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Tutorial: Refashioned – Woolly Jumper into Baby Set

October 1st, 2007 · 14 Comments · Tutorial, from the sewing room


Refashioning thrifted garments is a great way to give them new life. It is also an economical way to add quality, designer outfits to your family’s wardrobe. I am a new devotee to thrifting, I must admit. I am very careful about what I choose when I’m at our local thrift shop. I always check the tags for fibre content and tend to choose natural fibre fabrics. Depending upon the project I’m planning, little stains or holes can be acceptable. The main concern is generally the content and quality of the original garment’s fabric.

Start Here

Today, I’m going to show you how to make a pair of wool longies and a matching baby sweater for your little love. I found this gorgeous lambswool sweater/jumper at my local thrift shop last year. I was pregnant with Louis at the time and knew that I would want to make some wool soakers, so I snapped it up and tucked it away in my stash. I don’t know how much the garment was originally, but it was marked $4.99 and I picked it up on half-price day for the princely sum of about $2.50.


It looks like I might just get both the longies and a jumper for Louis out of it. Start by cutting off the sleeves:


Now we’re going to need some measurements. I took a waist, rise (through the legs from waist front to waist back), leg (thigh girth), and length (both inseam and outseam).


Using your tape measure and some pins, measure up the outseam, adding about an inch for the elastic casing. Then mark the inseam up from the cuff (sleeve hem), along the seam side:


Next, divide your waist measurement by 4:


and mark that with a pin from the outside edge of the sleeve head:

Measure curve

Now cut the curve from the inseam pin to the waist pin. For a little one, the curve will look very narrow on the fold, but when you flatten the leg out, you’ll see that there is plenty of room:


Double check it’s going to match the rise, remember that you added length to the outseam measurement to account for the casing and adjust the inseam by 3/8″ or so to account for the seam allowance. Trim away excess if you need to.

Turn one sleeve inside out and slide the other sleeve inside, matching seams:

Match legs

Sew along the curve:

Sew curve

Remember to clip along the curve to ease the fit:

Clip the curve

Turn both legs inside out and turn down the casing. Sew casing down, leaving an opening to insert the elastic. I used a 1/2″ non-roll elastic cut to the waist size:

pin casing
sew casing

Remember to sew the ends of your elastic together, overlapping the ends. This will make the elastic grip nicely around the waist because it will need to stretch just a little. Sew opening closed:

Thread elastic

Voila! Soaker pants!

Now on to the jumper. I’m going to copy one of Louis’ jumpers, which fits him very nicely. First, match up the hems of both jumpers, and fold in the sleeves of the baby jumper to reveal the shape of the main body:

match up jumpers

Cut around it, leaving 5/8″ seam allowance all around.

Cut out jumper

I saved the sleeve caps from the longies portion of the project and I’ll re-use those for my new sleeves. Place the sleeve caps against the jumper sleeves, matching the angles. Overlap 5/8″ for seam allowance. Trim away excess from the under-arm seam leaving 5/8″ seam allowance. As you can see, the sleeve will be a short one. I could add on some of the leftover fabric from the jumper to make it longer… We’ll see. I think… no, I’ll leave the sleeves short. If he needs a little bit of extra warmth, I’ll put a long-sleeved thermal onesie underneath.

Measure sleeve

Sew the sleeves onto the body, right sides together. Turn the edges under 5/8″ and hem sleeve.

sew sleeves

Turn garment inside out, matching seams and sew the underarm and side seams. Clip the underarm to allow for greater movement:

jumper side seam

Turn under the neck edge 5/8″ and sew using a long running stitch for better stretch.

Neck hem

Voila! One baby jumper!


Before sewing up the side seams on Louis’ jumper, I cut scraps from an old shirt of my husband’s and an old pair of pants of Jack’s to make the cute little aspen leaf applique.


Pin the applique together and, using a narrow satin stitch, sew around the outside of the leaf:

Stitch leaf

Use a pen to mark the vein and satin stitch:

Mark vein

Finally, pin the completed applique to the jumper and sew in place using that same narrow satin stitch. If you are using a light weight fabric, you may want to use a little bit of fusible interfacing to beef up the applique. On this project, the pants fabric I used was hefty enough on its own:

Applique completed

There’s still fabric leftover… I wonder what I can make out of that? Slippers! I won’t even attempt to show you how I made those this time. I just sort of winged it (or its it wung it?).

One happy chappy:

Louis Refashioned!


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