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Upcycled Sweater Vest Project

With the colder days of winter upon us, now is the time to bring out the warm layers. For many years, Camellia's kindergarten students created vests made of old sweaters and we are excited to bring them back this year. The best thing about this sweater project is that children can help with it, making them more inclined to warm up to the idea of wearing it. Old cashmere and wool sweaters in need of a second chance work best for this vest, keeping them out of the landfill!

Needed Supplies:

  • Adult sized wool or cashmere sweater (doesn't matter if there are holes)

  • Pair of scissors

  • Embroidery Floss

  • Sewing Needle

  • Pieces of Felted Wool or Felt Squares to Appliqué With


Look through your closet to find an old wool or cashmere sweater in need of some love or check your local thrift store for some one-of-a-kind sweater finds. When searching, keep in mind that you want the wool (or cashmere) content to be at least 80% for best results.

Wash the sweater on the highest heat setting. Include a few towels or tennis balls for agitation and use a small amount of laundry detergent. If the machine allows, check on the sweater every 5-10 minutes and remove the sweater from the washer when the shrinkage is just right. If you desire more shrinkage, put the damp sweater in the dryer, checking frequently.

If you are new to sewing and unfamiliar with the "blanket stitch", please click here to check out a short video. Once your vest has finished edges, button holes, buttons and pockets, you can either be complete, or carry on by adding appliqués, patches and additional pockets. Don't be afraid to mix it up and use different textures and fibers.

Below are photos of some completed kindergarten vests. Also included is a photo of a few students from the Class of 2021, wearing their kindergarten vests on graduation day.

We hope you enjoy this craft. Please reach out to if you have any questions or would like to share a picture of your Upcycled sweater vest.


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