How to upcycle an old cardigan with embroidery

Hi Creative Mamas! Welcome to another DIY fashion tutorial in which we will upcycle an old cardigan with embroidery yarn.

I will be using hand dyed wool yarn which is perfect to use in any sweater upcycle project and a great way to make use of left over yarn too!

I will be using an old cardigan of mine but you can use any old wool sweater, thrift shop sweaters, or a favorite old sweater which needs a new life.

You can apply this tutorial to any old clothes! Old t-shirts or any knit fabric item would be ideal too.

There is no need for a sewing machine in this upcycling project! We will be using hand embroidery stitches which are super fun and easy and will give us a unique look 🙂

a cardigan being embroidered using laizy daisy stitches

Upcycle cardigan tutorial

Materials and equipment

Step 1

The first step is to gather all your materials. Have fun choosing yarn colors and combinations!

It’s a great idea to use naturally dyed yarn because all the colors go well together.

a plain wool cardigan and hand dyed wool yarn ready to be upcycled

Step 2

Decide where you want the embroidery to be within your cardigan. For this upcycle I am embroidering along the front placket and neck.

Run a basting stitch to use as a guide. I will be embroidering a lazy daisy stitch which is basically a chain stitch in the form of a star.

This video shows how to make a lazy daisy stitch.

Make little lazy daisies alongside the buttonhole area all the way to the bottom edge. I am using a color pattern to add some interest to the design.

3 embroidery stitches on an upcycled cardigan project

These stitches need to be super tidy on the inside of the cardigan so make sure that you tidy up the long tails as you go.

how to upcycle a cardigan by stitching laizy daisies

Make little stitched in the center of the lazy daisies in a contrasting color thread to add some more color.

embroidering a cardigan to upcycle it

Voila, here is the finished product!

final upcycled cardigan using embroidery floss

I hope you have enjoyed this easy way to upcycle old garments using embroidery thread or yarn.

You can follow the same steps and upcycle old jeans, your favorite cozy hat, a pair of mittens… the sky is the limit! It’s such a fun way to repurpose old clothes or items found in thrift stores!

Feel free to add a raw edge, a bias tape or some extra fabric as new ways to get creative with embroidery upcycling.

Upcycling clothes with eco printing

You may also enjoy this really cool tutorial on how to upcycle an old cotton t-shirt using eco printing techniques!

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