Friday, March 15, 2013

Retro Restyle: Military Sweater

Now I've been known to take my husband's old flannel shirt and sew it into jammie pants for my son.  I've also repurposed my clothing down into something else for my daughter.  But this was the first time I've reworked a sweater. And I think I'm hooked.

I started with a 100% lambswool sweater in size large.  Bought it at the thrift store for $2.

Then I scrounged some coordinating cotton twill, buttons and patches from my supplies. 

I did a bit of cutting and embellishing and came up with this.

I split the front, faced it with the cotton twill and added a collar.  Since I only had two of the larger, metal buttons, I used them to close the front.  The smaller, plastic buttons were perfect decoration for the pocket flaps and shoulder epaulettes.  I used them liberally.

I cuffed the sleeves since they were pretty long and added more buttons there.  The belt is also from the twill fabric and the three belt loops were made using the rib knit trim that I cut off the original neck opening.

This was supposed to be one of those 'quicky' sewing projects.  I thought, "Cut it up.  Make it pretty.  Wear it for knock-around."  Turns out that it hung on the dress form for a couple of weeks while I hemmed and hawed.   And once it was nearing completion, I realized that I had quite a bit of cotton twill leftover.   So that prompted another sewing project.  Once I get some photos, I'll share my new Decades of Style Sweetheart Overalls with you.  But then I realized that I really don't have any 1930s-styled blouses to go with those new overalls.  Yep.  Bought some reproduction Depression fabric to make a couple of those, too.  Then I just happened across a 1940s wool felt hat that would really complete the outfit!  I guess, I just don't know when to stop.  Anyways, the sweater has been a useful addition to the winter wardrobe, and at the end of the day, that's all any seamstress can hope for.
And yes, I wear it for knock-around.


  1. You really take the cake. That is a great up-cycle! I'm going to have to show my daughter who repurposes everything. She will love it!

  2. Very nice job! Can't wait to see your overalls- I'm just finishing up a pair myself (though not from that pattern). I'm contemplating a new blouse to go with them too. I think I might finally make myself that basic white blouse I always find myself needing!

  3. Love it! You did a really great job and gave me lots of creative ideas.

  4. this is really cool!
    next time i see a huge mans sweater at fleamarket i will remember this. maybe i do it more folk style.....
    thank you for sharing the idea :-)

  5. That is really nice! You are so creative! Blessings from Ringle.

  6. That is stunning! Definitely going in the inspiration file!

  7. I LOVE THIS!!!!! I can't wear wool ( I know that awful. But I turn into a scratching maniac.) I am not a clothes sewer. But I am going to try this with a cotton sweater. Did I say I love this. Just checking.

  8. Fabulous job. I have been struggling the last 2 weeks on a pair of high waisted shorts grr... you make it look so easy. My seam ripper and I are bff at this point. I can't wait to see your overalls.

  9. I was nominated for the Leibster award and in turn nominated you :)
    If you would like to check it out:

    Have a good day!

  10. This restyled Military Sweater is great! I think you did a fantastic job on it. I love that you added the collar & the belt really finished it nicely. Isn't it fun restyling garments into something else!! I say keep it up! You have just inspired me.
    thanks for the picture.


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