left edge. Sew again 1/8 inch away from that.


Put your mind on rewind and do steps 5 and 6 for the right side of the zipper.


Cut the tops and bottoms of the zipper tape to fit your sweatshirt, so you don't have any weird ends sticking out. Sew across the tape here.

Things You'll Need


1.Old sweatshirt

3.Measuring tape



9.Zipper foot

11.Home sewing machine

2.Fabric pencil


6.Ironing board




Tips & Tricks


If you're working with a tightly-fitted sweatshirt or hoodie, you're going to have a problem since you lose 1 inch in the fit. If you still want to alter one of these, get some sweatshirt fabric and sew a strip to each side of the jacket opening in Step 2 to make up for the loss.


Related Videos




"Sewing basics: Creating a Stylish Wardrobe With Step-By-Step Techniques"; Pat Moyes; 1999

Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Skin Type
or Register
Daily Look


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account