Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sweater Vest Makeover and Tutorial

Did Brittany take up knitting? No, it's a refashion!

The boys had fun jumping and posing for the pictures. Here's what my oldest son Alexander has to say about it: "Cool, cool vests! Lincoln is watching me jump, and I'm jumping, and I like it. Lincoln is jumping cool, too."

I've had some sweater vests of mine collecting dust in my closet for quite some time. Earlier this year during Celebrate the Boy I saw that Dana made a boy's vest from a man's sweater:

Cute, isn't it? It got me thinking. So a few days ago I made my two matching sweater vests that I never wear into something my boys can wear:

That's me at Lake Tahoe a long time ago.

Since I was just changing the size of the vests instead of converting a sweater into a vest I couldn't follow the MADE tutorial exactly. Dana kept the hem of her sweater intact, whereas for me it seemed better to keep the V-neck collar, especially since I was planning on reusing all the rib-knit edges. So I started by lining up the collar of the project with one I have in the right size. (Notice the wrinkled vest? It's been folded up much too long!)

Next I started hacking away at that thing until it was the right size:

I was careful to save the rib knit sections to refinish my new little vest:

While I did keep the front V-neck intact, I had to reposition the back neck collar. I started with this, cutting off the extra rib knit. (Also, I noticed there was a stain on the outside of the back collar so I cheated and flipped it around. You can't even tell it's backwards!) One thing that helped to keep the fabric from stretching out of shape while I sewed was to stay-stitch the vest piece first. I did this around the collar, armholes, hem...and I probably should have done it on the side seams, too.

I finished off the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch (you could serge, or use whichever finishing stitch you prefer). To help the seam lie flat I topstitched the seam allowance away from the collar:

Next came the shoulder seams. Again, I topstitched the seam allowance, this time towards the back of the vest:

After the shoulder seams were complete I sewed up the side seams. I finished the edges, but didn't topstitch them down. My hem and armhole rib knit loops were too big for this little vest, so I measured and cut each of them, then sewed them back into loops:

Next I sewed the rib knit armhole loops into the armholes, again finishing the raw edges and topstitching the seam allowances towards the garment. Then I did the same for the hem:

Ta-da! Ready for my little man.

The navy blue vest also needed resizing. I love making my boys match.


  1. cute! I don't mind you sharing my photo at all :). Thanks for the link!

  2. That really cool. They turned out great!

  3. Good idea Brittany! I thought I recognized those sweaters. They turned out very cute!

  4. I can't believe that works. That is amazing!


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