Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A New Job for an Old Wool Sweater

Sometime during the early to mid 1990's my brother purchased a kelly green wool sweater for me for my birthday.  It was from the Gap, and was a basic crew neck sweater.  I wore it a LOT... and LOVED the color.  Soon it became quite sloppy and just not very stylish due to it's large size.  It followed me all the way through college, to my apartments, our first home and now here.  Along the way, it made friends with a few moths and they loved it so much that they did a little munching damage... mostly just a few little holes large enough to squeeze my pinky finger through it if I felt the need... I saved it knowing that someday I would find a use for it again. 

Enter: Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials by Betz White.

This book is fantastically inspirational, the photos are bright and vibrant and really help to kick-start your creative juices.  I've made a few other items from this book, the Easy, Breezy Skirt was my first project. 

My most recent crafting project involved the above mentioned kelly green sweater and was also my first attempt at machine felting.  HOW FUN!  I cut up the sweater as per the instructions in the book, and tossed it into my washer.  Two cycles later, and a spin in the dry and I had the softest wool felt to work with.  I followed the instructions completely and even used the optional extra sole and the gripping material for the bottoms.  I did stitch the extra sole directly with the outer sole for stability and I used left over micro suede from a head board that I made a few years ago for the grippers.  The micro suede doesn't act like real suede or leather would but it does cut down on the slippage. 

I'm quite happy with how these turned out. They were easy to sew together, are very warm, and they breathe with my feet.  I also love that they are made from a favorite old sweater. Tricky parts were maneuvering three layers of felt under the presser foot.  But we managed and I think they look pretty alright!  I also opted to do the "finishing touches" blanket stitch detail on the outside seams.  I felt that without this, they looked unfinished. I used a little bit of left over yarn from these.  More photos of my new slipper friends can be found here.

* I received no compensation for mentioning the author or the book.


Amanda said...

Cute! What a great use for a much loved sweater. I wonder what I could use those gray sweat pants to make? On second thought, I don't think I am ready to part with them just yet!

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

Betz has a great blog too! I've been thinking about hitting the thrift stores for some sweaters to full. The slippers look easy to make. :)

Thanks for stopping by the Laugh in Bed blog!