Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Repurposing: Cardies


A while ago, Martha had a great idea for repurposing old wool sweaters. And after seeing Chris' cute rendition, I knew it was high time. I found two wool sweaters at the thrift store for $4 each. (The above was already felted before I remembered to take its photo.)

A few snips and a little sewing later, it's a child-sized cardi for Sawyer.

I decided to take the eclectic, handmade approach and used mismatched vintage buttons. I then made a blanket-stitch along the raw edges of the front and neck.

This one is Spenser's. She has worn it every day since I finished it. (And it's not even pink!) She prefers it over her winter coat. And so far she's still warm.

The only issue I had with these cardigans was the buttonholes. My machine is not cooperative with making buttonholes on felted wool. After a dozen or more attempts, I gave up. I cut the wool in Spenser's blue sweater, but I'm afraid it will stretch.

Should I do some hand-stitching? I made a few satin stitches around the bottom buttonhole, as the ribbing didn't felt as tightly as the rest of the sweater (and I didn't notice it until I had already cut out the pattern). I haven't made buttonholes in Sawyer's yet because I need your help. Any suggestions? Please?

20 comments:

Southerner said...

What does it mean that it was already felted?

Katie Jean said...

you must be reading my mind. I was just about to make some of those for Isaiah!!

for the button hole, you could try backing it with some water soluble stabilizer if you wanted to use your machine. If not, I'd go with the blanket stitch. It would look pretty and be effective.

Brenda said...

For the buttonholes you need to do a very tiny blanket stitch around it. Looks very cute.You did a great job.I also bought some old sweaters and felted them. If you have a Goodwill near you, they will have a certain color tag on Mondays 10 items for $5.00 (.50 a piece). You don't have to buy 10 items

beki said...

So, so cute!

Karyn said...

LOVE those!

And I'm no help with the button holes, sorry.

Stacey said...

I am no good with button holes either, but your sweaters are excellent! :)

christy said...

cut the buttonholes and hand stitch around it like a blanket stitch but a lot of them close together
felted wool is very warm
the kids probably love it b/c it's warm but not bulky

onegirliegirl said...

I saw that episode on Martha...those were so totally cute!! Yours are adorable. I don't think you should worry about the stretching too much, since the wool is already felted, it should be pretty tight, right?!

I'm off to the thrift store to look for wool sweaters. Around here, I don't think people part with such things...we'll see.

Thanks for sharing!

misschris said...

These turned out so so cute, Lera! The one I had used was not felted, so I had to bind all the edges... which was a pain, but I didn't have the button hole dilemma. I think tiny blanket stitches would work on those holes though... It's about time to try another, so maybe I'll give it a shot.

Nice work, honey! xoxo I LOVE the mis-matched buttons. And the blue hanger.

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Lera,
I have used cutting the button holes and then using the tiny blanket stitches and it worked fine.

You can also, if you are so inclines use bias tape and line them, but it is a PAIN!

They are both lovely. You did a great job.

amandajean said...

what a great project! I have never sewn a button hole in my life, so I have no advice for you.

sue said...

I have to say that is a wonderful way to use up some old sweaters. They both look great.

Liz said...

I love those! I just happened to felt two new sweaters this week, too...

randi---i have to say said...

These are adorable, Lera! So creative!

Little Munchkins said...

They both look really cute.

I was also going to suggest water soluble stabiliser for the buttonholes, or you could do the blanket stitch.

Captain.Laura said...

You may have luck making machine-stitched buttonholes if you use a strip of interfacing or just cotton fabric on the inside of the buttonhole area. Stretchy fabric only gets stretchier and loses its shape as it wears out...

I'm noticing now that the cardi I'm wearing has a different (less stretchy) type of knitting on the placket area.

Maybe sew a 1.5-2 inch strip of woven fabric along the length of the sweater opening, and make the buttonholes on that instead? You can use a cute kid fabric and really give it an eccentric homespun feel, y'know?

Kris said...

Brilliant! Felted jumpers (oops! I'm an Aussie, those cardies are "jumpers" to me!) would be so warm. If I was doing the buttonholes, I wouldn't. I would put snaps on instead. (My answer to difficult knits. They work brilliantly with polar fleece too.) My daughter and I went halves in a snap press this year and it has been one of our best investments. It works wonderfully too!

Vonlipi said...

That is sooo cute, beautiful idea! You are so handy I'm kinda envious(just kinda 'coz i'm pretty handy myself...lol)

If you feel like shopping please visit www.vonlipi.etsy.com


thanks :-)

dig this chick said...

oh my. really? love it. And, THANKS for the babylegs info. Always inspired by how you make time...thanks for the inspiration!

hmmmm. blanket stitches. I need to learn this.

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

Great idea! I love this!