Jazzing up a jumper the easy way

I have recently read the excellent Reconstructing Clothes for Dummies by Miranda Caroligne Burns and got inspired to look into my wardrobe and dig out something I hardly wear but cannot bear to give away.

This beautiful black jumper was hand knitted and embroidered several years ago but lost its appeal. I don't wear black tops anymore and the wool is scratchy, meaning that in the past I had to wear something underneath. This means it was not suitable as workwear as most offices are stuffy nor for partywear. I only wore it around Christmas time when the weather got really cold.

As the embroidery is really beautiful and the jumper fits me so well, I didn't want to give it away so I kept it folded in a clear sleeve with a bunch of dried lavender to discourage moths.

Our imminent (I hope) relocation means that I need to declutter, so if something is not getting used, it has to go to the charity shop or must be freecycled. I wanted to keep this jumper, so I unstitched the sleeves, then routed around my bags of embellishments to see if I could jazz it up.

I tried to find material that matched the embroidery, which has silks in red, yellow, purple, green, brown and pale blue. I threaded the sleeve with silver and red threads, pulling the red string a bit to curl the opening. A broken garter belt provided the lacy (and racy) collar, while a 1980s corsage that previously decorated an old pair of woollen gloves made a shining centrepiece.

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