For those of you who’ve read my blog before, you probably know I have a penchant for making cool, new things out of upcycled, felted wool sweaters. As a back-to-school gift to my daughter, I made her this fun felted jacket out of pieces left over from several felted sweater projects. Of course, its just my luck that we’ve been enjoying 80 degree weather for the past few weeks, but I’m sure she’ll get a chance to wear it sometime before Thanksgiving! I’ll admit, I did pack her into it one morning on the way to bus, only to have her come home with it stuffed into the bottom of backpack, pink and sweating from another sweltering day.
Unfortunately, I didn’t put together a complete tutorial for this project, but I can give some pointers in case you are interested in trying something similar. Here we go:
- Decide what sweater to use for the bodice AFTER you felt it. I felted about a dozen sweaters to use for various projects. As luck would have it, a women’ size L yellow sweater felted perfectly to fit a 6 year-old girl. Since you never know how a sweater is going to felt, it is much easier to make ‘wardrobing’ decisions after they have been felted.
- Seams were sewn holding the pieces edge-to-edge and stitched with a zig-zag stitch. Since the felted material doesn’t fray, there is no need to place the pieces wrong side together and make a folded seam.
- The flare around the bottom and the cuffs were made by cutting long, semi-circles of felted fabric. Think of a really fat letter “C”. When the center of the “C” is stitched to the bottom of the sweater, the outside of the “C” falls to form ruffled flare.
- This project works up fairly quickly, especially since felted material doesn’t fray, you don’t have to hem anything.
- The tulips are simply semi-circles of felted material with a long strip for a stem. The button were hand-stitched on afterwards.
- The button loops are just small strips of felted sweater, fold in half, and machine stitched onto the front of the jacket.
- Don’t forget to take advantage of existing features of your sweater. For example, the collar and front pocket were part of the original sweater.
Pieces from the sweater used in this jacket have also gone to make:
- 1 full size blanket (If I can take some pics, I’ll do a post!)
- 1 woman’s sweater tunic
- 1 woman’s bolero/shrug
- 6 small stuffed kitties (I hope to post a tutorial for these soon!)
- many, many hair accessories and brooches
If you are looking for more upcycled sweater inspiration, check out Sweater Surgery by Stephanie Girard. I love some of the ideas the book has to offer!