In addition to my turning old socks into fingerless gloves project, I turned a hoodie into a draped vest worthy of something a tunnel-dweller would wear (in the 1987 Beauty and the Beast tv show).
In case you’re looking for some simple way to make a closet item into a costume item (which works for a post-apocalyptic look and can be embellished for a variety of purposes), here’s how I did it:
I started with a thrift store white zippered hoodie. This is lined with bad fleece, stained, and too small to be comfortable worn over layers. No worries- I’m making it into an open, draped vest!
Because the zipper was attached to a placket, I could easily cut the it off (which I did) without worrying about unraveling the garment
I cut the sleeves off, just outside of the seam that held them on (so they won’t unravel). The exposed shoulder seam is a great place to add embellishments as desired (draped chain, leather finishing stitches, a roll of faux fur, etc.)
Then I dyed it using black tea, to give it an old and stained, worn look (without compromising the integrity of the fabric):
Take a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil.
Take a handful of tea bags (black), knotting the strings so you can more easily fish them out.
(this isn’t an exact science- more bags means darker dye. I used 9 Lipton iced tea bags.)
Steep tea bags in boiling water for 5-8 minutes, depending on how dark you want the dye.
When they’re done steeping, scoop the tea bags out with tongs, being careful not to burn yourself.
Turn the heat off.
Gently press the garment into the tea, soaking it through and making sure there are no air bubbles.
Let the garment soak, submerged (I couldn’t get it fully submerged, so I positioned the jacket lining to be the most exposed), for 2 hours.
Remove, and rinse thoroughly in cold water.
Wring dry and hand dry. You may need to do a second rinse (no detergent, though!) to make sure all of the dye is out.
(see the black spots? That’s what happens when your tea dye pot has a rusty bottom. Science!)