Turning a Jumper into a Baby Vest and Pilchers

I love up-cycling. It has kind of become a habit that goes well beyond making Splat Mats for Outie…

Here is one of my favourite projects from my scrap book.

Turn an Adult’s Jumper into a


A little up-cycling project



How to use masking tape to recycle knit wear into DIY all-season baby gear.

(Pilchers: Old-school woollen nappy covers otherwise known as ‘fluffy bums’ to help prevent overnight leaks with cloth nappies)


1. Choose a jumper in a colour that you love. Note: Round neck jumpers are best as V-neck jumpers require an extra adjustment in the shoulder seams for a baby/toddler).

2. Lay jumper out flat and put one of your baby/toddler’s tee shirts over the top lining up the neck holes. Fold under the sleeves to make a vest shape.

 3. Use masking tape to ‘draw’ around the shape of the vest. (The masking tape helps the woollen fibres to stay together while you prepare your project for sewing!

4. Use a pen to mark the masking tape at the armpits so that you know how deep to make the arm-holes.

5. Extend masking tape lines vertically to bottom of jumper to mark out shape of pilchers.


6. Cut a piece of masking tape to a 6cm length and stick to the centre of the bottom ribbing. This marks the crotch seam.


 7. Repeat steps 2-6 on the back of the jumper as well so that all fibres will be saved from unravelling when you cut the jumper.

8. Cut along outside edge of masking tape. Cut down centre of waist band tape so that tape is left on both the bottom of the vest AND the top of the pilchers. (Masking tape = No unravelling!)

9. Turn cut shapes inside out and check stitch guides on sewing machine so that you will be sewing exactly along inside edge of masking tape without stitching through the tape.


  1. Open vest out flat so that the neck makes a circle and arm holes are ‘open’ (the vest is one big flat single-layer piece). Stitch along inside of masking tape with a straight stitch on armholes up to your marked lines on the masking tape.
  2. Fold vest back together with right sides together and stitch side seams together along inside of masking tape to meet arm holes.
  3. Remove tape from side seams and zig-zag next to your straight stitched line to neaten. Continue zig-zag stitch around armholes next to straight stitched line.
  4. Trim excess fibres from outside of zig-zagged edge to finish side seams.
  5. Armholes: Turn under armhole edges and use a narrow zig zag to top stitch in place. (Using a narrow zig-zag stitch means that there will be some stretch in the arm-holes still).
  6. Stitch along bottom edge of vest above tape with a straight stitch and remove tape from bottom edge.
  7. Zig zag bottom raw edge and turn under 1cm.  Stitch in place using narrow zig-zag stitch to finish (be careful not to stretch vest while you sew).


Hooray! You have now finished your baby vest!


  1. Turn inside out and with right sides together stitch along inside of masking tape on side seams. Zig-zag and neaten side seams as per steps 12 and 13 of vest.
  2. Use pins to mark your 6cm crotch seam either side of tape on bottom edge and remove tape.
  3. Stitch between pins 1cm inside bottom edge to finish crotch seam.
  4. Stitch along inside of masking tape on top waistband edge and remove tape.
  5. Zig zag top edge of waist band to neaten.
  6. Fold waist band under 2cm to make casing for elastic. Stitch in place leaving a 2cm gap to thread elastic through.
  7. Use a safety pin to guide elastic through casing and stitch ends of elastic together.Image
  8. Top stitch over the 2cm gap on the waistband casing to finish your pilchers.



Dress your baby and admire your handiwork!

If you would like to see more up-cycling tips, please check out the Outie facebook page and the Outie Tips Photo Album.



Love Outie.



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