The Help is one of those movies I can watch on an endless loop for days and not get tired of it. It's a story that reminds us that it's good to live in a modern world where people are treated with more equality than they were back then...or at least, now there are laws protecting human rights. It's also a story that encourages us to stand up for what we believe and fight for what's right, even if our friends and family don't agree. Many of us think of the battle for racial equality as a thing that happened in southern states a long time ago but even here, in Missouri, my great grandma had a maid.

The Help Skeeter's Sweater Tutorial from Va-Voom Vintage

I remember great grandma telling me about "a colored girl" who came to help clean the house and that's basically all she said about her.  My grandma, however, who was probably a child or young woman at the time remembers the maid much more fondly.  She was a dear, sweet lady who taught my grandma how to bone a chicken and she made some sort of amazing peachy jello dessert that my grandma and her brothers all loved. I will have to call grandma and ask her more about her maid and see if she remembers the lady's name or has any photos of her. I'm curious to see how she was treated by my great grandparents and what her relationship with the family was like.

vintage 1940s style Miss Albright shoes, wool skirt, mustard purse

Anyway, on to the sweater. Since I first saw this movie, I fell in love with the dress that she wears in the scene when she's talking to Constantine under the tree.(Click the link to watch the scene on You Tube)

I thought this would be a cute one to try to replicate, not as a dress but as a sweater that can be worn with a skirt or jeans.


* A note on colors-In some photos, the trim and embellishments look brown and mustard and in others, they look burgundy and mustard.  I tried both and decided I much prefer burgundy, personally but compare swatches of different yarns and see what combinations you like best (or what you have in your yarn stash)*

 yarn in mustard and burgundy. I'm using some worsted weight scraps that I had laying around
a crochet hook-mine is a 5mm or size H
a thrift store sweat shirt in blue/green or whatever you can find that's pretty close
needle and thread to match yarn
piece of mustard and burgundy felt
3 small white or cream buttons

My sweat shirt was a little baggy so I turned it inside out, pinned at the sides, sewed it up and trimmed the excess. If your sleeves are full length, you can trim them to 3/4 length and hem them under.

blue sweatshirt The Help makeover

The Collar and Sleeves
Originally, I tried knitting this. I did k2 p2 in 3 rows, switched colors and repeated but this yarn that I had was a little bulky for the task. If you had a different yarn, it would probably be beautiful in knitted ribbing (and more accurate to the original) but for this project, I switched to crochet instead

chain enough stitches to go around your sweat shirt's collar, single crochet one row in mustard. Switch colors, sc 1 row in burgundy, tie off  (here's a video for how to do  the single crochet)

pin the crochet strip to the collar so it hangs over the edge just a bit.
using thread to match and stitch each row to the shirt. My stitches are longer and kinda willy nilly. As long as the stitching tacks it down sufficiently and doesn't show on the front, it's all good.

Do the same for the trim around the sleeves

crochet collar trim for The Help sweater makeover

The Diamonds
Cut two matching diamonds out of each color of felt. My diamonds are 4 1/2 inches long and  2 1/2 inches wide. Using matching thread, hand or machine stitch the diamonds to the upper left side of the shirt, burgundy on top, mustard on the bottom, overlapping as shown. Stitch the buttons in place as shown.

crochet collar and diamond embellishment for The Help sweater how-to
Skeeter's Sweater in The Help

tutorial for Skeeter's Sweater in The Help

That's all! It took about an hour and a half and $3 to make. It's so cute, I may make some in different color combinations. Black and pink, red and aqua, chartreuse and burgundy- this would be adorable as a cardigan and you could easily make a skirt to match!