sweater to sweater jacket

I bought this sweater a few years back because the fabric is soft and fluffy, but I never wear it because the collar is too tight! If I could just open that collar up; then it occurred to me – upcycle into a sweater jacket by adding a zipper.


  • 22” separating zipper (measure in the center of the sweater from the top of the collar to the hemline to determine the length of the zipper)
  • 4 pieces of vinyl cut the length of the center front by 3” wide
  • Fusible interfacing 2” wide by the length of the center front of the sweater, including the collar
  • Non-stick foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Universal thread in coordinating color
  • THE Dream Machine

Prep the Sweater

  1. Start by marking the center front of the sweater. I am marking the sweater a contrasting color thread, if the fabric allows you can use a fabric marking pen or tailors chalk.

  1. Turn the sweater inside out. Center the fusible interfacing along the center of the sweater and press in place.

  1. Cut along the center marking, from hem to the top of the collar.

Sew the Zipper to the Vinyl

  1. Line up each side of the zipper with the vinyl as shown. Stitch along the edge of the zipper teeth.

  1. Be sure to push the zipper head out of the way while stitching along the zipper teeth.

  1. With right sides together, layer another piece of vinyl. Stitch. Try to stitch along the same stitch.

  1. You have a choice to finish the ends of the vinyl or just cut off the edges. The vinyl doesn’t fray, so either looks great! In order to finish the edges, sew the edge as shown.

  1. Trim the corner, so when the fabric is folded there won’t be any extra bulk.