Men’s sweater to Seamwork Astoria refashion

A while back a friend gave me a bag of her son’s cast off clothing, with the idea that I would put anything worn or unusable into an archery target bag and then send the rest to the op shop. I sorted things into two piles, but in the archery bag pile were some wool jumpers which were either shrunk and felted or which had moth holes. I felt that the op shop wouldn’t want them, but I also couldn’t consign them to the target, so I tucked them away for future consideration.

Then the Make it Yourself March challenge on Instagram had a prompt of recycle and I suddenly had an urge to do something new. I also had a bit of a yen to make another Seamwork Astoria top (I’ve made too many to link to), and decided I could marry all these urges into a recycled Astoria.

My chosen item is a pure wool men’s sweater from Country Road, which is a pretty pale blue. It had these two moth holes in the front, one at the top back and another big one on the sleeve. I initially thought about some visible mending, but parked that idea while I worried about cutting out.


I folded the back and the front of the jumper in half and pinned my pattern pieces on. With a bit of finagling I got the front and back cut out.


Once I had the front cut out I began to look at those two moth holes at the front which were quite obvious and I really didn’t want to visibly mend them, so thought about how I could hide them. I looked at that collar and thought I could fashion a pocket out of part of it. I had already removed the button and quite liked the section that had the loop, so I cut a little pocket from it with rounded edges and blanket stitched it on with wool harvested from the jumper. I added a cute terrier dog button to finish it off.


Luckily the sleeves on the Astoria are completely symmetrical, so I just folded them in half and laid them on the jumper sleeves, just needing to cut a new sleeve head, and being able to utilise the cuffs.

I darned the sleeve hole, using the technique of teasing a bit of wool out of a scrap and darning away. Using the same wool makes the darn almost invisible, although my darning is not exactly exemplary so I can see this one if I look for it. I may sew a little heart over it in that thick rib. I’ll make that decision as I wear it.

IMG_1736I was making decisions on this jumper on the fly. I had a bit of fabric left with the bottom ribbed band attached, so I trimmed it up and overlocked it on to the bottom. At this point I was beginning to worry about the neck as I couldn’t see how I was going to finish it off.

In the end I cut a couple of scraps of spare knit and fashioned them into the neckband. They could probably be a smidge tighter and I might thread some elastic through to pull it in a bit.


The pocket finished up being quite high. I could probably drop it by 3cms but have decided that I quite like it where it is.

The seam where I attached the bottom band is much more visible in the photos than in real life. I thought about having it on top of the ribbing, but didn’t want the jumper to be quite as cropped. Another thing that I shall consider as I wear it!


The obligatory back view. DSC02113

I am rather pleased with my new jumper and even more pleased that I have saved it from an untimely end. It’s going to be warm (I nearly expired taking these photos) and will be a great addition to the casual end of my wardrobe.





15 thoughts on “Men’s sweater to Seamwork Astoria refashion

  1. In my refashioning projects, I rarely find myself inspired by garments with moth holes in it. Yet, your new Astoria makes me think again as it looks so good now. The little pocket is brilliant and this rescue was really worth it!

    1. Thank you, I made some mistakes, I shouldn’t have cut into the seam lines, I think it would have worked, but next time! Mothy things are definitely worth looking at, particularly if they are wool!

  2. What a wonderful refashion. I do admire your tenacity and creativity with your makes. Beautiful colour on you.

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