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Monday, January 30, 2012

more chopped up sweater fun

The other day little miss walked into the room holding my giant sewing scissors in one hand. "Mama," she says "look what I did!" She had dozens of teeny tiny holes all over her leggings. (And amazingly no cuts on her legs!) (Yes, yes, dada I will keep my scissors away from baby girls.) But clearly, I am influencing her with my chopping of clothes, right?

Dada and I went out the other day on a date. (GASP) We went to our favorite thrift store for most of the time we were out and I found a PILE of lovely soft sweaters to work with.

I have a certain process for working with sweaters.I leave it sitting out on my sewing table for a few days. Staring at me. Taunting me. What to do with you my pretty?? I find myself thinking about the sweater lying in bed at night (my exciting life) imagining the cuts I will make, what I want to create, how to best salvage the most amount of useable fabric.

The first to tackle was my best find - a vintage neon pink cashmere sweater from Neiman Marcus. First, I cut off the sleeves, at a straight cut, to sew into little pants for baby dear. I cut a generous opening down the side of each arm, more room for a big cloth diaper butt, then sew them together. I cut off an edge of one of the other sweaters, a plain tan ribbing, to use for the waist, sewing it together in a zigzag stitch first, making it a good deal smaller than the pants and then gathering the pants as I sew. (Oh Lord, does that make sense at all? I should do pictures one of these days.)

The pants are kind of eh. Super soft but too big for baby this year. Little miss can actually wear them.

Now the fun part. What to do with the rest of the sweater. I simply cut smaller armholes into the side, sewed them up, and sewed off the edges of the little cap sleeves, pulling while I do to make a little ruffly sleeve. SO CUTE. Little miss requested a flower, a heart, and a pocket. She wears it like every other day. So warm and sweet over run of the mill leggings and a shirt.

look mom! i am reading to baby!

So now I take another sweater, used to make the pocket of the pink dress and make leggings that match. Super soft, super stretchy, striped leggings. They are seriously awesome. I want some. And there is plenty left to make baby a matching pair. Then a pixie hat to match, cutting from the ribbing out and up into a point, one seam, and voila, HAT.

Now, to tackle a soft, green, thick, cabled sweater. (Do I need commas there? I think I do.) I wanted to make baby some overall type pants that were thick enough to wear as a diaper cover but soft enough to wear without other pants under.

I think these are probably my best creation to date. The pictures dont really capture how truly - and I use this word with a slight shudder - fetching they are. Seriously, seriously, cute. I used the arms of the sweater and cut a more generous cut along the side, creating pants with a really long inseam (isnt that the right word?) then I took some of the edge where the ribbing is on the bottom of the sweater and cut it out, smaller by several inches than the pants themselves. Next I sewed this piece on, gathering as I went. Then I cut small slits in the side for armholes and hemmed this. Then I added simple buttonholes on the corner edge of the top and sewed little buttons on the front piece. I didnt hem or cut anything for a neckline, just letting the edge of the ribbing stay straight. This is so convoluted. I really shouldve taken pictures. Maybe next time. Because I will be making more of these! So warm and cozy!

Then of course, a little hat, crafted from the shoulder of the sweater (which is just the right shape for a little hat) and then I used the head opening and cut out the shape of a little sweater vest around it. The opening was of course too gape-y for a 4 month old neck so I simply threaded some yarn through as a little draw string to close it, once its over her head.

I love sweater crafting.


  1. I would have to agree. Those are some seriously cute sweater crafts.


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