One of the hottest fiber crafts around these days is making felted items out of thrift shop wool sweaters. A few months ago I visited our local GoodWill store and actually had trouble selecting which ones to buy, there were so many fantastic 100% wool sweaters! I left with 7, some in solid colors and others with patterns, having left behind only $16.00. All of these sweaters were like brand new. I put them all in the washer and felted them together, and they came out great. Here’s how I did that part:
Since this was my first adventure in recycled felting, I started out with small projects, cases for cell phones, ipods, or just little purses. I made three cases but have since sold one. The other 2 are pictured here. Because I’ve worked with garments for such a long time, I was able to cut these without measuring or using a pattern, but if you prefer, you can certainly do that. Here are the steps:
- With a pair of sharp scissors, cut the sleeves off the sweater. (Yes, it’s true, you can actually cut felted wool without raveling problems.)
- Select the portion of the sleeve, which is a tube, with which you want to form the body of the case. I used the part right above the cuff because I liked the way it tapered.
- Cut to size.
- Sew bottom seam. On the blue case, I used blanket stitch on the outside. For the green case, I did an inside seam that doesn’t show.
- Choose a closure method. I used a loop and button on green, and a drawstring, for which I cut very small slits, on blue.
- Make a strap or cord. I braided heavy multicolored yarn for both.
- Trim as desired. I left the blue case plain, and made an extra long cord for the green one so I could trim the sides with it, and frayed the ends for tassles.