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How to Crop a Sweatshirt: 3 Ways

Learn how to crop a sweatshirt that is too long. Shorten a sweater three different ways by cropping, hemming, and resewing the waistband.

I ordered a sweatshirt to make a Christmas inspired top, but the sweatshirt came too long. It’s always frustrating when you buy something, and it doesn’t fit the way you want it too. Luckily, it’s so easy to crop a sweatshirt to make it the right length.

There are different three ways to crop a sweatshirt. You can chop it off and leave it raw, you can cut off the waistband and hem it, or you can cut and resew the waistband higher up on the sweatshirt.

how to crop a sweatshirt

I love wearing a cozy sweatshirt during the winter. It’s my favorite way to stay warm and still look put together. Wearing one with comfy pants is like wearing secret pajamas!

crop sweatshirt before

Do you want to learn how to alter your clothing? Try some of these fixes:

crop sweatshirt before

How to Crop a Sweatshirt

How to Crop a sweatshirt No Sew

This first way to shorten a sweatshirt is the easiest. It doesn’t require any sewing, it’s easy to get it to the right length, and it still creates a soft edge. I love doing a half-tuck with this version.

First, put the sweatshirt on and measure how much you want it to be shortened. It has to be above the waistband for it to work.

no sew crop sweatshirt

Take a ruler and a marking tool and mark from the bottom how much is going to be cut off. Mark all the way around the bottom of the sweatshirt.

Cut the amount off of the sweatshirt including the waistband.

cut of waistband

If you have a sweatshirt with a kangaroo pocket you have to cut below or above the pocket. If you cut below the pocket, you’ll have to resew the bottom of the pocket closed.

if the sweatshirt has a pocket

You finished and the sweatshirt is ready to wear! The bottom will roll slightly as it gets washed and worn, but the knit fabric will not fray.

leave hem raw

How to Hem a Sweatshirt

This second way to shorten a sweatshirt is a clean and simple look. It only requires one line of stitching (the hem), it’s easy to get it to the right length, and it still creates a soft edge while looking finished. I also love doing a half-tuck with this version.

First, put the sweatshirt on and measure how much you want it to be shortened. Minus 5/8 inch from this amount. This new amount must be more than the height of the waistband since you don’t want to cut through the waistband.

crop sweatshirt with hem

Use your found amount to cut up from the bottom (somewhere above the waistband.) Mark this amount all the way around the sweatshirt. Cut along the mark all the way around.

Get some Soft stretch hem tape* to make the hem easy to create.

crop sweatshirt with hem

Apply the hem tape all around the bottom of the sweatshirt with an iron. Let it cool.

apply hem tape

Peel the paper backing off of the hem tape.

peel paper backing

Fold the hem up on the edge of the hem tape (5/8 inch) and fuse in place with an iron.

fold up hem and press

Use a twin needle to sew a hem 5/8 inch from the edge. If you don’t have a twin needle you can sew a narrow zigzag stitch instead.

You finished!

sew hem with twin needle

How to Shorten a Sweatshirt and Keep the Waistband

This last way to shorten a sweatshirt makes it look like the original. It does require sewing, but I love how it looks like you didn’t change it at all.

First, put the sweatshirt on and measure how much you want it to be shortened.

move waistband up crop sweatshirt

Carefully cut the waistband off of the bottom of the sweatshirt. Mark from the cut edge up how much you want removed. Mark all the way around the sweatshirt and cut off along the mark.

cut off waistband and fabric

Divide the bottom of the sweatshirt into four equal sections. Divide the waistband into four equal sections. Match up the sections of the sweatshirt with the sections of the waistband.

Pin the waistband to the right side of the sweatshirt.

pin waistband to bottom and pin right sides together

Zigzag or serge the three layers together.

zigzag or serge waistband to sweatshirt

Press the waistband down and the seam allowance up. You finished!

move waistband up crop sweatshirt

If you make something using this pattern, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

how to crop a sweatshirt

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