Thursday, August 1, 2013

Retro Restyle: Navy Uniform

A while ago I purchased a Navy uniform at the local thrift store.  The wool pants were in pristine condition and fit my husband beautifully.  The uniform top was in poor condition, full of moth holes and almost too small for me across the bust.  It had not a single patch or trim, and immediately, I began to ponder how to salvage it.  I threw the top in the wash, and waited to see what would come out.  It washed up well, shrank just a tich, and I put it in the "restyle" pile.

My last Retro Restyle project was a wool Army sweater.  I wore that sweater a lot last winter.  My thought for the Navy top, because it was snug, was to split the front seam and add a zipper.  It would be a knock-around jacket.


I wasn't sure how to trim it out though.  I knew I didn't want to do the standard stars and stripes.  I wandered the sewing department at Hobby Lobby (while my kids flipped through the pattern books looking at Halloween costumes) and narrowed it down to Sock Monkey, foxes or baseball.  And even though I am the most nonathletic person in the world, I opted for the baseball because I liked the red, white and blue combo. 

I trimmed the collar with the "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" ribbon.  I was happy that it's actually a cotton twill tape and looks more retro, sporty than a satin or grosgrain ribbon would have. 

I slashed the center front and zig-zagged in a separating zipper.  I used an iron-on rhinestone-type, baseball decal on the front chest just below the tiny welt pocket.

I also added a fuzzy number 5 to the right shoulder that I had salvaged off an old sweatshirt.  I do wish it had pouch pockets on the front like a sweatshirt, but such is Life.

I've already worn this jacket quite a bit because after our ungodly weeks of humidity here in Wisconsin, we dropped down to 50 degrees at night.  Crazy.

My husband says I have an identity crisis; am I a sailor or a baseball player?  
But I guess that's what you get when you take a shepherdess out of the pasture!


  1. ha - i did this too!
    last year i slashed my old navy top (this broad shoulders you get from gardening) and placed a zipper in. because of the felted wool this is a perfect jacket for outdoor activity - like paddling a kayak - , but i miss some pockets too.

  2. Oh heck, why choose? Be both. Love he way that came out, I really do. Very good use and what a great thing to have. You can never go wrong with another jacket!

  3. i feel odd not commenting on the sewing but OMG your dog is HUGE! :P

  4. WOW you have a lot of talent! I wish I could do half of what you are able to do. Tell your husband sailors play ball.They even have their own team. At least they did when my real father was in the navy.

  5. Looks fabulous - what a great makeover! Love it :)

  6. What talent! Oh to be able to sew like this and make fun creations!

  7. Oh, what a talent to be able to stitch up such fun things!

  8. Really adorable! I remember as a teen I could barely fit into my dad's navy uniform. I suppose he was so skinny back then!

  9. Brilliant! I wish I had thought about making the navy tops into jackets. I had one ages ago I loved that fit but was horrid getting on and off over the head. Good thing I have double jointed shoulders. Now I'll have to keep an eye out for another I can transform. My dad was in the Navy during WWII. When I commented about his photo in his "cute little sailor suit" he got a bit gruff and said, "It's called a Naval Uniform. And it was not cute!" : )

  10. Cute jacket you had on the other day. Who knew!


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