Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recycled Sweater -> Hat & Mitten Set

This past Saturday, we hosted the hat & mitten set workshop at the studio. Everybody brought inan old sweater they don't wear anymore (or in Colleen's case, and old sweater that her co-worker doesn't wear anymore). We then turned these old, unwearable sweaters into a much more wearable winter hat & mitten set.

Here is Colleen's before:

(I guess it's not technically her before, as the photo was shot after she cut the sleeves off to use for her project...)

What then happened was really pretty simple:

First make a pattern. You are going to trace one hand on a piece of paper with the thumb at a 30-degree angle from the fingers. Draw a mitten shape around the outline of the hand, adding 1/2 inch. 

Next, cut out the pattern and pin it onto both layers of the sweater. Cut out the pattern to create two mitten shapes.

Now, with right sides facing, pin the mitten cutouts together, then with a sewing machine, sew them together, leaving a 1/4-seam allowance. Begin sewing at the cuff along the outside edge of the mitten, making sure not to stretch the fabric. For smooth curves, pick up the foot, and rotate the mitten as you sew.

Finally, to prevent fraying, sew around the mitten again, leaving a 1/8-inch seam allowance. Turn the mitten right-side out, and press. Repeat these steps for the second mitten.

Now for the hat, we did use a pattern, but it's a super simple one that I wound up finding online. The hat uses four panels that look like this:

Here are the directions I found on craftstylish.com.  I used these instructions to make my pattern and my first hat. 

"To determine the width of your panels, divide the head circumference by 5, then add 1 inch for seam allowance (1/2 inch each side). My head measures 22 inches around, so dividing it by 5 gave me 4.4, which I rounded up to 4-1/2. Adding 1 inch gives me 5-1/2 inches. Add 1 inch to your length measurement. Mine was 8-1/2 inches, so I have 9-1/2 inches for my total length."
But what I found is that depending on how much stretch you have in your felted sweater, you may not need all five panels. I have a pretty big melon and only used 4 panels of this size, sewn together.
So that said, you are going to put your first two panels together with rights sides facing. Sew from the bottom edge up to the point using a 1/2" seam allowance. Do the same with two more panels. Now put your doubled panels together with right sides facing and sew half of the rainbow together. At this point, try it on and determine if four will suffice or if you need another panel. If it's big enough to fit your noggin, continue sewing the rainbow. If you need the 5th panel, sew that to the series of four and finally sew up the remaining seams so you have what looks like a hat.
As you can see from Colleens photo, she decided to fold up the edge of the hat and it fit her perfectly. A couple of other students (sorry I don't have photos)ended up folding the extra edge in and stitching it down. If you decide to do this, be careful not to stretch as you sew or it looks pretty stretched out once you are done. You could even try hand sewing the edge under to prevent this from happening, we found.

1 comment:

bred said...

Recycle the fabric or refashioning of clothes always makes some new and unique things. I always searching for such posts where i can get the useful new stuff. Thanks for your nice co-operation.
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