Jan 2, 2011

Knit Top Refashioned…

Well its time to reveal the adult to toddler refashion I’ve been working on. Remember this top I showed you a couple of posts earlier:
adult knit
And I promised you this $1 thrift shop bargain would be refashioned into a super funky toddler knit…. Well, here it is:
toddler knit
Hmm… the jury is still out on the boot sleeves and the head band… is it too much? I  wanted to have shoes that tied in to the outfit so I made the sleeves with some offcuts and some press snaps so they could go over any of Big Little Miss M’s shoes/boots.  I know little girls can get away with a lot of things but I just am not too sure about these. What do you all think? Here’s a close up of the boot sleeves:
boot sleeves 1

boot sleeves
I think they look alright on there own just not sure if it over does the outfit though?
This is more of a winter outfit – and here in Australia it’s summer and the last couple of days have been close to 40c (104f) – so I’ll be packing this one away for later but in many parts of the world it’s winter now so….
If you want to do something similar, read on to learn how I did it.
Materials for the project were:
  • Thrift shop knit
  • 2 fat quarters of print fabric for bias tape, buttons & boot sleeves
  • 2 extra buttons (found in craft stash)
  • all the usual suspects ie cutting tools, sewing machine, thread etc.
  • (I used my press snap machine for the snaps on the boot sleeves but there are many other ways you could finish them if you don’t want or have snaps)

Firstly, after sizing it up on Big Little Miss M (she wasn’t too pleased about this – and promptly told me that she didn’t want to be a scarecrow!) and working out much I would be cutting away I decided to use masking tape to mark the outline. I used it for two reasons – one being that I was pretty paranoid about cutting the knit and having it unravel into a pile of frizzy curly wool before my eyes and it helped to stabilize the knit whilst it was feeding through the sewing machine so it didn’t stretch all out of shape.

masking tape
And then because I was extra paranoid about it possibly unravelling I added some more tape…
tape re fraying
It really did seem to help when sewing it though as the machine foot and feed dog really didn’t pull the knit out of shape at all. The only thing I’d keep in mind if using masking tape though is that you really shouldn’t leave it on the fabric for too long, so don’t be taping it up then putting it away for another day. The tape will get tackier and near on impossible to remove – I have done this on windows when painting before only to spend hours… no days trying to remove the tacky residue from the tape!
cut knit

Okay, so I then sewed up the side seams and the tops of the sleeves before cutting (with much nervousness) as shown above.
neck marking
I then marked from the edge of one of the top sleeved seams to the other, indicating where the collar would be resewn.
cut collar
I then cut from the point where the top sleeve seam and the collar marking was straight up to the back collar. I then cut two rectangle panels from the collar to reduce its size in line with the total size reduction (these collar offcuts became the front panel of the boot sleeves). Not sure if that is very clear but basically you need to cut excess from the collar to match the new smaller neckline. The original collar had two seams either side of the neck to the rear. I kept this width but shortened the front lapels before restitching the collar back in place.

I then stitched a border of bias tape around the entire outside hems of the knit and also the sleeve openings (I used 1 fat quarter of the print fabric to make the bias tape – this yields just over 5 1/2 yards of bias tape, which I pretty much used up). Now here’s a peek at what it looked like after that… Doh! Can you see my big boo-boo?
Here’s a closer look:
dodgy collar
Yep, that darn collar! I was so careful because I didn’t want the knit to stretch and sit all funny that I didn’t think the collar through enough. Sure enough it needed to be stretched around the neck section so that it would sit flat and be much wider like the original top. SO….. out came my trusty quick unpick – darn it I hate mucking up! I ended up unpicking the bias tape from about an inch above the top button all the way around to the same point on the other side, cutting the bias tape and joining up some more before restitching – WHILST STRETCHING the collar. Problem fixed… Phew!
rosette buttons

To doll it up a bit more I made some rolled rosettes which I hot glued onto felt and then onto the existing buttons. I also made up a head band with part of the sleeve of the original top and some bias tape and of course the boot sleeves.
Taa Daa! Alright, you know it – victory dance time!finished outfit
toddler knit

I haven’t included a tutorial for the boot sleeves – mainly because I’m not sure if any of you would like one. Can do it another time if there’s enough interest I guess.
Well, let me know if you think I funked it up enough or if it was over funked… If you’ve any questions let me know, I really do appreciate any feedback and remember to check out some of my other tutes, the fabulous link parties and if you really like my blog feel free to become a follower.
Check back soon, I’ve always got something in the works…

***UPDATE: You can now find the separate tutorial for the boot sleeves here. ENJOY***


  1. soooo pretty....^.^ i mean the both, the girl and the knit top refashioned

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous, I am having trouble trying to work out exactly the style of the shoes from the photograph, but hey, it all looks amazing together, it is a fantastic idea and you have executed it to perfection. well done. !

  3. How Funky!!! SO Clever I wish I could do that!!!

  4. The top, the hat & the shoes are totally darn cute XD !!
    Never seen any-refashion like this before, you're uber creative
    you're featured on my Facebook post
    check it out : http://on.fb.me/eCF5q3

  5. A. Dorable. I am terrified to try refashion! You did such a great job! Would love for you to come visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made with Love Monday. I host every week. I am leaving the party open longer this week so that people can link up multiple projects if they wish to. Hope to see you there! http://sewchatty.blogspot.com

  6. This is incredibly creative and unique. You took an UGLY garment and turned it into something adorable for your daughter. You are amazingly talented!

  7. Oh my gosh this is just adorable! I love the color of the sweater and the cute fabric you chose!

  8. You are brilliant! This is so clever and adorable. I love the boot sleeves and don't think they are too much, keep them. Happy crafting!

  9. I love it all! I think I let the dress stand on it's own and pair the headband and boot cuffs with jeans and a tshirt to let them stand out on their own. Upcycling is a major goal of mine for 2011domesticdeadline.blogspot.com

  10. You have got some serious talent!! I wish I could do something like that!

    That dress is adorable (and the model ain't too shabby either)!!! ;)

  11. I love the bias trim! It adds a much needed oomph. I'm completely impressed.

  12. WOW! I am impresses that you looked at that and thought to make it a dress AND impressed that you knew how. Awesome!

  13. Your little one looks like she loves it all. Great little model and you are really creative.

  14. I love it! So fun and totally do able. I so think you should tutorial the boot sleeves, because I may make some for myself... ;) But they are awesome!

  15. Thankyou all for your lovely comments... Just thought I'd let you know you can now find the tutorial for the boot sleeves here

  16. Adorable upcycle! I am so glad you shared it at my linky party.

  17. I am going to feature this tomorrow!

  18. I love the dress and headband. I do think the boot sleeves are a bit much all together but I love the comment about putting them and the headband with jeans. I would love to see a picture of that.

  19. How nice & smart tutorial...really creative...congrats...

  20. What a fun idea. Love the trim detail.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursdays. I am following you now.

  23. That's an awesome idea!!! Come and link it up on my craft linky every Wednesday!

  24. so stunning!!! it looks great on your DD

  25. So super cute!! You daughter is a sport for wearing that is 104* weather even just for pictures!! Thank you so much for linking up last week! I hope you'll stop by again today. I'll be doing a featured post very soon...


  26. Adorable!!! What a great idea!

    I'm a new follower! :) Can't wait to see what you do next.

  27. I love your creativity, yes, however I am OBSESSED with your ingenious idea to use masking tape this way!!! Can't wait to try this clever trick! Thank you, thanks you!


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