Monday, April 26, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday With Hope Studios


Hello's Tuesday and that can only mean one'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 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 kind and stay creative!


Annette said...

Well, that's just cool!!! So, I can do this in a front loader? I don't need the agitator?

janet said...

Yes Annette..throw in a few tennis balls to help with agitation.

Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun said...

THanks for the tut! love it! never would have known to use a pillowcase! I just chuck them in!

Tweed Delights said...

Great 'tute' Janet! Must try felting sometime - will add it to my ever lengthening 'to do' list, hehe :) Have a lovely day!

Lori said...

This is a great tutorial! I love this and DID bookmark it.

Jennifer Juniper said...

This is a great solution for those of us that don't knit :) I have a great argyle sweater I accidentally felted that is sitting in my closet because I can't bear to throw it away. Maybe this is my project?

Atelier Conti said...

What an adorable project! I'll probably save this link for next Christmas, that's the only time of the year I can find the time to make all these fun kinds of things! It's that time-management problem I was talking about! Thanks, by the way, for the lovely long message about journaling. That's such a beautiful story! It will give me lots of courage and incentive.

Samantha said...

Great "repurposing" project! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Linda L Lanese said...

Love the Tuesday Tutorials and because this one is on felting I am sharing it with my readers.


Cindy said...

Thanks for the tip about putting the sweater in a bag. Hope I haven't ruined my washer (don't tell hubby)!


Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

absolutely adorable! so sweet and charming! ...and a great tutorial, too! Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place one day this week when you get a moment. I have become a follower and would be honored if you choose to do the same!