Tutorial: Classic Jumper

This post is long overdue!  I made this jumper for Yuki for Thanksgiving (along with the Herringbone Short Coat) and I’ve been wanting to share this tutorial ever since.  I hope you keep in mind that I just kind of make this stuff up as I go along, so I don’t know if this is actually the best way to make a jumper.  It’s just the way that I did it and in case you’re curious – here it is!

I’d been wanting to make a jumper for Yuki for some time.  It’s just such a fun and classic style.  And there is this super colorful plaid flannel (that I’m kind of obsessed with), that I thought would add a bit of a non-traditional, yet still holiday, feel to this piece.  Here is the sketch of the jumper I wanted to make.

You will need:
Main fabric
A little bit of fabric for lining
2 buttons

For this 12-18 month size jumper I probably used 3/4-1 yard of the main fabric and 1/4 yard of the lining material.

So first you need to draft your pattern.  I used a small jumper to get the pattern shapes, and a dress that fits Yuki to get the pattern size.  If you need help drafting a pattern, there are plenty of great resources out there like this one or this one.

The red lines are alterations I made as I was sewing, when I realized the size/fit was all wrong.  If you’re using this to get general shape ideas, make note of those changes!

The pieces you’ll need are:
Bodice front (1 main, 1 lining)
Bodice back (1 main, 1 lining)
Body front
Body back
Pocket (2 main, 2 lining)
Pocket edge (2 main)

Let’s start sewing!

First we’ll do the pockets.  Take one main fabric pocket and one lining pocket and pin them together right sides together.  Do the same with the other pocket fabrics and sew the curved edge together.  Keep the top (straight edge) open!  Flip them right side out and press.

Now we’re going to gather the top of the pocket.  If you need help with gathering, here’s a great gathering tutorial.  I do it the way Dana calls the “proper” way, except I usually only do 1 line instead of 2 or 3, like you’re supposed to.

Sew a straight line across the top edge of the pocket with your machine set to the longest stitch.  Do not backstitch at the end or beginning!  Pull on one of the threads to gather the top edge of the pocket.

For the pocket edge, fold it in half along the long side with the right side in.  Sew up the short sides and leave the long edge open.  Flip it right side out and press.

Then fold the edge in about a 1/4 inch and press.  Now you have this little pocket to stuff the top of your pocket into :)  Confusing enough?

Slide the top of the pocket into the opening and sew around the edge.

(why does one pocket look bigger than the other in this picture? :( )

Position your pockets onto the front body piece and top stitch around the pocket.  Make sure to leave the top of the pocket open and also sew back and forth several times at each end.  The top corners of pockets get pulled the most, so these extra stitches will make sure the pockets are securely attached.

Now lay the front and back body pieces together with right sides together and pin up the sides.  Sew up the sides and then press these seams open.

With the side seams opened up, serge or zig zag stitch along the arm hole.  Fold the edge down a 1/4 inch, press and sew.  If you can’t serge or zig zag, just fold the arm hole edge down a 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch, then sew (like you would a hem).

Now we’re going to gather the top part of the body piece.  Just like before, set your machine to the longest stitch and sew a straight line across the top of both the front and back of the body piece.  Pull one thread to gather the fabric (both front and back).  Set the body of the dress aside while we work on the bodice.

Pin the bodice pieces together: main fabric and lining of the front bodice piece and the main fabric and lining of the back bodice piece, right sides together.

Sew around bodice pieces, leaving the bottoms (straight edges) open.  Trim excess fabric, corners and clip curves.  Turn right side out and press.

(I also added a label at this point, in the center of the back bodice piece.  I just used an iron on transfer that I printed on my inkjet printer).

Turn about a 1/4 inch of the bottoms in (the same way we did with the pockets) and press.

Now you’re going to slide the gathered edges of the body into the bodice pieces (just like we did with the pockets)!  Make sure to put the front of the jumper into the front bodice piece and the back of the jumper into the back bodice.  Pin and sew along the straight edge and continue top stitching around the entire bodice piece (both front and back).

