sweet sweater vest

thrift stores are full of dorky sweater vests. i got this idea to restyle one into a cute dirndl-bodice-like top.

sweet dirndl sweater vest!

(that adorable felt flower brooch is from the fabulous woolly fabulous!)

i liked the nordic looking pattern knitted into this one, and the silver buttons.

frumpy sweater vest

it was kind of frumpy and big to begin with, but priced right at $1.99. it was wool so i shrunk it in the washer and dryer first, which made it small enough that i didn’t have to cut the armholes or the bottom, only the part around the bust. i should have taken a picture of how i cut it, but in my excitement i forgot so i drew this diagram to show you…

vest diargram

i put it on and marked where i would like it to sit at the bust. then i cut from the shoulder (leaving a little extra for seam allowance) and finished the edge with some red piping.

red piping!

 i also shaped it in a little bit at the waist since it was still too boxy. i think it’s cute for spring!

27 Responses to “sweet sweater vest”

  1. sunshine Says:

    fabulous! i totally need to make one of these

  2. Lindsay Says:

    This is awesome!
    Do you have any suggestions for how to gauge what size sweater to buy? How do you estimate how much it will shrink in the dryer?

  3. hannah Says:

    thanks! i got lucky with this one because it shrunk the perfect amount. i would say the sweater vest fit about a size too big when i bought it. i washed it and checked to see if i wanted it to shrink more (which i did) before i put it in the dryer. if you wash it and it shrinks enough with just the washing, then let it air dry. if you happen to find one that’s a little snug, you won’t have to shrink it at all!

  4. Anne Weaver Says:

    Brilliant!!!! I posted a link to your project at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-turn-a-sweater-vest-into-a-dirndl/2009/03/11/

  5. Leigh Says:

    Wow!!! Inspiring! Way to go. On another note, I LOVE the blouse! I need the details on it…did you make it? Do you have a pattern/tutorial? Was it a purchase? Or is it one of your designs? It is so sweet!

  6. dorre Says:

    wow! this is soo cute. i LOVE it… did you finish it with a serger? would you show a pic of the inside?

    i’m thinking of adopting a haflinger pony, and i keep thinking of your blog. the braids and bows and flowers… of course we’re asian, so picturing my daughter in full austrian get up in a pony cart festooned w/all the above cracks me up (but is sooooo intriguing). :) thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. hannah Says:

    thanks!
    the blouse was from delias.com, it was on clearance but it looks like it’s gone from the website now. i wish i had the patience to do embroidery myself, i would embroider everything i own!
    i finished the side seams that i took in with a serger, the edge where i applied the piping i didn’t, the bias tape on the piping covers the raw edge nicely. the pony image is adorable, i can see it now!

  8. mopppy Says:

    im loving this, pity i dont have the figure to warrant making one :o(

  9. krissy Says:

    Wow, that looks great! You did a great job on that! What a good idea.

  10. kate Says:

    As always with everything that you touch Hannah— this is awesome.

  11. Rachel Says:

    That’s awesome, I love it! So cute with jeans and a tank.

  12. tina Says:

    Hannah! I love this soooo much. You are the awesomest!

  13. Anitra Cameron Says:

    That is just almost Too cool. I will be looking at sweater vests with entirely new eyes now.

  14. jennder Says:

    You are so my new favorite crafter! <3 <3

  15. rayna Says:

    So cute!

  16. Pixie Shtick Says:

    Wow! After seeing this I ran and grabbed my husbands old sweater vest he won’t wear and stuck it in my sewing machine. Maybe I should have asked him if I could have it before I altered it. No matter, he says I look so sexy in it. Great idea, thanks!

  17. Vestidadelmar Says:

    This is very clever and pretty.

  18. kmsl Says:

    omg. you rock!

  19. Anna Says:

    Hi, I just found your blog and wanted to say that your creations are beautiful! A few years ago, a friend gave me a birthday card – and I later on found out it was one of your designs. I love it, and still keep it :)

  20. Brooke Says:

    You know the vest section was one area of a thrift shop that I didn’t look in. You have just changed that for me.

  21. Mary Says:

    I’m getting back to this AWESOME project after a long hiatus! Is it hard to apply the piping? I’ve never done that~

  22. hannah Says:

    it’s not hard to put the piping on, i pinned it in place and sewed it on with a zipper foot so i could get up close to it. i’d love to see it when you finish!

  23. GingerLee Says:

    wow this is so CUTE! I know I’m alittle late posting but do you think it could look cute in a plus size? you did a great job on this thank you for sharing

  24. hannah Says:

    thanks gingerlee! i think it would look great in any size. that underbust style is super flattering, that’s why i love it so much.

  25. Sharon Says:

    I love your site.. escpecially the vest you felted before cutting. I have been bitten by the felting bug and have been making slippers and bags like crazy. I made a few blankets but did not like the way they finished so am using them as rugs instead. Keep up the good work. I am envious of your imagination. Absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Nishkamama Says:

    Greetings… going to look at a vintage husqavarna today.. and found the rest of your awesomeness and blog… do you have any online resorses for making your own piping.. as you used to finish the edge of your vest..
    beautifully living in make-do-cause-you-live-in-the-middle-of-nowhere.
    thanks so much

  27. Andrea Sharby Walters Says:

    Wow!!! What an awesome idea!!!

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