Sunday, 15 February 2015

JUMP(er) for my Love

I love jumpers. I mean, I really bloomin’ love them. I would say that a good 97.8% - scientifically calculated of course – of this love stems from the fact that I spend a similar proportion of my time cold. It is not unusual for my colleagues to greet me with a cheery ‘hello’ closely followed by a ‘how many layers today?’ (To which my answer, more often than not, is: ‘two pairs of leggings, two pairs of tights, two pairs of socks and 4 tops. It’s true; my legs are actually half the size they appear). Now, I don’t want you thinking I’m some form of lizard, this irrational igloo I seem to live in is usually limited to the winter, but when the cold perseveres for as long as it is seeming to at the moment, it feels like summer sunshine lives in a mythical land with unicorns and where you don’t have to work for a living.
Anyway, enough about my irregular body temperature, let’s talk clothes!
A fashion trend I am really loving at the moment is something I like to call ‘rebellious school uniform chic’ which is basically, a long untucked shirt or top, under a big slouchy jumper. Here are a few images to better illustrate what I mean:

all pictures taken from Pintrest searching 'layered sweater outfit' I do not own any of these images.
Anyone who has read my blog before will also not be a stranger to my love of back detailing – hello four versions of Tilly’s button back blouse – I have always been a fan of the feature of a garment not being initially obvious, and I like the beauty of it being at the back – also, I love my back so always like to draw attention to it (just kidding!) So when I was having a daily scroll through Pintrest yesterday morning, it is not surprising that I fell in love with some jumpers and sweatshirts with unusual backs, like these gems:

all pictures taken from Pintrest searching 'open back sweater' I do not own any of these images.
I wasn’t able to shake the thought of making my own feature jumper last night, and then I remembered a jumper that was shoved to the back of my wardrobe that I had once borrowed from my sister after having an impromptu sleepover at her house following a glass or two of school-night vino. She was going to throw it away, but never one for giving up on an unloved garment, I offered to give it a new, re-fashioned home...if ever I thought of something to do with know where this is going, don’t you?!
Now, this is where my frustration comes in, as I forgot to take any ‘before’ photos. So instead, I have found an image of something very similar to my ‘before’ garment – thank you Google. I was convinced that I would never wear this jumper in its former state, which definitely gave me more confidence to attack it with a pair of scissors.
image taken from Google. I do not own this image.
The process was so simple, I was done within two hours – and I am a slow seamstress, believe me. As I stupidly didn’t take photos, here are some appalling sketches I drew to illustrate the process (please don’t judge!)
One. Cut off the roll neck. Fold under the raw edge and top-stitch a new neckline.
Two. Fold the jumper in half lengthways to find the centre back, and then cut right the way up – make sure you only cut the back, so you are left with a sort of reverse cardigan.
Three. Overlap the back neck and stitch in place – now your cardigan should be more like a reverse cape.
Four.  At this point I tried my jumper on and marked how long I wanted it to be. This was necessary for me because mine started life as a jumper dress and I wanted it to be much shorter, you may find that yours is already the length you want in which case you can skip this step. I opted for slightly shorter at the front and longer at the back as it helped to emphasise the slouchy look I was going for.
Five.  Time to hem! I used a knitted jumper as opposed to a sweatshirt, so this step was really important  so as to ensure it did not unravel.
Six. Time for some detail! I had a beautiful off cut of silver and ivory jacquard that I thought would make a gorgeous bow feature. So I cut two long strips, folded them in half lengthways and stitched along one short edge and the long edge, then turned them right-way out and pressed into crisp strips, stitching the opening closed. Tip: a chopstick is a lifesaver to help turn out any fiddly tubes.
Seven. Stitch the ties you have just made to either side of the new back neck seam you have created and tie into a bow. I then decided to stitch the bow in place and finish it off with a big old complementary button, because hey, I love buttons!
Eight. Style and layer the jumper as you wish – I chose a white lace cami which also hangs below the hem at the front as it completed the look, but if you are feeling more daring, you could even go for a bare back –I clearly did not opt for this due to my earlier point of hating the cold!
And there you have it! A super simple ‘rebellious school uniform chic’ refashion, that took no time at all.

Does anyone have any old jumpers they would like to donate so I can continue my experimentation?!
Em x