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Month: November 2017

Sweater-vember: Thrift Store Sweater Challenge

Sweater-vember: Thrift Store Sweater Challenge

One of our favorite aspects of cold weather is getting to wear warm and cozy sweaters! This year, Brittany scoured Goodwill and rummage sales for unique sweaters for our sweater challenge! The result was a fun fall photo-shoot with creative and wearable sweater combinations.

Challenge accepted!

The sweater vest!

My favorite thing about this sweater vest was the fact that it buttoned up. The buttons made it more unique and wearable than sweater vests that are pullovers. The wool fabric was warm but not too thick. When thick knit sweater vests bunch, the result can be ugly and uncomfortable.  This sweater vest passed the cute bunchy test.

The Button-up Vintage Sweater!

The triangle buttons and geometric pattern on this vintage sweater made it the perfect statement piece for a holiday outfit. Straight out of the 1980’s, it’s a party waiting to happen! Thanks to Auntie Mug for the *perfect* earrings to go with it!

The Teddy Bear Sweater from the 90s!

When I first saw this sweater, I wasn’t sold. I haven’t worn anything with a teddy on it since I was 7, but I was pleasantly surprised. The sweater fit like a dream and with the right accessories, I was able to add some edge to this patriotic bear from Ralph Lauren. (I love wearing this with light blue lipstick for a grunge look.)

The Holiday Red Sweater!

 You can’t go wrong with a ruby sweater. The buttons really caught Brittany’s eye and gave this classic more personality. (Vintage REI!) The great thing about a solid colored sweater is that it can go with a variety of patterns. Brittany tucked this sweater into the skirt for a relaxed but dressy look.

Classic Christmas Sweater!

Time for some fashion tips from Grandpa. I paired this sweater with a tweed cap and plaid scarf to play up the classic look. My yoga pants and boots made for a comfy, easy pairing.

No Place Like Home Sweater!

Brittany decided to go preppy with this cute wool sweater. The boxy fit of the sweater played nicely with skinny jeans and knee high boots. She added a cloche hat to play up the English countryside vibe.

Mission Completed! Let the cold weather come!

We hope you enjoyed our post and have been inspired to find your own unique winter sweaters! Happy Thrifting!

Sweater-vember: Sweater Stuffies Part 2

Sweater-vember: Sweater Stuffies Part 2

I’m loving these sweater stuffies so much, that I just had to make more! This time, I experimented with ways to simplify the design so that sewing was minimized but cuteness was maximized. What animal takes cuteness and fuzziness to the max? Lil’ stuffed kitties, of course! 🙂

My first design was basically a circle-shaped pillow with ears and a tail. I used more of the cashmere sweater remnants that I had used in the last post. I traced a bowl to create circles, then sketched out a pattern for ears and a tail. After cutting out two circles, two ear patterns, and one tail, I was ready for pinning and sewing!

 

 

First, I stitched the tail piece into a tube and turned it right-side-out.

 

I then pinned the tail so that it pointed into the inside of the circle. The edge of the tail would then get stitched into the seam going around the circle. Once the circle was turned right-side-out, the tail would stick out from the side of the cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the pieces pinned, it was time for sewing! I used scraps of sweater to test which size of zig-zag stitch worked the best on the fabric. I left the straight edge of the ears open and also left an ear-sized gap in the stitching around the circle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horray! It was time to turn the pieces right-side-out, admire the tail we had created, and get to stuffing!

 

 

Next, it was time to attach the ears to the body. I first rolled under the open edges of the circle and pinned them into place. Next, I inserted the ears into the hole and sandwiching the ears between the edges of the circle. I pinned it all in place and hand-stitched the pieces together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for some detailing! I folded the tail onto the back of the body and top-stitched it into place. Then, I added adorable buttons for a face! I christened the kitty “Meow Cat”! 🙂

 

Now for one more cat design! I started by cutting out two bowling pin-like body pieces. Then I cut one ear and one tail piece from the ribbed bottom and cuffs of the sweater. Since the ribbed sections were thick and stiff enough on their own, I didn’t have to cut two of each piece and stitch them together. The ears and tail were thick enough as one layer.

