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) Before getting to work I decided to treat myself and get a new sewing machine. I have been struggling with my old one long enough and I just told myself I deserve it. I splurged and went with a higher end combo embroidery machine which opened up some more options for future projects. Anyway back to work; 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.