Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tutorial: Quick & Easy Coffee Cozy (or Sleeve) from a Repurposed Sweater


When my daughter was born an old friend sent one of the most amazing gifts: 2 old sweaters repurposed into a dress and pants. The pants were one of those magical pieces of clothing that managed to fit for two solid years of fast-paced growth and it pained me when they were passed along. The dress, however, didn't find a new home in time for the change of seasons and has been tempting me for months. Finally I realized how to repurpose our already repurposed sweater...

My sister in law is a coffee addict. Scratch that. Caffeine addict. Diet soda guzzling, sixty-five word long fancy coffee drink ordering caffeine addict. Naturally, I've been wanting to make her a coffee cozy for some time. Old sweater turned dress turned coffee cozy? Indeed.

As you know I'm pretty no-talent in terms of the sewing arena, but this was another quick and easy project that needed little more than a needle and thread to complete.

Things you'll need:

Old Sweater - wool is best, I think but it's up to you. Remember, thinner fabrics with more cotton or elastic will have the edges roll. I liked a cable knit because I could cut along the pattern and have it be pretty unnoticeable.

Needle and thread  - I used embroidery floss, per the usual.

Coffee cup or sleeve - I used a reusable cup since that was what we had, but a cardboard one would be easier to use for a pattern. I'll explain more below.

Felt balls or flowers for detail (optional)
Repurposed Coffee Cup Cozy/Sleeve


Begin by selecting your sweater and section you would like to use.


Cut a strip the width of your preference, or the width of your template. In my case I used a reusable mug we already had but you could, perhaps more easily, use a cardboard sleeve from a coffee shop.

To use a cardboard sleeve as a template go ahead and peel it open and use as a template, just like you did when making envelopes!


Cut down length-wise to the right size (either by wrapping around your mug to measure, or using your template).


Determine where the ends meet (again, on your mug or with the template). Pin together to secure (and indicate your seam placement).


Flipped inside out go ahead and stitch the two ends together. Just like with felt bows and flowers you can stitch nearly all the way through the sweater to make the seam invisible from the front, or use small stitches and a like-colored thread. Trim thread ends and fabric, if necessary.


Flip outside-right again. In my case I left some extra fabric to fold under and create a detail flap. You can omit the detail and sew the two ends together or, flip the bit of extra under and sew to the seam.



At this point I decided to play around with some felt details.


If you decide to add a detail go ahead and find something you like and secure it!


There you go - a repurposed coffee cozy - perfect for giving...or taking with you!

Bonus, with the same pattern/idea you can make cozy cuffs as well:


Happy repurposing!


Ashley said...

Very cute!

And if something like this ever ends up in my shop, just remember that I also thought of this long ago and have just been to lazy to figure out how to make the cut seams not fray.

Do you have pics of the original outfit?

Tricia said...

I somehow knew you would say something like that ;)

A touch of fabric glue on the edges works great!

Lindsay said...

Very cool. When I first saw the picture on CraftGawker, I thought it was knit...but a creative way to repurpose a sweater!

Ashley said...

I like the idea of making scarves out of sweaters, too.

Ashley said...

Ooh, or a big patchwork afghan!

Sailing with bare feet said...

So cute !!

Heather @cultivatedbygrace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather @cultivatedbygrace said...

So cute! I made one and posted about it on my blog. I made sure to credit you and your awesome blog! Thanks for the inspiration!

Julia @ FaveCrafts said...

What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of upcycled sweater crafts! Check it out here:

Have a great day!

Unknown said...

Something like this can easily fall under the category of lavish and adorable designs of branded promotional products. It looks really nice and comfortable for all the coffee lovers out there.