Crafternoon – Skirt Made from a Wool Sweater – Handmade Holiday Gift Idea

Now that we are home and have all of our crafting tools at our disposal, the sewing machine has come out and the knitting needles have slowed (not stopped, just slowed).  Of course there are tons of clothing items that one can make with re-purposed wool and wool sweaters, some of which I’ve shared in the form of fingerless mittens, cowl, and felt-decorated sweaters.  Last week I came home from a school event and shared with Chloe the idea of a snappy wool skirt a student was wearing over leggings – cool boots too, of course.  As I worked my way through the crowd and closer to the skirt (the student I mean), I realized that it was actually the bottom of a felted sweater inverted so that the hem or lower cuff of the sweater had become the waist band of the skirt.

The next morning Chloe comes down wearing one of two skirts that used to be wool sweaters hanging out in the crafting pile ready and waiting to become something.  The second was prepped for a short spin under the sewing machine.

Recycled sweater skirt Photo by Rocky Coast Photography

Directions for How to Make a Skirt from a Wool Sweater
Felt the sweater so that the fibers connect and the ends don’t fray by washing in hot and rinsing in cold water.  Stop the washing machine occasionally and check to be sure that you aren’t felting it more than you want.  The fabric will just become thicker and thicker with changes in temperature and agitation so slower is better.   When the fabric of the wool is the thickness that you’d like, spin it to wring out most of the moisture and then hang or lay flat to dry.  Sometime I’ll roll an item between two bath towels and then press or even step on the roll to squeeze out any excess moisture.

To determine the length of the skirt, measure vertically from where it will ride – waist, belly button or below belly button – to where you’d like for it to end – knee, thigh, mid-thigh.  There is no hemming necessary with this project, so therefore no need to adjust the measurement for hemline material.

When dry, lay the sweater out on a cutting board.  With a yard stick or measuring tape, measure from the bottom of the sweater (waist of the skirt) to the hem of the skirt.  Make a horizontal, straight cut across.   Note:  If the wool is the washable sort, then a quick zigzag stitch along the hemline takes care of any unraveling that might occur.  It also can add a design element if you use a contrasting thread color.

Annie
Who needs the mall?

Upcycling – Fingerless Mittens

It’s getting a little late in the season for fingerless mittens, but to round out the post that already ran about Chloe’s sweater, I thought I’d close the loop.  The previous post was about upcycling a felted sweater.  I cut the sleeves into three-quarter length and then had about 5 inches of cuff and lower sleeve to turn into fingerless mittens.

I cut a hole where I wanted the thumb to go and used a button to cinch in the wrist.  The design is needle felted by taking strands of wool, twisting them a little and then poking a barbed needle into it what seems like one million times.  It works best if you have something underneath such as a thick sponge.  Chloe discovered that a curry brush for a horse works well too.

Just to explain the photo a little, one hand is facing up, the other down so that you can see both sides.

Annie
With lots more ideas for those wool sweaters hanging out in the barn.

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Needle Felted Upcycled Sweater – Shhhh… It’s a Secret

This sweater is for Chloe’s birthday, so I’m trusting you all to not tell her about it.  I just know she’s going to love it and I really couldn’t wait to share it with someone.

Several years ago I began collecting wool sweaters from Salvation Army and garage sales hoping to make a felted wool quilt.  For a number of technical reasons, I couldn’t get the pieces to come together neatly, so I let that go and the sweaters sat in the barn.  Until last week.  When I had this great idea to re-purpose all of these sweaters into up-cycled clothing.  (Okay, the spell checker is saying that ‘repurposed’ and ‘upcycled’ should be hyphenated.  I’m not so sure as I think they are now real words, but I’m going to hedge my bets and write them both ways.  Ha.)

This sweater was a woman’s medium before I felted it, so it should fit Chloe pretty well.  I cut off the cuffs because the sleeves would have been too long and now it’s a three-quarter sweater and I have the cuffs which will become fingerless mittens.  I then needle felted the tourquoise wool in the designs you see here.

Annie
Feelin’ crafty

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