 

 

I pinned the two body pieces together, inserting the tail piece into the cat’s body and pinning it into the seam area (just like I did for the first cat). I left a gap in the pins at the top of the “head.” Since this was a new thickness of sweater fabric, I experimented with stitch size before sewing up the body.

I sewed up the body leaving the opening at the top of the head. I made a few tiny snips in the extra material at the edge of the seams. I did this to help the curved seams lay flatter when the body was turned right side out. After turning the body right-side-out, I added stuffing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I rolled under the open edges and pinned them in place. I inserted the ears into the gap and sandwiched all the pieces together. The layers were pretty thick, so I pinned them as well as I could. I also pinched the pieces in place while I hand stitched everything closed.

 

After adding buttons for a face, we had a kitty! Introducing “Orange Cat”!

 

The sweater stuffies are besties already! 🙂 Huggable, fuzzy adorableness, just in time for the holidays! Happy sweater-ing! 🙂

 

Sweater-vember: Sweater Stuffies Part 1

Sweater-vember: Sweater Stuffies Part 1

I have been hoarding old wool sweaters ever since discovering the many uses for shrunken, “felted” sweater fabric! One of my favorite uses for the softest remnants are stuffed animals! 🙂 The very idea thrills my inner kid, and since I have some youngins on my Christmas list, I got to stitchin’!

I love using sleeves for stuffies, since the sleeves are usually left over after bigger projects (like the sweater pillows in the last post!). The tube shape of the sleeve also provides you with part of the shape for the creature. For this project, I started off with the tapered arm of a once-loved-and-accidentally-shrunk cashmere sweater. (It’s ok, it came from Goodwill in the first place, and will now have a new life.)

 

As you can see in the picture, I used the tapered cuff on one sleeve for what will be legs. I first turned the sleeve inside out. Then, I folded the sleeve in half and pinned it, cut down the center fold, curved the “feet” ends, and pinned the “legs” closed for sewing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, it was time to sew! I experimented with my sewing machine to see which stitch and stitch size allowed the seams to lay the flattest. I used a zig zag stitch and needles for knit fabric. After sewing, I turned the fabric right side out, and we had legs!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, it was time to stuff! I used my fingers to push the stuffing into the legs first and then into the rest of the “body.” Once those were stuffed, I rolled the raw edge of the opening closed and pinned it in place. We will come back to the body in a minute…

 

 

Now to turn our attention briefly to the topic of ears. See how I had only used part of the sleeve to make the body? I used some of the remaining upper arm section of the sleeve to make the ears. I measured off 2 inches using a ruler and fabric chalk. Starting at the mid point of that section, I drew one ear shape with the chalk. This ear, once cut out, was then the template for the other. I cut the ears out, pinned ’em closed at the curves, and stitched the curves closed. I left the straight edge open for stuffing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I stitched and then turned the ears ride side out. I pushed in a little bit of stuffing, and it was time to attach the ears to the body! I inserted the un-stiched opening of the ears into the opening of the body (the part where we had rolled the edges and pinned.) Once the ears were sandwiched between the edges of the body, I pinned the sandwich in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hand stitched the opening closed and was left with most of the body of a bear! He just needed some detailing… Using chalk, I marked out mirrored “L” shapes at the bear’s sides. I hand stitched through the bear’s body along these “L’s,” pulling the thread tight so that the stitched lines created the indented outline of arms. (I later added a bit more length to the “L’s,” which resulted in the look of square hands at the end of the arms.)

 

The last step was selecting and stitching on buttons for a face! I christened the newly-made stuffie “Bearly” and set him to work reading bear stories! 🙂 He seemed right at home.

 

Soon after, I made Bearly a bunny friend with a very similar design. (The main difference was longer ears.) Funny Bunny joined the sweater stuffie ranks and will soon be accompanied by sweater kitties! Stay tuned!