Upcycled Sweater Part I: Fingerless Gloves

My darling sister, Charity (or Pooh, if you know and love her like we do), has come up with another upcycling tutorial to share with everyone. You may recall her previous tutorial on upcycling old clothes into a picnic quilt. She’s kinda sort brilliant. In this series, she’s taken a boring old sweater and turned it into three great cold-weather accessories. Take it away, Pooh!

So, I love the look of fingerless knitted or crocheted gloves. I do not love the price tag of the sets I find made from wool, and I don’t know how to knit or crochet. Not one to be outwitted by mere details, I set out to make this thrift store find of a wool turtle neck sweater into not just fingerless gloves, but also boot cuffs and a slouchy hat. Why not get the most out of it I can, right! I loved the fact that the neck is coordinating but not the same as the rest of the sweater and that there were lots of fall colors in the stripes to coordinate with. Perfect accessory building blocks right there if you ask me. Also, the sweater is relatively thin and light-weight which made it less intimidating to machine sew.

First step: fingerless gloves.
I’m a fan of fingerless gloves with finger holes – I found some helpful blogs, but most upcycled sweater sleeves into fingerless gloves with one big hole for the index through little fingers. I found the results from Nancy’s Couture to be closest to what I wanted except I wanted mine shorter and more form-fitted.


I generally followed Nancy’s directions leaving out the embellishments. I also fitted mine to my wrists and forearms all the way to the sleeve ribbing as you see here.


Starting with these gloves, I hand marked my fingers at the length I wanted then hand stitched around the circumference of the holes twice to give it a neat edge.


I found that using a pen to stretch the knit around so that my fingers would still be able to fit through was quite helpful and saved me a lot of headache trying to fit my fingers into those tiny spaces.


Lastly, I turned the finger inside out and trimmed the excess length.


In retrospect, a striped pattern was a bit of a challenge to work with. Getting the gloves to nearly match was a miracle. A solid sweater would be far easier to work with. Also, I can see why most tutorials do one large hole for the index through small fingers – it adds a lot of hassle to cut and sew those little fingers and not make them too tight or result in holes at the seams. Still, I love the results and I’ll wear these accessories far more than I would have worn the turtleneck.


Next up in the series: Boot Cuffs.


  1. These are awesome! You are an amazing seamstress!!


  1. [...] taken a boring old sweater and turned it into three great cold-weather accessories. First came fingerless gloves. In this post it’s boot cuffs. Last will be a slouchy hat. Without further ado, [...]

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