Hello friends..it's Tuesday and that can only mean one thing...you're going to learn something!!!! I'm going to show you how I create my couture wristwarmers. I see you rolling your eyes thinking "Janet, you nut, it's April, I don't need wristwarmers!" You would be surprised how many I sell to women who work in cold air conditioned offices or early bike riders and walkers. You can always bookmark this tutorial for this fall..they make fabulous gifts! Before we start, isn't my nice Kelly gorgeous? She is my go to gal for my modeling needs...Thanks Kell..;-)
First step is to visit your closet or a local thrift shop and look for a wool sweater. Bring it home and place it in a pillowcase and secure with a rubber band. This is a very important step...DO NOT SKIP! You will see why later. Set your washer to the hottest water setting and a small wash load. If you have a pair of old jeans no one wears anymore, throw them in too. They will act as an agitation helper. Wash on the faster agitation setting. The idea is to get your sweater knocking around real good..that helps the fibers to open up and lock together. Once they lock it is permanent.
When you remove your sweater from the pillowcase it should now be fulled or commonly known as felted. It will have shrunk to about 1/2 it's original size. Many of you have probably felted items by mistake...sound familiar? Lay your sweater flat and block it...which means pull and tug it back to the shape you want..it is pretty pliable while wet.
This is reason I told you not to skip the bagging step. Your sweaters will shed a lot of wool fibers and where do you think all that fiber is going to go? If you are wanting a new washer, this is the fastest way to kill your motor and convince hubby to buy a new machine. I cringe every time I see a tute that tells women to just throw your sweaters into the washing machine...YIKES!
Hang your sweater to dry or you can also place it in the dryer on med heat. For some extra style and to pay homage to my sweaters grand former life, I left the Abercrombie & Fitch tag on the sleeve edge.
At this point all you do is take you scissors and cut the sleeve at the length you want your warmer. The sleeve hem will be toward your hand. Because the wool is felted, you do not need to worry about unraveling..felted wool doesn't. I embellished mine with some pieces of felted wool from my stash, but you can leave your warmer plain or sew on any type of trim..buttons, lace, beads...anything! The felting makes them snug, warm and naturally water resistant.
This is what they will look like.....I am proud to tell you these warmers made the People Magazine Fall Styles to Watch list...that made me smile for a month!
.......and because I hate waste, this is what I did with the rest of the felted sweater. That's another tutorial altogether...;-)
Now go forth and FELT!
Big thanks to Jennifer at Hope Studios and Kimba at ASPTL be sure to check out all the other great tutorials.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative!