Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making a Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear

Hello visitors from Southern Hospitality, Rhoda's lovely  blog.
This is a reposting for those who missed it.
I love to restyle sweaters from my local thrift shops...Enjoy!

        Hello many of you know, I love treasure hunting at my local Salvation Macy's. I have a multitude of bins (much to my hubby's dismay) filled with wool, angora and cashmere sweaters.  If the moths in this town only knew!
         I have posted a few times before about my process of felting adult wool sweaters and upcycling them into adorable little children's garments (see felting post here).
I thought you might like to see what I worked on yesterday instead of doing my laundry, vacuuming, dusting or preparing dinner. Ok...just kidding, I did reheat soup for my hubby. 

I started with a VERY large red wool longsleeved turtleneck sweater. I think I paid about $1.75 for this beauty. She felted beautifully and shrank quite a bit as you can see in the next photo.

The first thing I did was cut off the turtleneck, then the the sleeves and then I made a straight cut up the front center of my sweater.
The sweet antique crocheted collar with pearl button you see is something I found at a thrift store also. Isn't it beautiful?

After sewing on the collar, I decided I wanted my sweater to have long sleeves, but not red ones. I dug through my felted sweater stash and found a gorgeously soft cream angora and wool blend beauty.

I cut off the sleeves...don't you love the soft ribbing?
I inserted the cut sleeve into my arm opening to see if I liked the look and I did. 

With the right sides facing each other, I pinned my sleeve to my sweater and sewed all around.
The edges of felted wool do not need to be finished..they will not fray.

This is what you have when you turn the sleeve right side out.

This is what my sweater looks like after reconstructing both sleeves...I like it, but it needs a little color punch.

Back to the sweater stash...Ooooooo I found this very cheerful cashmere and wool blend sweater in the most beautiful yellow...perfect! Pay no attention to the two holes...we will work around them. Felting hint: always mend any holes prior to felting..the felting process should make your mending disappear. I was using this yellow sweater for embellishing so I did not bother to mend these holes.

Let's make some ruffles for the front of our sweater. That will help give the sweater a more feminine feel without being too prissy.
To create my ruffles, I cut off the bottom band with a pinking rotary cutter..I like the added texture that the pinking will give the ruffle.

I simply sewed a basting stitch down the center and gathered by pulling on the end thread to create the ruffle...but you knew that...right?
Then I carefully pinned my ruffle to both front cut edges of my sweater and sewed it down the center, following my basting stitch and adjusting as I went.

Well..what do you think? This little sweater will probably fit a 5-7 year old. Possibly older as it has sleeves that can be let up or down and the fit is a boxy, not a fitted style.

I love it..I can see a sweet little girl wearing this with a cute pair of jeans or a flowery skirt.
So that's how I do it..I hope you were entertained just a little.

I spent a few hours cutting up lots of wool sweater squares.

I love this vibrant green.

and this beautiful blue...I'm thinking of creating a warm lap blanket made up of felted sweater squares.
Maybe having some embellishing fun with it also.
I'll keep you posted on it's progress.
Until next kind and stay creative. sure to enter my 'Circle of Love' scarf Giveaway (closed) It closes on the 16th of Jan.
Good Luck and thanks for all your sweet make me smile everyday.
How wondeful..I am being featured today on this great blog!
Thanks Linda!


Yellow House Knits said...

Oh, that little sweater is so sweet. It will look absolutely previous on some little one.

Can't wait to see what you're going to do with all of those squares . . .!

Linda said...

This sweater darling and I posted it on Craft Gossip Felitng. Thank you for sharing this tutorial :)

Aprons and More said...

You are so smart!! I love this cute sweater! Wish it would fit me!

Katy :)

marble rose said...


Thanks for sharing


Kathleen Grace said...

You must be some kind of genius Janet. You can take a handful of things and make them into something amazing:>) Love it!

Maison Conti said...

Sigh...makes me want to throw out the printing press and start felt-making. Want to come over and give me a couple of lessons? Free room and board.

Kelly Ann said...

As usual..stinkin' cute...but the shop owner in me says...CLOSE THAT ROTARY CUTTER WHEN NOT IN USE!

Lisalulu said...

GREAT tutorial, I've always wanted to know this, didn't realize it was that easy! You have quite an eye there! I always am happy to see your creations!

koralee said...

This is are so creative!!! Wow!

Wintery hugs to you. xo

Jacquelyn Stager said...

I have no idea how to "felt" anything but this sweater is adorable!

Anonymous said...

very very cool. i would love to try this sometime

Jennifer Juniper said...

I'm not gonna lie, I half expected to see an actual sow's ear even though I know it's a figure of speech! That is how much faith I have in your transformative powers! Ha!

Pat said...

How darling the sweater is. Now if only I could find wool sweaters in Georgia!

Susie Q said...

I can't wait to see the blanket. I am wanting to make one to send to my deployed Army son for Christmas. Plan to stock up on sweaters or SOMETHING this summer to get several done in time to send them off for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.
I am trying to find things to enhance my web site!

I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

My weblog ... outdoor furniture ()