Editing Store-bought Knitwear

There it was, a charming gray jumper dress on sale in Dunnes on Patrick’s Street. The cables on the front were classic and I loved the button-up cowl neck, but the length was so very wrong for me. If I wore it with leggings [and focused some exercise on my lower half] it could work, but I don’t do leggings. Hmm, what could I do? I was with a friend and author of Hook’s Law blog and Fibre Friends, so we put our heads together and figured out that it was machine knitted in as front and back pieces then put together with side seams. With patience, it wouldn’t be hard to unravel the bottom and reknit the ribbing to make it shorter. Sure, why not.

I purchased the sweater dress and determined where I wanted to start my new ribbing from then thread a contrasting thread through to mark the row. Then I picked up all the stitches in that row with a small circular needle and proceeded to steek a few inches below that mark. I retained the steeked bottom to make a handbag or something. The pockets were just so darling! That left me with several inches to unravel and wind into a ball then work with.

Unraveling Stitches

Once I had unraveled back to the circular needle point, I reknit the ribbed edge. I did the ribbed knitting and though it did not look like the original ribbing, it was, after all, hand done. I then used Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off to retain the stretch of the ribbing.

Though I could have done with another one to two inches of ribbing at the bottom, it works nicely in its new length and is more flattering.

I Altered a Sweater Dress into a Vest

The entire experience left me with a completely new outlook on shopping. No longer do I simply accept what the store has to offer, I also look at the potential that piece has for a bit of creative editing. Something to keep in mind when you’re out shopping at second-hand shops and the sales!


  1. Aidyl says:

    Wow! It looks like you bought it that way! I’m sure that if I tried that, it would look like I bought something from the store, unraveled it, then knitted it up differently. 🙂

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