Monday, February 16, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday: recycling sweaters


Oh, this is so awesome.  My mother showed up with the coolest pair of mittens.  There was something very nice and warm and friendly about those mittens.   She told me that the local homeschoolers in her area were selling these mittens that they made out of recycled sweaters.

So, sure enough, I went out and bought some cheap sweaters and tried it.  Here is the first mitten!


Booties anyone??
Here is another sweater after I cut it up.  Sorry I don't have a BEFORE picture.  (Some projects are so yummy that I forget to take a before photo!)

The procedure of making mittens from a sweater.  First, select wool sweaters.  If you can not find wool, you may need to serge the edges of the pieces immediately after cutting them out. 
The pink mittens and booties were from a wool sweater (above) and the striped fabric (below) was acrylic.  I was able to do the acrylic, but wool is best.

When you buy the sweaters, wash them in hot water and dry them in the dryer.  This should shrink them up a lot.  It is a great procedure called: felting.  Felting makes the little fibers of the sweater mangle up together so they don't ravel. 

To make the mitten, I laid out the existing mitten on a piece of grocery bag and traced it for a pattern.  (Maybe I should publish a pattern?) 

All the pieces were cut out from the sweater "fabric" and duplicate pieces were cut from fleece for a lining.

 Everything is sewn on a sewing machine.  It took me about 5 minutes to make a mitten--fast!!  (especially compared to knitting!)

The lining is made from polar fleece.  It really is nice to line the mittens, hats, socks etc, so the seams of the mitten do not show.



Hey, Rockford locals, I hear ShareStuff thrift store has all of their winter clothing for $1.00 starting today!  I know what my relatives are getting for gifts next year! 

and my friends..
and my newest friends..
and perfect strangers....

For more tackles, visit 5 minutes for mom. 

23 comments:

Mrs. Parunak said...

Oh, that is so cool. What a brilliant idea.

Rina said...

Wow, that's really great! I especially like that idea for little booties.

Krista said...

I'm going "home" to Rockford to visit a friend on Friday...where is ShareStuff? I don't remember that place & I'd love to check out the deals. (if you've left any, that is!) :)

Robyn said...

Oh great idea!! I'm going to remember this next time someone calls to want to come pick up my old clothes for charity! I think I'll keep a few sweaters to try this on. Great job!

Marni's Organized Mess said...

Wow! Great idea!

Angie said...

Oh my goodness! I love this! Way too cool!

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

Now, THAT'S a great tackle! I'm always impressed with people who can make such amazing transformations. So much fun!

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

Now, THAT'S a great tackle! I'm always impressed with people who can make such amazing transformations. So much fun!

L2L said...

Oooh, we just might have to try that as the weather is getting a bit chilly again here. I hate to buy hats and mittens here as the weather doesn't stay very cold for very long but we have tons of sweater that don't even get used!!!!! I'll let you know how it turns out!! Thanks for sharing

Faith - That's Just Freaking Lovely said...

I'm all for finding new ways to recycle and reuse things. What a cool idea!

FromThe Creek said...

That was really cool!

Susie said...

That's an awesome crafty tackle:-)

shopannies said...

this is great my mother owns a local consignment shop and often gets overburdened with sweaters. Now i know what to do with them! Thanks for sharing this great idea

Jeanette "Frogster" said...

Those are awesome! I love repurposing things!

itsahumanzoo said...

That is so cool! I've heard of people buying sweaters and unwinding them to make new yarn, that's a little too involved for me, but this seems like something I could do!

The Boojes said...

$1?? I'm jealous! I'm totally in the market for cashmere and merino sweaters...making baby things, you know! The mittens are a great idea. I might have to expand my horizons someday!

The Masked Mommy said...

So cute! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

yahoo..i can do this! great idea! thank your mother for us!

Molly Green said...

This is SO great! We linked to your post from www.Econobusters.com Would you mind if we added the picture of the glove/mittens/scarf to our post? You can see it at www.Econobusters.com

molly at econobusters dot com

Rebecca said...

I love it! My 11 year old really likes to sew things for her friends and this is a perfect project. Wool mittens are the warmest. Could you elaborate a little more on how to put the fleece lining in "so the seams don't show" as you put it. Do you line them at the same time as you sew the mitten together or put them in separately? Thanks!

Kris said...

I love this! Do you have a pattern? I'm not a sewer, but you make it sound so easy. :)

His Special Kids' Families said...

I love this! If you think you can post a pattern, it would be a blessing.:-)

Julie said...

When you sew it, do you leave the bottom unsewed and then turn it right side out, and slip stitch the lining/sweater bottom together?