Woolly Fabric Redo

The focus for this week (actually last week, I’m posting a week behind) is a repurposed fabric rather than a fabric remnant. I have Kay to thank for the idea: she visited my scary sewing room this past weekend and witnessed, first-hand, the hoarding-in-progress that happens in this little den. But she made a comment that stuck in my mind long after Homecoming Weekend was over and she went back down south; she said “Pillows made from old felted sweaters are really popular right now.”

Do I have felted sweaters? Yes, I have a whole bin of them. I opened the sweater equivalent to Davy Jones’ locker and assessed the possibilities.

first, the RED one

The beautiful red sweater had been cannibalized before, about the sleeve area, to make felted roses; all that was left was a vest. I cut it just under the underarms, straight across, and seamed the felted edges, using the sewing machine. As luck would have it, my zipper stash offered up a perfect specimen, right size and color, and the zipper pull had the letters “AG” in a burnished, antiqued metal. I don’t know! After stuffing with a size 18″ x 18″ pillow form (on sale at JoAnn’s), I realized that the sides formed an unattractive bell shape, so I sewed another seam that looked straighter. Then, seeing a plain but sumptuous woolen pillow, I felt prompted to add some needle felting, using wool roving I had left over from another project.

felting tools

The felting table looks like a square-ish scrub brush. You put the woolen fabric over the brush, then drape strips of wool roving in the pattern you want, and punch the roving into the sweater fabric with the felting tool, which looks like a pen with 3 long needles sticking out.

cutting the pillow shape out of the sweater

Next, I found a felted turquoise sweater with a single chain down the center in the stash. Since the chain looked so elegant, I saw no need to embellish any more with roving on this pillow. And I was not as lucky with the zipper; the only one I had that even looked similar was a 10-inch Talon that I’ve had for so long, it says 35 cents on the package. It also says “turquoise” but it looks like robin’s egg blue to me.

ancient zipper

The reason I don’t get stressed-out over zippers as much as I used to, is this narrow zipper foot I bought for my machine: oh, please consider getting one for your ultimate peace of mind! I love this foot.

the good narrow zipper foot


So, as a result, I have a couple of new woolly pillows for winter TV watching and vegetating on the couch. Thanks, Kay, for the great idea!

Snuggle time

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ihavetriedit
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:19:30

    I love making new throw pillows! Great work. I found your blog via “tag-surfer”

    Reply

  2. Ethel Grogan
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 20:06:14

    Those look fab and I hope to try one out soon. ;o} As long as I don’t get naked, the wool won’t bother me. I need to scour the second hand joints for old wool sweaters and make some for my own!

    Reply

    • jenyjenny
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 10:41:14

      Yes, wool is ok to rest the back of your head on, but on bare skin? It would be like wearing the hair shirt and flogging yourself with an old macrame project! 🙂

      Reply

  3. Karen
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 08:17:16

    That was FANTASTIC! What a great way to repurpose sweaters and they are so fun. Great little tutorial there also. Keep creating! 🙂

    Reply

  4. Cubbyholes
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 21:55:53

    I’ve long been wanting to repurpose some of my old sweaters. They no longer fit but the yarn is as soft as butter and I keep them because I can’t bear to just throw that lucious yarn away. One of these days I’ll get around to figuring out how to take them apart. 🙂 Great job on your pillows, they look great!

    Reply

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