Sunday, October 28, 2012

Resurrecting a Favorite

 I had to go and look for a picture of me tonight and ended up going through a lot of pictures.  Partially because I was just going down memory lane and was having fun remembering the memories that went with the pictures, but also because there aren't many pictures of me.  Sad, huh?  Why do we as the memory makers and recorders let ourselves out of those records?  Well that's a post for another day.  What I wanted to post, was this awesome jumper I had made for my then 9 month old little girl.  This was from back in 2009 and I hadn't ever really posted a how-to. 
 Probably one of the easiest projects I've ever done that got a ton of compliments. 
Here's what you do...first you have to hunt down a sweater that is at least 80% wool.  It can be any kind of wool, but it has to be that high of percentage so it will felt and shrink. This one was a pretty Pendelton wool sweater that someone had already accidently shrunk and then sent off to Goodwill.  So scour those second hand stores and don't forget to check the men's racks too.  You just need a neat looking sweater that is wool.
Second, throw it in the washing machine, put in a little soap and wash with HOT water.  I wouldn't put anything else in with it, because it sheds a lot.  Then you throw it in the dryer.  It should be good and felted by now and be a couple sizes smaller.
Third, find a jumper, dress or shirt to use as a guide when cutting it out.  Lay it out and cut, but don't forget you want a little overlap at the top of the shoulders.  I also used the bottom edge of the sweater so I didn't have to worry about hemming it or anything.
Fourth, sew up the sides.
Fifth, snip little button holes (because the wool is felted, you won't have to do anything else to your cuts), just make sure you measure the buttons and not cut too large of holes. Sew on the buttons. Part of the reason I loved this jumper so much are the vintage blue buttons I used on it.  I just wish I had better pictures of them.
Last, if you really want, blanket stitch around the neck and armholes.  You could use contrasting thread to make a statement.  I kind of wished I had used something that was a little more noticeable   But you don't have to do this step, it's just decorative   Since the wool is felted, it won't fray or anything like that, so you can consider the edge finished once you cut it.
Depending on how big of a sweater you find, is how big you would be able to make a jumper.  This was a women's medium sweater originally and I was able to get a jumper for my 9 month old little girl, who has always been in the 90% for height, so you might say this could fit a 12 month old.
Now's the perfect time for one of these though.  It was a cute outfit with a turtleneck onesie and cute tights or leggings.

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