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I found this jumper in a charity shop a few weeks ago, and was instantly attracted to the gorgeous wintry colours and that it is pure wool.

With a few holes near the hem and a slightly felted texture it felt snuggly and warm but had obviously seen better days, but for the grand price of £2.99 I gave it a new home.


On a rainy afternoon in December I turned it into this…..


And these…..


And this….


Not bad for just £2.99, a bit of Pom Pom trim and some beads!

I realise that wearing them all together makes me look at best like an unfortunate from a 1980’s Clothkits catalogue, and at worst like one of those crazy women who dresses from head to toe in one colour and carries a small dog around in a matching handbag, but for the purpose of the photograph, here I am in the entire ensemble…


Loving it really!


Jumper top
With any refashion the first step is to try on the offending item, I put this jumper on inside out to allow easy access to the seam allowances.


I pinned away the excess bulk and marked the new neckline then carefully took it off.


Once on the flat, measure the excess to check that the alterations are symmetrical, mark the cutting line in tailors chalk. (To stop the layers from separating I kept the pins in the side seams.)


Next, I carefully snipped around the arm holes, being sure to stay nice and close to the original stitching line.


Cutting away the excess material from the sides. (If your garment has a loose knit you must handle with care once it is cut as it will begin to unravel.)


It’s the little things that make a garment look better quality, and pattern matching is one of those details. Before stitching down the sides check the design in the knit matches.


Once happy, re-pin the new seams and stitch. I used a straight stitch on the machine with good quality polyester thread, but if your garment is very stretchy you may need to use a zigzag stitch.

With sleeves removed and sides nipped in I tried the jumper on again…


and decided it needed a little more taking in under the arms, a bit of shaping round the armhole and a tweak on the shoulders to stop it looking square.


Once the adjustments had been made I overlocked the side seams to neaten.


Happy with the way my new top was shaping up, I needed to finish off the raw edges. I already had in mind a pom pom trim for the neckline (being a bit bobble mad) so played with different colours, in the end we had a vote in class and the deep turquoise colourway won.

jumper026 jumper024jumper025

Encasing the trim between the raw edge and the body of the top.
Select a wide staggered zig zag stitch (or regular zigzag if that’s all you have): on my machine it’s the one that looks like this…jumper027

First pin the trim, taking care not to stretch or distort the neckline of the top (and checking your head still fits through!) then stitch the rolled edge.


As my top has already been felted in the wash I decided not to overlock the neck edge as I didn’t want to distract from the bobbles, but I did overlock the armholes as I figured they’d get more friction and could look tatty. I then turned the edge to the inside and secured with a herringbone stitch.

jumper030 jumper031

Et voila! My refashioned jumper, ready to be worn again.

Leg warmers
Truth be told this was what the jumper was purchased for in the first place.
I’ve been hankering after some luxe boot warmers for ages but all the nice hand knit, real wool ones cost a fortune, and since I’m not quite a knitter yet this seemed like the perfect solution.

So, I took those sleeves that were chopped off earlier, turned them inside out and pulled them on my legs. Sexy, no?


Pin away the excess and carefully remove without stabbing yourself.

On the flat, draw the new stitching line then cut away the excess.


Stitch, then overlock the new seam and overlock the top edge to neaten. The beauty of this Argyll knit is that is gorgeous on both sides so if you’re careful to finish the raw edges nicely your leg warmer could be reversible.


Wear with warm socks, accessorize with wellingtons and an enthusiastic dog then stride out with the toastiest ankles known to womankind!


I couldn’t bear to throw away those last few scraps of knit that I can’t from the side seams so I decided to make a corsage.


The odd shaped pieces were bunged in the wash with my towels at 40*C and they dutifully shrank and went even more felty (note to self: only ever wash my new jumper top in cool water by hand!).

I cut out as many petal shapes as I could in sets of 4, descending in size, and 2 leaf shapes using the existing overlocking as a vein.


Next, the petals were pinched at the blunt end and stitched by hand to give them a 3D form.


Starting with the smallest, arrange the petals in a cluster stitching them together invisibly from the back, add each set of petals in ascending size order until they are all attached or you have reached the desired size.


Then sew the leaves on the back and perhaps a few beads (or maybe a button) to decorate the centre of your flower.


You could sew your corsage straight onto a lapel, or maybe a hat, or simply use safety pins to attach it to whatever takes your fancy.

All that’s left of that sad jumper is this….


And rest assured it won’t go to waste, maybe next year when I properly learn to knit…


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