Monday, September 12, 2011

Sweater pumpkin

I made this little pumpkin out of orange wool sweater scraps.  This was a practice one and I stitched it by hand and didn't use a pattern.  Now I have a good idea of what I will do differently in the future!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Polka Dot Handbag

I had to make a quick run into a thrift store to get something for a craft project.  I promised myself that I would NOT look at the sweaters.  I grabbed what I needed, but on the way out I saw this polka dot wool sweater vest.  I couldn't resist.  I knew when I saw it that it would be an adorable purse.  Turns out, I was right!

was a sweater vest in a previous life
I had these acrylic purse handles already in my stash at home.  I just love this wool because it is totally reversible.  I used red dots for the outside, but the white dots on the flap and the little wallet.  The flap is held with a magnetic snap - something else I already had on hand.  The little wallet is sized so that an iPhone will fit in it also.  I used a vintage button and a hair elastic to create a closure on it.

It's really going to be hard not to keep this one for myself, because I LOVE how it turned out!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Items; Second Blog!

I've created another blog that is for all of the different types of upcycled projects (or, as my husband calls them, bullsh-- projects) that I am always pursuing.  These items, for the most part, will be placed in my new shop in the antique mall called UpDo.  That's why the blog is

The latest post on UpDo are the Easter baskets I've made after reading the tutorial on Resweater's blog.  Mine follow the style she posted last year.  Warning!  Creating them can become addictive.  You can't make just one.

These, of course, were all made from felted (fulled) wool sweaters.

But, the other project that had me thinking "outside the sweater" was a vintage storage ottoman I picked up at Goodwill for $8.00.  It was the classic late 50's vinyl - but with a cigarette burn on top.  It was on four wooden legs and the lid lifts to reveal a pocketed lining.  Once again, I failed to take a before picture!

I decided that I would use sweaters to recover it.  The first thing I did, though, was unscrew those awful legs and spray paint them silver (have I mentioned how much I love spray paint???).  I covered the top with a poly cotton blend sweater with a rough texture that reminds me of popcorn.  The original lid to the ottoman was tufted with a button in the center.  I decided to make mine appear more modern by overstuffing the top.  I added some fiberfill from my stash and got out the staple gun.  I covered the bottom portion of it with a lightweight lambswool sweater in a complimentary stripe.  I took the waistband and cuffs from that sweater, stitched them into one giant band, and hand sewed it onto the ottoman's lid.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

UpDo Shoppe

So, I've decided to open a bricks & mortar store front - well, sort of.  It will start as just booth space in an antique/flea market mall.  I plan to call it UpDo and will sell all things upcycled or recycled.  What do you think of the name?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I have been busy making as many things as possible, including the objects that will hold all of my items.  I want everything in there to be green!  One of my projects is a sweater project, though.  I'm nearly finished and will post pictures soon.  It is a vintage 50's storage ottoman with legs.  It was the typical off white vinyl with plane wooden legs and a cigarette burn on top.  Not anymore!

Aarrgghh!  Once again, in my haste to get started reinventing an item, I failed to take before pictures.  When will I ever learn?  Well, regardless, now it is awesome (if I may say so myself!).  I used sweaters to recover it!  I used one black and white, bumpy knit sweater on the lid that has hinges and lifts up.  I added some stuffing under it to give more of a pillowed look than it was previously.  I used a black and white striped lambs wool sweater to recover the base of the ottoman.  Then I used the waistband from one sweater to go around the edges of the top part.  I spray painted (have I mentioned how much I love spray paint???) the legs silver.  I can't wait  to see it all put back together!  I just have to finish hand sewing the waistband on and screw the legs back.  Then I WILL take pictures and post them!

I've also opened a new Etsy site that is strictly upcycled items that will be in the shop.  You can find it under UpDo Shoppe, too!  Wish me luck!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cashmere Christmas dress

I made this in December.  It was quite a project!  I kept sewing, then cutting.  Sewing more, then cutting more, because I was never happy with how it was hanging on my body.  Eventually, I ended up with this.  I made it out of all cashmere sweaters, so it is super soft and super warm!



I was too lazy to take down the upstairs Christmas tree this year, so I just redecorated it for Valentine's Day.  Haven't decided yet if it is staying for St. Patrick's!

Busy, busy

I have been on a sewing kick this week!  With my hubby working out of town, I have been staying up late and creating new pieces. 

