Sweatshirt Makeover + How to Install a Zipper

foggydress_sweatshirt_makeover We all either have a sweat shirt like this (pictured left) or have seen them around Walmart / Target for $5-$10, am I right? Well for another $3 (zipper), plus a little sewing & cutting, you can give that sweatshirt a MAKEOVER.foggydress_sweatshirt_makeover

I am going to call this a “California Sweatshirt” (can I patent that??) because let’s be honest–we Californians don’t need a sweatshirt even in the wintertime. But we looong to wear one, if only for a change in wardrobe. This one keeps you cool b/c of the sleeves AND the choice to unzip when it’s warm out.

foggydress_sweatshirt_makeoverfoggydress_sweatshirt_makeoverOk did I sell you on the cuteness of the sweater yet??? I love how just cutting off the sleeves gives it a boxy, square look. Not to mention helps it breathe & cools us Californians down a whole lot. The zipper installation was super easy & quick! I decided not to look up how to install a zipper, but instead just looked at a zipper on a dress I have, and attempted to mimic it. I want to learn how to read the construction of clothing and guess what guys…it worked! It may not be the conventional/standard way to install one, but it works perfectly for this sweater. I love the pop of gold it gives it. Ok I’m done obsessing over this sweater –er– tunic… keep reading for the full tutorial!

foggydress_sweatshirt_makeover Supplies:

  • a non-hooded sweatshirt
  • scissors
  • pins
  • a bright zipper (think: pink, blue, turquoise, anything that’ll make it pop!). I got this one from Joanns  with a 50% off coupon
  • sewing machine & white thread


  • First we’re going to cut off the sleeves. Try on your sweatshirt & place a pin where the sweater hits about 2 inches above your wrist.
  •  Remove sweater and cut a nice, smooth, straight line. Remove pins


  •  Now place zipper down the front-middle of your sweater, pin the top and bottom, and try it on. (I’d do this because when I tried it on I noticed it was pinned a little crooked!) Make adjustments if necessary.


  •  Now for the bottom, carefully remove the pin from the zipper and pin back into place, so needle only goes through the sweater now.


  •  For the top, simply place a pin on the collar in the middle of the zipper, remove other two pins, and take away the zipper.


  •  Using a measuring tape (or any straight edge) pin a straight line connecting the top & bottom pins. Cut along that line down to the bottom pin.


  •  Place the zipper under the cut line, to make sure you cut it the correct length. It’s ok if the zipper pokes out of the tip a little; if it’s still doing that after we’ve sewn in the zipper (mine wasn’t), you can always fold it down & sew it.


  •  Now we’re going to fold about a half-inch, starting at the top, and pin to zipper.


  •  Pin both sides!


  •  Take it to the sewing machine! I used a white thread, as it blended with my sweater. Remove pins as you sew. I unzipped the sweater because it made it easier to sew.


  •  Here’s an easy tip for sewing the bottom part of the zipper:
  1. When the needle is poking through the fabric, grab the lever to…
  2. …lift up the foot peddle.
  3. Now you can turn the fabric around without loosing your place.
  4. When you’re ready to sew put the foot back down. I turned the foot, stitched a few time across the bottom, and turned the foot again to sew back up the other side.


  •  Hurray!  You did it! See how easy that was… Now, it may not look perfect (see above..) but who ever wants things to be perfect?

foggydress_sweatshirt_makeover Try on that pretty tunic/sweatshirt of yours with some jeans or a skirt. It’s easy to dress this up or down.foggydress_sweatshirt_makeoverfoggydress_sweatshirt_makeoverfoggydress_sweatshirt_makeover  Enjoy!!! foggydress_sweatshirt_makeover hugs, hanalei

2 thoughts on “Sweatshirt Makeover + How to Install a Zipper

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