Friday, April 1, 2011

A little denim jumper

The other day I was sent a picture of a little denim jumper and asked if I thought I could make something like it. The photo was of a ready made jumper and retailed for $38 and that price is before taxes and shipping were added on. "WHAT??!!", I exclaimed! "Over $40 for a simple little jumper for a toddler? That's outrageous! I can make that for a couple of bucks and have it ready to wear in a couple short hours."

The gauntlet had been thrown and now it was time for me to set about doing exactly what I claimed I could. For all intents and purposes, this little jumper looks identical to the expensive designer outfit. I didn't have a pattern and quite frankly, I didn't know exactly how long it should be or even what our little sweetheart's chest size and shoulder width is. You see, once I get an idea into my head I just start cutting and sewing and "winging it."

All the rage in little girls' summer frocks appears to be the Pillowcase Style garment. As I looked at the photo of the designer jumper I decided that that is all it was, i.e. a pillowcase dress made of denim with a casing and a self drawn tie for to create the shoulders and to tie into a bow. An advantage of the casing style with the sash drawn through it is that as the child grows you merely loosen the drawn sash to expand the chest breadth.

The photo in the magazine of the ready -to- wear version had a cute apple fabric for the hemmed trim, pockets and sash. I didn't happen to have the identical in my fabric but I did think this tiny butterfly print in green, blue and a bit of pink would work perfectly. The patch pockets were created from the bottom of my spray bottle sitting on my ironing board to create the rounded edges and then I cut the top straight. I always line my pockets. They hang better on the garment and are more sturdy.

For the hem trim I interfaced with a medium weight interfacing. It is made with a long piece of fabric folded in half and then half is interfaced and the rest is folded to the inside, then showing no raw edges. Because the demin has a bit more heft, I knew that the cotton fabric would need support of a good interfacing. I was tempted to post side by side photos of my little dress and the expensive online version, but decided that I didn't want to give free publicity to the company selling and making them.

This really did go together in less than two hours. I spent a lot of time looking at the photo of the ready made jumper and visually and mentally disecting it until I had a plan.

Our special little friend just received it this morning so perhaps I can get a photo of her modeling it. She is going to go to part time pre-school this fall and I think (I hope!) this will be an easy to wear and fun jumper to wear to 'school.'

OH! I have two little tiny antique metal butterfly buttons. I started to sew them on at the top of the jumper and then kept changing my mind. They match perfectly with the print, but I didn't know if it would be too much with the drawn sash tie at the top. As well, perhaps for safety reasons one shouldn't put metal buttons on toddler's garments? I don't know. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!




  1. Hey, Jennifer,
    I LOVE your little jumper and wondered if a little piece of the patterned fabric could be put vertically down the front of a few inches....maybe 3-4". Maybe you could gather it a bit by sewing down the middle.
    The buttons would be cute on the fabric strip trim.
    I used to design doll clothes back in 'the day' when my girls were young, so this was a great chance to 'think' about that!
    Good luck...and the jumper is great without anything else, too!

  2. This is just so sweet Jennifer!!! I LOVE this!! It would look so cute on my granddaughter Charleigh! Are you planning on selling this one or making others!

    You are so talented!!

  3. Hello jennifer.This is so pretty i love it,you are clever.When i first read this,i was expecting a knitted top lol,that's what we call jumpers in England.xx


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