As you may or may not know, bug and his cousin K started 3-K this past fall. It's only three days a week for 2 hours each day, so they aren't really in SCHOOL school, bit it's a great opportunity for all of us to figure out what it's like to be in a school setting... they have the chance to get used to authority and other kids, structure, schedules, following directions, etc. and I have the chance to get used to checking the backpack regularly so I don't miss important things (oops), getting up on time to take them without having to go in my pajamas (oops), and not forgetting the correct time to pick them up so I'm a half hour late (oops).
For such a little amount of school, they sure do have a lot of "days". I mean, of course there are a lot of days, but I'm talking about "days" - the special days. You know. Dr. Seuss day, yellow day, red day, brown day, pajama day, orange day, wacky wild day, crazy hair day... just "Days".
Which is cool and all. Except when it comes to days like pink. I admit it. My son didn't have any pink in his closet. None. Not even a stitch on a hem. It's not that I've purposely avoided pink. Pink can be cute on a boy, sure. It just so happened that he didn't currently have anything that fit him that was also pink.
So, what did I do? The same thing I did on yellow day, when I decided he didn't have anything suitable and warm enough. I made him something the night before.
And, just as with the yellow day sweatshirt upcycle, this was created from one of my articles of clothing.
This is a "kind of" tutorial. Because for some reason, I forgot to take pictures of the actual construction portion. (oops)
1. Find a pink sweater that you no longer wear because it is obscenely short but that you've been loathe to give up because it's from the GAP and it is actually very cute and has the best sleeve length AND it was a steal since you got it at the thrift store for... wait for it... $1!! Or, you know, any other pink sweater you have laying around.
2. Fold said sweater in half. This way. Not the other way. I mean, that would just be weird.
3. Take a sweater vest that almost but not quite fits your child and fold it in half as well. Line said vest up with the sweater - fold on fold. Make sure that the vest is laid out several inches above the bottom finished edge of the sweater, since it really doesn't fit your child all that well and you'll need the extra length. OR, you could go in search of a sweater vest that actually fits your child, but that would take more effort than taking three steps over to the laundry pile and pulling this one out.
Cut around the sweater vest. Except the bottom, of course.
4. Lay the two pieces of your sweater vest out and cut a v shape in the neck of the top piece. You could like, measure or something if you're all concerned about making it too deep or too shallow. I mean, you COULD.
5. Because you just can't bear to "waste" any part of this sweater, chop off the sleeves to be used at a later date for leg warmers for the girl. And then you've got only this much left:
which even you can't justify keeping, am I right??
Now. Here's where the photos stop. So I'll probably get even more over-explanatory than usual. Just so you know.
6. Find an old knit shirt in the repurpose pile. I went with black to "man up" the pink a little. There's a subtle tone-on-tone stripe, which I like. Cut out several diamonds of the same size, making sure the stripes are going the same way.
7. Cut several long strips of the knit fabric. At this point you could make yourself something like bias tape - you know, by ironing the edges into the middle and then ironing the whole thing in half - that way the unfinished edges would be inside the fold and totally taken care of. Did I already mention I was whipping this up the day before?? I figured since the raw edges of the knit would be all over the diamonds anyway, some more raw edges didn't really matter. So I just ironed my strips in half. Do what makes you happy. Or what you have time for. Or both.
8. Take the front piece of your vest - the one with the v cut out - (in case you were confused) - and pin your diamonds across the front, four pins for each diamond, with the side points just touching. You COULD measure and make sure the diamonds will be at a suitable height on the sweater front. I mean, you COULD. Or you could just eyeball it.
9. Take some white thread (yes, I did use white on purpose actually (I wanted it to contrast so you could actually see the lines across the black diamonds)) and begin sewing around your diamonds. Just top stitch around each one. Get as close to the edge as possible. Closer than I did would be better.
10. Starting on the left side, you'll want to stitch the alternating diamonds crossing over the black ones. So, just start sewing about two inches or so away from the top of your first diamond and stitch across the diamond at an angle. When you get to the bottom, plant your needle, lift your presser foot, turn your fabric, and sew across the next diamond. When you get to the top, do the same. Essentially, you're just sewing a zig-zag across the row of diamonds. When you get to the other side of the sweater vest, you'll stitch another zig-zag across the diamonds starting at the bottom point and going back the other way.
13. Then it's time to sew your sweater vest pieces together. Right sides together, pin the vest up the sides and across the shoulders. Line up the binding at the arm and neck holes to the best of your ability, while still making sure the bottom band isn't all oddly skewed. Hopefully you've measured well enough that this won't be an issue, and really if I can do it without too much trouble I swear you can too. Sew the vest together with a zig-zag or stretch stitch for knit.
14. Turn your vest right side out.
And that's pretty much it. Done. Now you've got a snappy little vest for pink day. Now you just have to figure out what the heck he's going to take for show and tell that's PINK. Huh.
Oh, and if you want a much more detailed tutorial with more pictures for turning an adult sweater into a child's sweater vest, I will refer you to this sweater vest upcycle from Dana at MADE. That's what I used when I made my first sweater to vest upcycle, which actually turned out more like a downcycle, but I made the boy wear it anyway - and no complaining, darn it!
And because he is his father's son, this vest could actually be called the:
He's dreaming about owning that car for real someday soon.
He looks about 16 in this photo... where did that little chubby baby go??