You’re almost done!!  Sew button holes in the back bodice piece and buttons onto the front bodice piece.

Hem up the bottom by folding up a 1/4 inch and pressing, then folding another 1/4 inch, pressing again and top stitching.  You’re done!!!

I hope this wasn’t too confusing.  I’m still learning how to write and photograph for tutorials, so I know this wasn’t perfect, but I’m working on it!  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

I love the jumper style because it’s so versatile.  Depending on the fabric and how you layer it, it can be appropriate for pretty much any season or occasion!

(It is getting harder and harder for me to keep this one still for photos!)

Pair it with a little coat and she’s all ready for the holidays!

Are you all done making holiday outfits?  I’m not!!  I only have 2 days left, so I better get sewing!

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20 thoughts on “Tutorial: Classic Jumper

  1. I have a much better appreciation for this jumper after seeing what goes into making it. She has put it to good use, wearing it to special holiday occasions. So festive!

  2. Thanks everyone! I’m glad that you like it! And I hope you try it! Let me know if there is anything that needs clarification and if you do make it, I’d love a link to your pictures!!

  3. Tutorial was great and the jumper is darling. Can’t wait to make for my grand babies. Your daughter is precious and what a good little model she makes!

  4. Love this jumper! I am drafting my pattern now. Question…Is your back panel piece larger than the front? I know the bodice pieces are different, but it looks like the panel pieces are too? Thanks for your help.

    • Thanks! Hmm . . . Looking at the pictures, I can see how they look a bit different in size. I’m pretty sure they are the same width and I’m not quite sure why they are different lengths. The only main different is the shape of the arm cut-out and even that seems like it wouldn’t make that big of a difference. Sorry – I told you I was new at this :) Anyways, thinking back on it/if I were going to do it again, I’d probably just make the front and back pattern pieces the same. Just make sure to add several inches to the width for gathering and long enough to have room for hemming. Hope that helps!! And I’d love to see the finished jumper!! Do you know aobut my flickr group?

      • I would love to hear about your flickr group. I’m new to this and haven’t made a single garment since I was in the 7th grade! Well, let’s just say it’s been more than 3 decades. I have 3 granddaughters and am dying to try to make them all matching dresses! I absolutely adore this jumper and your daughter is a perfect little model… so beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing and I would love to see/read more of your tutorials… =)

  5. This is a sweet jumper and i am making one now for my little granddaughter, but i just have to write and tell you that your little child just looks so precious. Isn’t it sad that they grow so fast? I wish I could keep my little Jossie small for a longer time. Thank you for sharing both dress and baby.

  6. You have such a cute little girl!! kisses….
    The instructions make everything seem simple enough for me to dare to try such a dress.

  7. Thank you so much for a wonderful tutorial! I’m brand new to sewing and just followed your tutorial to make my baby girl’s first christmas dress. This was my first garment ever and it turned out beautiful!! I made mine a bit too short, so i added a ruffle at the bottom to lengthen it a bit. Your pictures and instructions helped so very much. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

    • Oh how wonderful! I love to hear this sort of thing! I’m glad that the tutorial was helpful and your dress came out well. If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to see a picture! You can email me at cheriemie (at) gmail (dot) com or add it to the flickr group if you have a flickr account. Happy Holidays!!

  8. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I absolutely love jumpers and this one is perfect for two little girls in my life. Yuki must have outgrown her jumper by now as this was posted some time ago; but I’m sure glad I found it. Thank you for sharing your talent and taking the time to make this tutorial.

  9. Pingback: 15 more girl’s dresses free patterns – fall edition

  10. Pingback: 15 more girl's dresses free patterns - fall edition : Serger Pepper

  11. a good post/project keeps going on for inspiration! I love how you used an unconventional fun pattern for the lining! I love that you don’t use conventional sewing methods either. Your sense of proportion is good and your fashion sense too, in putting together outfit. Good Job. Inspiring!

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