I have two confessions. 1) I am totally pretending it’s spring outside by wearing spring clothing around my house. It’s currently 15 degrees with the windchill. 2) I am OBSESSED with “mommy and me” matching outfits. Why do either of these confessions matter? In the grand scheme of life, they don’t. However, in my own little DIY world they combined together to give me a great idea. I was cleaning out my closet when I saw this sweater that I had purchased from Goodwill while I was pregnant. It was one of the few things that fit around my massive bump!
I didn’t love it on me anymore and was about to put it in my “donate” pile when I got an idea. I could turn it into a more spring appropriate top by making it a short-sleeve sweater. Never one to waste material, I thought I would experiment a bit and attempt some baby clothing from the sleeves. You guys… I’m loving the result.
I ended up chopping off the sleeves and using them to create tiny infant shorts and a matching infant bow! I’m obsessed! I love matching my little lady, and matching her for the price of an old, thrifted top is even better!
How cute are those tiny infant shorts?! I paired it with a Baby Gap top that I purchased secondhand from Goodwill and some tiny baby shoes from Old Navy (found on clearance for $2.50). Such a bargain!
The best part is that it was incredibly easy. I’m by no means a skilled seamstress, and I was able to create the outfit quickly and easily. Here’s how…
- I flipped the shirt inside out and folded it in half so that the sleeves were lined up on top of each other. Then I put a pair of my daughter’s infant pants on top of the sleeves to use as a guide.
- I cut around the pants, leaving an extra 3 cm at the crotch to provide seam allowance and a couple inches at the top so I could fold them down and add elastic.
- Separating the sleeves, I pinned them together where the two sides would meet to form the crotch.
- I sewed a straight line over the two pinned pieces, and then I sewed along the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch so it wouldn’t ravel.
- I measured some elastic for the waistband and folded down the waist and sewed along it. I left about an inch open so I could feed the elastic into the waistband, sew it together, and then close the gap.
- Turn the pants right side out and try them on. This is where my big OOPS came… note that one leg is longer than the other. I decided to turn them into shorts at this point since the sweater material almost looked like elegant boucle shorts. To turn them into shorts, I simply measured for length, cut them, turned up the hem and sewed them shorter.
I decided to use the cut off portion to make a headband and matching flower. This type of fabric flower is really simple so I just included this image to show the basic steps.
Whenever I am sorting through old clothing, I always create 3 piles: Keep. Donate. Toss/Craft. I don’t donate items that are stained or have holes so I instead process those items by removing any buttons, sequins, etc for future crafting and keeping the fabric for crafting (if it’s nice) or kitchen rags. I’m so glad I do that now because I found 3 buttons in my sewing box that were processed off of an old skirt that I loved. I added one button onto the center of my flower and the other two to the infant shorts.
As for the sweater… turning a long sleeve top into a short sleeve top is simple. After cutting off the sleeves, I zig-zagged the edges and flipped them up to form a cuff. Then I sewed a straight line around the top of each cuff to create the “cuffed” sleeve look.
Now, we have our own spring “Mommy and Me” outfit that barely took any time and re-used items that we already had on hand. I can’t wait to try a few more upcycles for the spring and summer after cleaning out my closet!