Jun 09

1) So I found a jumper at the thrift store (actually, I spotted several that had potential, but settled on this one because it was about $1.25 and needed minimal sewing).

2)  I removed the metal buttons (Is that what you call them?) with plyers.  This left several holes.

3) I dyed the jumper in a stockpot on the stove using Rit’s Denim Blue dye.  I used about half the bottle, and I let it soak for about 2 hours.  This might not be necessary, but that’s what I did.

4) Then I washed and dryed it, of course.

5) At this point, I decided to try it on & decide what next.  In order to not look completely frumpy, I decided it would need shape.  But I had to fix the holes & whatnot first…

6) I patched the holes on the straps (but not the sides of the jumper) by setting my sewing machine to zigzag and using the widest possible stitch.  I went across each hole in two directions, as you can see here:

This might look a little sloppy, but my mending will easily be covered by the buttons:

7) For the sides of the jumper, I decided to sew up the unnecessary opening with matching navy blue thread.  I sewed 2 rows right beside the tan stitching, and you can hardly see it.

8) Then I trimmed some of the excess bulk from inside the garment (where the buttons used to be).

9) To add shape to the jumper, I decided to add elastic to the waistline.  I took 1/4″ elastic and wrapped it around my waist to determine how much I needed.  Then I pinned it to the jumper where I wanted the waist to fit.  As you can see, I overlapped the elastic in the back of the garment.  Then I stretched the elastic and pinned it at regular intervals, being certain that the jumper would gather evenly.  (Does this make sense?  I think it should be a separate tutorial…) I used a special zigzag stitch on my machine that is for sewing elastic onto garments, and I sewed the elastic directly to the waistline.

10) I closed the buttonholes on the sides of the jumper by using the zigzag stitch.  You know, since they were no longer necessary.

11) Then I sewed on buttons.  I decided to go with classic, inexpensive, gray buttons and used heavy-duty, tan thread to sew them on.

12) I put on my dress, got some Starbuck’s, and asked my husband to take my picture! :)

23 Responses to “Tutorial: Denim Jumper Refashion”

  1. Erin Says:

    VERY cute! Great refashion…. Now, to find a denim jumper….

  2. susan Says:

    Cute! First thot it odd that the topstitching stayed y-gold,then realized it must be poly- thread.

  3. Amanda Says:

    That’s adorable!

  4. Rachel Says:

    Too cute! I’m nursing my baby right now, and while I’m glad to do it, I miss being able to wear dresses and have shaping to clothes and wear things with a defined waist. Or actually have a defined waist. (sigh)

  5. lina Says:

    Just fabulous, I’m really enjoying reading your blog and all the refashioning you get up to, very inspiring!

  6. Shannon Says:

    FABULOUS! Looks great!

  7. liesl Says:

    Love it! Good way of turning frumpy to funky! BTW, I am so nosy - what machine do you have? It looks just like mine - Brother BM2600 - which I have just bought. I am a complete newbie to sewing, but if we have the same machine, I’d love to hear how you find yours to be. Are you happy with it?

  8. kate Says:

    Looks great! It’s amazing what a little dye, a little time and a lot of imagination can do. Your sewing is really neat, and tidy, too, I like that. Great job!

  9. Erin Says:

    I absolutely love what you did with the jumper! Its gorgeous and I would wear it every day!

  10. Tutorial: Denim jumper to summer dress · Sewing @ CraftGossip Says:

    […] ThimblyThings shows how she took a less-than-trendy jumper and turned it into this fashionable summer dress.  A bit of elastic gave it some shape, and overdying updated the denim.  See how she did it. […]

  11. Anne Says:

    Very cool!!! I posted a link to your refashion tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-denim-jumper-to-summer-dress/2009/06/10/
    –Anne

  12. Chrissy Says:

    It’s sooo cute! I love the new color…great idea to dye it!

  13. Vicki K. Says:

    I did not think it was possible to make this into something so cute! The gathered waistline is the ticket - and dyeing it darker was also brilliant. Well done, again.

  14. Caitlin Says:

    Oh wow! It looks real cute. What an awesome refashion. Did you like the RIT dye? I haven’t tried it yet. It looks like it came out even and a nice dark color. And I think that type of button is called a bachelor button. :)

  15. anne Says:

    Such a great idea!! Love it!!

  16. michelle@bluemoss Says:

    found you thru darling dexter, and i’m so glad i did!!!! love, love love your blog…..i love your creations and re-dos. you have totally inspired me to actually re-do all the things that have just been in my head…..
    adding you to my blog list so i will back again and again
    michelle

  17. Kate Says:

    Great choice with the color, and the elastic waist…its much more modern looking!

  18. Shannon Says:

    Way to go! What a huge improvement and thanks for sharing your secrets:)

  19. caroline Says:

    I love this tutorial! You’ve turned it into the most perfect little summer dress.

  20. Shannon Says:

    Great picks my dear! Love them all and the inspiration is nearly overwhelming.

  21. MamaDebbie Says:

    That looked like quite a process…but it’s sooo cute

  22. ursula Says:

    Wowza! From totally hideous to absolutely adorable… that is true talent!

    p.s. I also love the seersucker top from the previous post!

  23. jen Says:

    you’ve made that thrift store jumper very cool! a fitted waist can de-dorkify most anything, IMHO.

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