Actually, I’m going to give you two for the price of one! That is, I will share two separate play outfit refashions from the same two shirts. One a sweater of my husband’s, and the other a polo shirt of my brother in law’s.
This was one of my first refashions I attempted, and it really got me started on the idea that I could totally transform clothing and give it new life. This sweater was one my husband wore for many years, and being sentimentally attached to it, he had a hard time with me telling him that it really wasn’t the right size for him. He didn’t want to get rid of it and think of some stranger wearing this shirt he still loved! He suggested that he might be ok with parting with it if it “stayed in the family”. I took that as permission at immediately started sweater surgery, knowing that it could make an adorable play outfit for my son.
I used another pair of pants that fit my then-nine-month-old baby as a pattern, and got to work.
I am fearless when it comes to cutting right into fabric with a nice, sharp pair of scissors. I love that feeling! (Although I do remember how terrifying it was when I was first learning to sew, convinced that I was ruining a lovely piece of fabric.)
I really only intended to make the pants; as I said this was one of the first refashions I ever tried, and I was tickled to have made pants that turned out decently well out of a sweater. However, the portion of the sweater that was left over continued to nag at me until I decided that I had plenty of fabric to make a matching sweater, and that it was just scraps anyway, so if I botched it, it was no big deal. So I went ahead and performed another life-saving procedure on the sweater (sorry for all the medical puns; I am a nurse after all!) and this adorable sweater was born!
The sweater wasn’t perfect; I sewed one cuff onto the sleeve turned inside- out, and decided not to fix it. (In addition to being a fearless cutter, I also have the superpower of turning my perfectionism on and off; this time I turned it off and was very happy to do so.)
As I had predicted, my sweet boy was absolutely precious in the outfit. It was soft, comfortable, and durable! After my son grew out of it, it was still in good enough shape for my next son to wear it, and he was just as cute in it!
Let’s fast-forward about three years to this past March, when I was going through all my fabric, scraps and all. I found the remains of my husband’s sweater (really all that was left were the sleeves) and I remembered what great pants the sweater had made, and I decided to make another pair that would fit my now-nearly-four-year-old son. There was just enough fabric to do so, and it was so easy because there was no hemming involved! I just kept the original sleeve cuffs as the pant cuffs, and the whole thing took about 20 minutes at most.
Because I didn’t have any more sweater fabric to make a top for my son, I pulled out an old polo shirt I swiped from Marissa’s donate pile (I’m a scavenger, what can I say?) and determined to make a shirt that would be just as soft and cuddly as the pants.
I actually used an old pattern for this shirt (one from a large set my mom gave me that she used to sew for us from when I was a little girl), but I have also made raglan shirts for my boys using their old pajama shirts as patterns.
I did my best to match up the stripes, but again, it wasn’t perfect, and I’m ok with that. After all, my son is ok with it too!
Do you ever sentimentally hold on to items of clothing hoping to give them new life in one way or another?