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Make your own UGLY Christmas sweater

Ugly Christmas sweaters can be pricey if you buy them at the department store but there’s no need to spend all your hard-earned cash when you can make your own. Let’s ‘tis the season and make an ugly Christmas sweater.  It’s the perfect project to spread some yuletide cheer.
Active Time5 hrs
Course: Intermediate
Keyword: Christmas Fashion, DIY project, embroidery project, Sewing Project, Ugly Christmas Sweater
Yield: 1 sweater
Cost: $20-30


  • Brother sewing and embroidery machine 


  • 1 Sweater or sweatshirt red, green, white, gold, or blue
  • Adhesive stabilizer 
  • Iron-on adhesive 
  • Holiday themed embroidery design and appliqué designs 
  • Old t-shirts with words and letters on the print
  • fabric scraps
  • scissors
  • Straight pins 


  • Prep the sweater by marking the location for the top of the design. 
  • Cut the sides of the sweater open so you can use add designs to the entire front (and back) of the sweater. 
  • Using adhesive stabilizer in your hoop, lay the front piece of the sweater on the hoop. Secure the sweater in place by patting it down on to the adhesive. 
  • On your embroidery machine, set up your selected holiday design. Start with the main feature of your design and add the smaller components to it. You can do all embroidery, or you can do all applique, but try to create a mix of embroidery and applique to create the look.
  • Start the embroidery process with the main holiday theme and placed a piece of lightweight stabilizer over the top the sweater so the design doesn’t pucker. 
  • Finish the embroidery and add your appliqué pieces. Once the embroidery and appliqué processes are complete, un-hoop the sweater and tear away the stabilizer.
  • Cut out letters from the old t-shirts to spell out a greeting or phrase. 
  • Add iron-on adhesive to each letter making sure to follow the package directions. 
  • Place the letters on the sweater and iron them on, then top stitch around each letter using a brighter colored thread than the fabric and a longer stitch length.
  • Add some pop-art embellishments using your fabric scraps. 
  • Pin it on your sweater and sew it in place.
  • You’re finished. Just put it on and you’ll be ready to sleigh the holidays!