DIY Crochet Sweatshirt Upcycle

As soon as I saw the creative movement Yarn Punk on Instagram, I knew I wanted to get involved. According to their website “A Yarn Punk is someone who incorporates yarn into their everyday life with confidence to express oneself.”  I wanted to add some crochet flare to some clothing pieces so I went to Goodwill that same day and picked out a few pieces that I thought would be great yarn punk projects.

Honestly, I didn’t think my project would even turn out as I had pictured in my head, so I choose my least favorite sweatshirt out of my Goodwill finds for my first Yarn Punk project. I was pleasantly surprised at the finished product though! I see a few areas that I would do differently if I were to repeat this project, but I definitely love my new yarn punk sweatshirt and can’t wait to wear it when the weather gets colder!

I wanted to break it down for you guys and show you all the steps I took to create my yarn punk sweatshirt. I didn’t take “blog worthy” progress pics because I was too excited to finish it, but I did take photos of each step and saved them in my Instagram story highlights.

The first thing I did was lay my sweatshirt down and cut off the sleeves. I was careful to leave the seam intact so I had a nice edge left around the torso and neck of the sweatshirt. My sweatshirt was a raglan style, so the sleeves needed to be cut at an angle and not just straight off the side of the sweatshirt. It’s Hanes brand in a size XL.

Next, I cut open one of the sleeves, right down the middle, next to the seam.  I laid the sleeve out on my table and used it as a template for my crocheted sleeve. It looked something like this.

Using my Clover Amour (best hooks on the planet) size 5.5 mm crochet hook and I Love This Yarn in the color Graybeard, I started crocheting the cuff of the sleeve. I chained 10, single crocheted 9 back down the chain, then single crocheted 9 in the back loop of each row until my cuff was about the size of the cuff of the original sleeve.

I used the Half Double Crochet stitch to crochet the rest of my sleeve. I found that increasing by two every third row gave me the increase pace I needed to replicate the bottom half of the sleeve body, and for the top half, I decreased by two every row.

This is just what worked best for my sleeve, yours might be completely different. My sweatshirt was a size Medium. It was a lot of trial and error, I just kept crocheting a row, laying it down on the template, adjusting if necessary, then crocheting more. I did write down what I was doing through so I could be sure to replicate it for the second sleeve.

After I finished my sleeves, I sewed a blanket stitch around the opening of the sweatshirt. I did decide to cut off the original collar of the sweatshirt too because it was very uncomfortable for me. To sew a blanket stitch I used the same yarn as the sleeves, a tapestry needle, and followed this video tutorial on Youtube by Red Ted Art.

You can find a written tutorial for the blanket stitch by Yarn Punk here.

Next, I crocheted closed the bottom half of my sleeves, creating the space where my arms would go, and joined the armpit opening of the sleeve to the blanket stitch around the opening on the torso of the sweater with single crochets and inside out. That way all the messy bits were on the inside of the sweatshirt.

Joining the arm to the body of the sweatshirt is the part I believe I would do differently a second time. I don’t think I made enough decrease rows so my sleeve hole was a little smaller than the hole on the sweatshirt. I thought it would be fine if I just stretched my crocheted sleeve to fit around the sweatshirt opening but that resulted in my sweatshirt puckering a bit around where the sleeve is connected.

Last, I added one of my A Crafty Concept tags to the back and voila!  This project didn’t take as much time as I thought it would, and even though it’s not perfect, I really love how it turned out! The sleeves make it super warm and it will be so great when the temperature drops!

I love looking at all the different Yarn Punk projects. Be sure to visit to see all their tutorials and blog posts and check them out on Instagram too for fun yarn punk pics! I have a few more ideas up my sleeve (haha see what I did there) so be sure to subscribe to The Crafty Newsletter so you can be the first to know when new posts go live!

Happy Crocheting

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