Make Your Own Flannel Sweater

I have been making these for a couple of years.  I call them flannel sweaters but I’m sure someone else has named them differently and have been making them a lot longer than I have.  So I thought it would be fun to show you how I did it in hopes that you would try to make one for your own.

I begin by shopping at local thrift stores looking for a knit sweater that isn’t wool.  I look for a color that I like and right now I am looking for turtleneck styles.  I usually don’t buy a sweater that is too form fitting but in this case that isn’t an issue so don’t pass one up if you think it might be too form fitting around your middle.

Next, you need to be looking for a flannel shirt that will match the color of your sweater and in a size that will fit loosely around your hips. This is so much fun for me.  The hunt to find matching sweater and shirt has been easier than I thought it would be.  Hopefully,  you will have the same results.

Now you bring home your finds and throw them into the washing machine.  I put them in on a hot wash, cold rinse, and dry them on high heat in the dryer.  Now you are ready to begin creating your own flannel sweater.

The first step is to lay the sweater out on a flat surface and measure 1 inch down on both sides under the armpit seam. You need to make sure that you cut this line straight across so use a long straight edge of some sort and if you have a rotary cutter it makes cutting a whole lot easier, if not then scissors work just fine.

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The colors are kind of wonky from picture to picture and I’m sorry but I had to take them with my cell phone and it was early in the morning without a lot of light to help out.

The next step is to do exactly the same thing to the flannel shirt.  Button all the buttons up the front and lay the shirt out on the flat surface and cut straight across directly under the armpit seam from one side to the other.  Again make sure you use some sort of straight edge to get a nice straight cut.


So you will take the top part of the sweater and the bottom part of the flannel shirt and lay them out flat like I did in the picture.  As you can see the flannel shirt bottom is a lot wider than the sweater top.  But that is not a problem so don’t worry.  And I know that the button placket needs to be ironed but I wait until I am done with the whole repurpose before I do the ironing.

Now comes the tricky part, at least it has been for me.  Putting the two together correctly to sew.  You need to turn the flannel shirt bottom wrong side out, take the raw edge end and open it up so you can feed the sweater top into it so that the raw edge of the sweater top matches up with the raw edge of the flannel bottom.  I hope that makes sense to you. Here is a picture of what it should look like.


The two raw edges need to be together with right sides of both top and bottom facing each other.  You will need to fold the sweater sleeves across the sweater to get them to fit inside the flannel shirt bottom so they are out of your way.  Now you are ready to pin the two raw edges together.


The way I do it is this:  pin the two side seams of the sweater and the flannel together first so you know they are matched up.  Then you can put your hands inside the sweater at the side seams you just pinned and stretch it till both sweater and flannel edges are the same.  Eyeball the spot where the button placket meets in the center and pin that spot together.  Next, you can stretch the fabrics between the center front and put as many pins as you want to to keep the edges together.  Now do the same stretch to the back and pin the center and the rest just like you did on the front.

Take the whole thing to your sewing machine and stitch the whole raw edge with whatever size seam allowance you normally use, I used a half inch, and make sure you keep the fabrics flat as you sew.  You can gently pull the fabric toward you as it feeds through the machine to keep it flat.  Just don’t pull too much or it will make the edge not lay well.

When you get to where you started,  do a few back stitches to keep the stitches from unraveling. Remove the top from the machine, remove the pins if you haven’t done it while you were sewing, and turn the top right side out.


Your top will look something like this.  Now you have your own flannel sweater.  Mine needs to be ironed, which I should have done before taking the picture, but I wanted to get this typed up and chose not to wait.

I hope you make one for yourself or to give as a gift to someone.  I would love to have you share pictures of your finished top. I love comments and if you have questions I will do my best to answer them.

Until next time be blessed,



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