Repurposed Fingerless Glove Tutorial

In this post I will share a tutorial for making a new pair of lovely, fingerless gloves.  This fingerless glove tutorial allows you to repurpose an old sweater into a pair of swanky new gloves, with no knitting required!

Since I live in New England I spend my winters wrapped up in warm cardigan sweaters.  A few of my favorite cashmere sweaters have been retired as a result of holes that I wore in the elbows.  I never had the heart to throw these familiar sweaters out.  In one case, I unraveled a sweater to recycle the yarn.  I made two pairs of fingerless gloves as gifts using the repurposed cashmere yarn.  You can check out the pattern that I used for these gloves here in my Fingerless Gloves post.  The task of reclaiming the yarn from this sweater was a bit tedious, so I have been thinking about other ideas for repurposing my beloved sweaters.  I determined that the sleeves from a worn sweater could be repurposed, fully intact, to make a lovely pair of new gloves.

The sweater I used for this project was actually retired from my winter rotation because it found its way into the dryer.  Oops!  After this mishap, unraveling the yarn was not an option anyway.  This was, however, a cashmere sweater – and it was very soft!  So it had to be repurposed.  The trim I used in this pattern (black and lacy) was left over from another project.  I suggest checking out upholstery brocade trims as your own embellishing trim for this project, as these brocades can be very dramatic and cool.


Two sweater sleeves.  Smaller gauge knits work best.  Felting or purposefully shrinking the sleeve is OK too to achieve a tighter knit and perhaps a better fit on your hand.

Sewing thread

Sewing needle


Sewing machine


1. Cut the cuff from the sleeve.

2. Determine the preferred length of the fingerless glove,  I used 10 inches.  Add 3/4″ to this length and cut the sweater sleeve to this new length of 10 and 3/4″.

3. Secure the cut ends of the sleeve on a sewing machine with a zig zag stitch or a serger.  See the photo directly below for an image taken after I used a serger on my sleeves.

4. Fold over the end (into the sleeve, so you will not see the rough end of the fabric) and secure the 3/4″ hem inside by hand with your needle and thread.  The thread will likely sink into the yarn and not show in the front, but check t see how it looks as you sew the hem.

Online Knitting Class

5. Place the sleeve over your hand and determine the desired location for the thumb hole.  Carefully locate the yarn used to sew the seam in the original sweater.  Cut the seam thread in the middle of where you want the hole.  Carefully unravel the seam yarn in both directions until the hole is a comfortable size for your thumb.  When the hole if the desired size you should have enough yarn to thread on a needle and weave back into the seam.  This will ensure the thumb hole does not continue to unravel.

6. Now, a sleeve is far looser than a glove should be.  So you need to reduce the diameter of the sleeve a bit.  To do this, place the glove on your hand, pinch any excess fabric along the length of the sleeve, and fold the sweater over itself to reduce the glove diameter to the desired size.  Secure with a few straight pins.   You should NOT cut the sleeve at all!  Now place the trim along the edge of the fold and secure the fold and the trim in place with frequent pins.  I also circled the top of the glove with the trim to add and additional accent.  Remove the glove from your hand.

7. Secure the trim and the fold in place with your needle and thread, by hand, using a back stitch.

Now you are done, and that favorite sweater of yours can stay with your for many more years to come!

As always, I hope that you enjoyed this post.  And please, add some comments below.  Posting projects on this site is much more satisfying when I know that you all enjoyed this post!

Happy crafting,




15 Responses to Repurposed Fingerless Glove Tutorial

  1. Simsim August 4, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    This is so useful, thanks a lot. I was having a clear out last week and found a jumper that was a bit too… shall we say “snug” which doesn’t really fit anymore. I wondered if I could do something with the sleeves and now I can!!! Yay!! It’s a lovely deep mustard colour! xxx

    • Kirsten August 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm #


      I am pleased that I could help to motivate you to save your beloved but “snug” jumper sleeves. Please send me a photo of the gloves when they are finished!

      Happy crafting,


  2. Cheryl of Cheryl's Delights August 20, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Very nice! thank you for sharing!

  3. Julia @ FaveCrafts October 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    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!

    • Kirsten October 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks Julia, I like some of the other ideas you have posted too. I will have to find time to time some of them. Kirsten

  4. lisa grimsley November 12, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    i love this . iam a grama, or nana.. i am always lookin for ways to save money plus clothes. great idea…

  5. Resa November 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Thank you so much for an easy and fun tutorial! I’m looking for gifts I can make for my girlfriends using up my fabric and sweater stash and these will be perfect.

  6. Pameal January 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    Love is idea, I am going to purchase a sweater at a thrift shop before I use one of my favorite sweaters


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