Creative articles about sewing

#REFEBULOUS: Old sweaters turn into a new sweat suit

#REFEBULOUS: Old sweaters turn into a new sweat suit

For the REFEBULOUS challenge I’ve reused a pile of old sweaters of the boys that were too small or no longer loved. I started with the idea to make cool joggers and I ended up with a complete sweat suit. In the pile were many grey items and a cool blue sweater. In the scraps I found some white and pink jersey and jogging to give me a little spring vibe. The design of the colour block arose during the making of the sweat suit. Read about my sewing adventure from sweaters to sweat suit in this blog.

Naar de Nederlandse blog

Perfecte scissors: Re-style;-)


For the joggers I chose the Skye Joggers from Blank Slate Patterns. Although I usually go for a well-known pattern in refashion or reuse projects, I hadn’t used this pattern before. I think it’s a good pattern with many described options to adjust it for your shape.

The sweater is based on the Vera from Forget me not Patterns. I have used this free pattern before, also here on the BERNINA blog in another colour block creation. Although you might nog recognize the sweater anymore, it is a nice go-to pattern to vary with.


The colour block design of the joggers started with a size 164 joggers. This became the top of the front pattern piece. Then white and pink leftover fabric and at the bottom the blue of the sweater.

Joggers size 164


Bottom leg

The back starts with blue, cut from the blue sweater. One side is the unprinted back (preferably no letters on my buttocks) and the other from sleeves stitched together (but a seam on my buttocks).

Blue buttock

Cutting the fabrics the colour block design of the pants was created. I coloured this on a drawn design and could immediately see whether it was going to work or whether I had to make other choices.

I sewed the separate colour block parts together with thebernette 64 AIRLOCK

The side seams are first attached with the sewing machine and then overlocked. This gives you just a little more control over connecting the colours.

Pin perpendicularly

Sew over pins so the fabric won’t shift

Because the bottom blue part is already ‘secured’ on one side, you only attach it after the rest of the trouser leg has been put together.


The waistband of one of the sweaters was big enough to attach to the sweatpants.

Before I did that I made two holes through which a drawstring could be threaded. I saw this technique at @elizabethsweetwaterpatterns and I was able to try it out right away. Where the holes will be, reinforce the inner side with fusible interfacing. Place a piece of fabric on the right side (sweater fabric in this case). Here you draw a circle the size of the hole. You sew this with a small stitches. Cut the circle and through the hole that is created you pull the piece of fabric to the inside. Iron and, if necessary, secure with a basting stitch or top stitching.

Fusible interfacing wrong side

Stitch round

Pull through the hole

A wide elastic (also reused) goes into the band and the band is then twice top stitched. The drawstring is made from the small scraps that are put together with the over locker and then topstitched with the sewing machine. For the topstitching I used Seracycle thread from Mettler. This thread (and also the bobbin) is made from recycled plastic. This has made this project even more sustainable.

To prevent the seam to get too bulky clip the seam in the middle and fold like shown

Top stitched

Then my planned project was finished, but my pile of sweaters hadn’t completely dwindled. Working on these colour block joggers was such a joy that I ventured into a matching sweater.


I was home quickly with this sweater, because the bottom of one of the boys’ sweaters was still intact and perfect for my size. The front was done quickly, after all, I still had that large piece with text. In addition, a bit of clever jig sawing with some leftovers of blue and white was also done in no time.


Managed it

It has pockets

The project slowed down when the back piece had to be made from the blue sweater’s hoodie. I thought it contained two layers of fabric, but the inside was made of a thinner material. The front of the hoodie luckily was double so I cut this as far as possible along the stitching on the inside. This was stitched together and then made into the top part of the back. I complimented the nice stitching with a triple stitch. First with a twin needle and then again in the middle. This worked so well that I started applying this stitching in other places as well.

The rest of the back piece was completed with white sweater fabric.

Open embroidery foot 20C

Triple stitch

Attaching the blue to the white was first stitched with the sewing machine and then finished with the over locker.

Sew to the middle


Sew the other side

Neatly finish


The top of the sleeve is partly made with the inside of the hoodie. It was the very last bit of blue there was. As mentioned, this fabric was a lot thinner and that’s why it was cut together with the pink fabric. To prevent shifting, I used a bit of spray glue between the fabric layers before cutting the sleeve cap. After attaching the different colour block pieces, the sleeve was quickly ready, after all, the collar is already attached.

Measuring sleeve head

Double layered

Iron in between. Don’t forget.

Cuffs attached

Blue matching blue


To make the hoodie fit properly tot the bodice, I adapted the Vera pattern to the neckline of the original sweater. This worked well and with stretchy fabric you always have a little slack, but I didn’t even have to stretch the hoodie or neckline when attaching ;-).

Original label

It fits

Happy coincidence. Matching stitching

I call this my energizer suit, it makes me sew happy (that’s why this blog is perhaps a bit too long). Be sure to take a look at my Instagram, where you will find more informative videos about this project in addition to a cheerful Reels.






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