Child's zippered jacket/cardigan
   I was really pleased with how this one turned out.  I love that pattern from the sweater with those great colors of teal, mint green and gray. 

Long cardigan

                 I wore this long orange and blue cardigan to work and received so many compliments on it!  People asked where I bought it!  I love that!  I made this one out of four wool sweaters.  If I had to change anything, it would be the shoulders.  I would have put the serged seam on the inside.  It makes me look too linebacker-ish as it is!

argyle mohair skirt
  This skirt I made from an oversized men's sweater.  I added a jersey knit band at the top with a tie so it can be adjusted to various waists.  I wore it to work one day with brown boots, and it looked really cute!

Long hooded cardigan with buttons

Here's another long cardigan.  This one was made from three sweaters.  Two were already cardigans, so I kept the existing buttons in place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One World One Heart

In order to meet other bloggers, particularly other crafty and creative ones, I am taking part in this event, One World One Heart.  I've never done anything like this, since I am relatively new to blogging.  I hope that it will be a chance for me to learn more about successful blogging and make friends with artistic individuals around the world!
As a part of this event, anyone who comments is eligible for a door prize to be awarded at the end of the event.  My door prize is a set of greeting cards that I have created.  In addition to the two pictured below, I will add three others with them.  I know my blog is all about making stuff from sweaters, and it would make sense to give away an upcycled sweater item.  However, since it could be shipped anywhere in the world, my cards would probably travel more easily.

So don't forget to comment so your information will be available for the doorprize!  For more information on adding your blog to the event, visit: 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wool Cape

Lily was being goofy
Lily wasn't being very cooperative as a model last night, so I couldn't get the best pictures of one of my latest creations.  Typical fickled model...she wasn't in the mood to pose and wanted to just goof off!

This cape started out to be for me; however, it ended up being too short.  So, it's perfect for a child.  Even Lily, at nearly 12, is a bit too big for it. 

I started with a wool jacket that was fulled in the washer.  (One of these days I need to remember to take Before pictures!)  I inserted triangles of wool cut from fulled/felted sweaters.  It was a bit scratchy around the neck, so I added a collar of lambswool that is super soft.  It is doubled over and attached irregularly to have a scarf-like appearrance to the collar.  There are small slits in the front for arms to come through, pockets from the original jacket remain and the collar closes with Velcro and/or toggle buttons.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Less than 24 hours later...

My shelves to store the thrifted sweaters

Yaayy!!  I actually completed it!  I built the shelves, organized the sweaters and even put little bins to organize the scraps.  The only thing left is to label the shelves, but the batteries were dead in the label maker.  It will probably take me a month to get the labels on there...some things never change!

The closet under the stairs in the basement...perfect hiding spot so no one thinks I'm a hoarder!
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Out of Control Sweater Overload

I didn't quite realize how many sweaters I have acquired until my niece and I start rummaging through the bags I had tucked in the closets. After washing (fulling) them, I have been just putting them into bags until the perfect project pops into my head. Needless to say, there was a mountain of sweaters on the floor after the quest for her pink sweater. I decided I would build shelves in the closet under the stairs - I mean, really, what else can you do with a weird shaped closet like that?

I went so far as to purchase the materials I needed, took all of the sweaters out and folded and sorted them based on type of yarn. And, that's where the story ends. I was looking at a fashion magazine that suggested capes are hot right now. Ding, ding, ding! The little epiphany bell was going off in my head, and I started to embark on another project. That's the love/hate relationship I have with my ADHD. It feeds my creativity, but certainly impairs my organizational skills!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heather's Handbag

My niece visited last weekend and asked me to make her a bag.  She liked my iPad bag, but needs something bigger as she has three little ones and is always hauling around extra diapers, snacks, baby wipes, etc.  Her favorite color is pink, so she selected a hot pink wool sweater (it was a Forenza from the 80's, anyone remember those?).  She also liked this gray cableknit.  It was pretty loose and stretchy, as it was a blend, so the bag doesn't have the same stiff structure that my bag has.  I even had to sew in some pieces of leather inside in order to add support.  She also wanted a zipper on top rather than a flap, so I purchased a heavy duty jacket style zipper.  That way it completely zips apart so she can even overstuff it with the kids' clothes, diapers, etc, since the fabric will stretch somewhat.  I had some gray angora scraps, so I felted those into the already existing sweater pocket for a monogram.  We'll see what she thinks!