‘Tis the season to upcycle




In the UK, we’re likely to spend in excess of £300 million on Christmas jumpers this year. That means that over ten million people are likely to buy a Christmas jumper and 40% of Christmas jumper wearers plan on wearing them just once or twice this festive season!

Now I think that buying a new jumper to wear once or twice is just plain scrooge. There are hundreds of perfectly good knits in our charity shops and vintage fairs just dying to be revived for the festive season. All it takes is a bit of creativity, some simple DIY skills and a little Christmas cheer and you’ve got yourself a new Christmas jumper that you won’t find anywhere else!

Let’s get competitive

Not a stranger to upcycling and on the lookout for a new Christmas jumper myself I was thrilled to find that Love Your Clothes are running a competition this year to find the best upcycled Christmas jumper.

Inspired by the classic Christmas song ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, I thought it would be fun to create a Christmas jumper that made me look like I was all wrapped up as a giant present for my entry (eat your heart out Mariah).

I managed to find a cream jumper in my local Oxfam charity shop for the grand sum of £2.50 and I set to work in planning how my bow would look. After a good old rummage in my fabric stash, I found some old tartan fabric and red sequins – perfect for the Christmassy sparkle I was looking for.

Here’s how I upcycled my giant present jumper:


  • A cream jumper from Oxfam
  • Red tartan cotton fabric
  • String of red sequins
  • Fusible paper
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors


  1. Cut 4 x 4 inch strips of your tartan fabric the length of the top to bottom of the jumper
  2. Lay two of your strips across the jumper (one vertical, one horizontal) crossing in the middle and secure to the jumper using fusible paper and an iron
  3. Sew along the edges of your fabric strips to ensure that they are secure enough for a wash
  4. Shape the other two fabric strips into a bow shape where your two sewn strips meet. Pin to the fabric and sew around the outside to secure.
  5. Edge your bow with sequins by sewing them into place

I hope you like my jumper and that it’s inspired you to make your own this year.

If you don’t feel that handy with a needle and thread, why not consider buying a pre-loved Christmas jumper or swap and share last year’s jumper with friends and family instead? Keeping our Christmas jumpers and other clothes in use for longer offers a significant opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. Extending the length of time we wear clothes by just three months would lead to a 5-10% reduction in their carbon, water and waste footprints. Susty.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the competition. Check out http://loveyourclothes.org.uk/12jumpers/ if you’d like to enter too!


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