Monday, January 6, 2014

Sweater Upcycled to Winter Hat: Beanie Tutorial

Last year I thrifted an angora sweater bearing an--umm, interesting?--print. Someone had kindly felted it for me (I imagine this is what landed the sweater in the thrift store to begin with). I thought it would make cool mittens, but I wanted to find a way to use the large, striped turtleneck. What better than a beanie to go with mittens?

I looked for patterns online, but decided in the end to just do some improvising. I cut the turtleneck off of the sweater, creating a tube of fabric, and slipped it over my head to make sure it would fit. I noted how much excess fabric stuck out above my head and used this estimate as a guide when I did my cutting. I folded the tube in half vertically, then in half vertically again. Starting about 2 1/2" down, I cut the top of the folded fabric to a point. When the fabric was unfolded, the cut created 8 points and looked like a striped crown.

I flipped the tube inside out and sewed the edges of the pointed ends together (see photo below). That was pretty much it! This was a surprisingly quick project. I decided that the hat needed a little extra something, so I made a quick pom pom from coordinating yarn. Here's my lovely sister wearing her new hat:

I'm thinking that the striped cuffs of the sleeves would make excellent cuffs for mittens, and I'll use that crazy print for the bodies of the mittens. Thrift store racks are overflowing with sweaters that their previous owners accidentally washed in hot water or threw into the dryer. They make for fantastic crafting! Felted sweaters can be cut and sewn just like any other fabric without fear of unraveling. Keep an eye out for them. Be creative and enjoy!

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