Sunday, March 29, 2015

#2 Felted Sweater Tote Tutorial

Here I am again. It's been longer than I had wanted to. But life is busy with work, school and projects around the house. In my last post, I mentioned that I wanted to write a second tutorial for a 2nd thrifted sweater. I hope that this will give yet another idea on how many different styles this project can be adapted to. All you need is an old sweater and your creativity. So here we go again...

I started with a natural fiber sweater. 
Smokey Bones is ensuring that both quality, and softness, is adequate for our good friend C...

I purchased this sweater from ARC Thrift Shop on 'half-off' day, the tag reads 60% Alpaca, 40% lambswool. A bargain for sure!

The sweater has GREAT colors and an AWESOME pattern, but it sat on the rack for quite a while due to one obvious problem; behold the 'holey sweater'...there were a total of 6 in the top! :-(

I repeated the washing process from my previous felted tote and I washed it and dried it twice. Smokey Bones approved of the felting quality...

Here I used chalk to outline my main shape and cut away the sleeves and can see how the felting has made the fibers matt tightly. We like it! ^__^ 

 Shape cut. Can you spot the holes? Hint: 3 are visible here.
Yep. Those moths had a party and this sweater was the main course! ^__^

I used one of the sleeves to cut my tote's bottom...

...I turned the sweater inside out, and pinned the bottom in place (right side to right side).

When I sewed the bottom, I made sure to exclude the holes that where on the waistline. I then turned it right side you can see one of the holes on the waistline was too high, so I could not exclude him. I hand stitched IT by one, they all had to go. Who wants a tote with holes? :-)

Now, the fun part. Embellishments. I used tape -and a pill bottle- to draw and cut circular shapes (out of scraps from my previous tote project - nothing gets tossed and all gets recycled around here).

I then cut some V shapes (randomly around the felt circle) and I rounded up the corners to resemble petals. I cut 4 of those disks in different sizes, and I cut a few shapes to resemble stylized leaves too.

I laid them on the tote bag, to decide placement...

...I then got two recycled buttons and I used them to secure the center of the stacked flowers. I also secured the bottom flower to the tote with a few stitches. The top flower is left 'floating'.

I then secured the leaves stitching around their perimeter...

To give an extra pop of color (as well as draw a more organic shape) I used a contrasting thread color to stitch the 'spine' of the leaves.

It turned out pretty cute I think.

Here is the handbag finished.

And here it is in all its FILLED glory :-) 

I hope that C. will like it and find good uses for it. I truly do love the colors and pattern of this sweater, so I feel pretty good about having given it a new life.