Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine's Day upcycled sweater shrug

As I was felting up my latest batch of thrifted sweaters, I came across this light pink one that was cashmere and so soft. Because cashmere never seems to felt well anyway, and it was my size after washing and drying, I really wanted to wear it.

Except... Hole.

And? Belly.

So I decided to try making something that would take care of both those problems and turn the sweater into something I could wear. A flower-embellished shrug! First I put the sweater on and cut a little hole to get it the right length for me.

And then I took it off, laid it flat on the cutting board and sliced it off evenly.

So I had this to work with, and I cut a line straight up the middle in the front.

I picked it up with those cut edges together and laid it back on the cutting board.

And I cut it evenly on both sides, like this.

Then I rounded things up a bit.

Next I had to hem around it. Because cashmere, as I said, usually doesn't felt well, it was necessary to roll the edge under so no raw edges were hanging out after it was sewn. While I was at it I stitched up the hole in the neckline. All this took a few minutes, but I like to save time by threading as many stitches as I can on the needle at once.

I had to put some tucks in the back, because otherwise it would've been too loose at the bottom. I just folded in about an inch or less in two places on the back, and then stitched up the dart that each one made.

The buttonhole is the one thing I wish I'd done differently. I need to work on my buttonhole skills, because I have none. I wish I'd done a tie or something instead, but I decided to cut a buttonhole and use one of the flowers as the button. I made the flower and sewed it on first, so I'd know what size to make the hole and where to put it.

It looked kinda funny with just those two roses (one covering the hole and one for a button), so I kept adding more until it looked right.

The flowers, by the way, are easy and fun to make. I just thought adding pictures of that would be too much for one post. I'll post about how I did that in a day or two, but if you need to know now you can google "how to sweater flower" and hit images and get a ton of ideas. It's nothing that hasn't been done before. All the flowers I made for this sweater were some variation on the spiral method, and you get different results depending on how you cut. It's fun to experiment.

I'm glad I did this project because it affirmed my belief that success starts with scissors. Even if I ruin a bunch of craft supplies and turn out a finished item that's totally embarrassing, I learned something. I'm one step closer to making something that is decent. I am going to have to post a picture of my multicolored upcycled wool poncho attempt from last week. Scary!

But this time I actually ended up with something I'm not afraid to wear! So go ahead and make that first cut even if it might be wrong.

P.S. I decided to enter this project in a fun contest:

One Month To Win It


Megan said...

YES! Post the poncho! Do you have a pic of you wearing it? It was so.... Twiggy meets Divo with a little Jackie O thrown in for good measure. I loved it.

Well, the shrug is gorgeous and your belly is adorable. : )

Megan said...


Anonymous said...

Love it!

And I'd love to see how to make the flowers. :)

Jenn said...

This is adorable. As usual with your crafting abilities, I am impressed.

Theresa said...

Oh my gosh, that is so cute! All those crafty genes are really coming out now!

Rachel {} said...

Perfect! I love the redo... thanks for linking it up- i need to try this with my old ones

grammy and papi said...

Love the shrug and the belly. Such a precious time in your life.

Have a God Filled Day

Jessica said...

I love your photo of your belly! I am in the same situation for a few more weeks.

Angie Holden said...

That is great!! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI!!