As I finished up the suit I was making for Little Man, I kept thinking how I wished one of his sweater vests matched it. Unfortunately, none of them did. (sniff, sniff)
And then, lo and behold, Dana at Made posted this tutorial for turning a man's sweater in to a boy's sweater vest!
It is a brilliantly simple idea, as most refashioning ideas are. I really have to work to get my head around that mode of thinking...I have a hard time thinking outside the box--seeing the potential in an already-existing item.
Anyway, moving on...
The rib knit she used to bind the vest neck/arm holes was cute. But for my Little Man's sweater I decided to try reusing the existing collar for a more coordinated look.
Here's the sweater I started with, purchased for $1 on my recent thrift-shopping trip.
Note: This sweater has a very loose knit. I cut everything a little big, and serged all the edges of each piece before doing anything. Otherwise it would have just completely unraveled on me. I still had some issues with the knit pulling apart. And, because I'm lazy, I didn't switch the thread in my serger, so everything was serged in black, which was stupid and I should have just taken the time to do it right because you can see some of the black thread in places, especially around the neck. Live and learn.
I cut it to size, using one of his other sweater vests as a guide, and stitched it closed at the shoulders
Then I cut off the original collar, cut the back open, and pinned it around the new neck opening.
I matched up and sewed the back closed at its new length, and sewed it on.
Next I took one of the original sleeves, cut out two of the knit 'stripes' or ribs, and serged the edges, creating two lengths of binding. I used these to bind the arm holes.
Note: One of the biggest issues here is NOT stretching the sweater as you resew the collar/arm bindings back on--very difficult. After I sewed the binding on the arm openings, I realized I had stretched them a little too much, giving the sweater a sort of Star Trek-y spacesuit kind of look. Not too cute. So I ended up turning them in one more time and top-stitching, which I ended up liking just as well in the end.
Sew up the sides, and voila! One boy's sweater vest! I'm definitely going to be experimenting with this some more--the possibilities are endless!
Edited to add: Yay! Little Man in his sporty sweater vest was featured on Made's BOY roundup! Woo-hoo!