Friday, January 11, 2013

Upcycled Cashmere Scarves

Well, it would seem that the New Year brought the flu to our house.  Tommy and I spent most of last week bundled up on the sofa watching 24, and definitely not doing anything productive, like fun projects.  That same week, I sent my camera with my sister-in-law on her honeymoon, so I couldn't even share my photos of the bouquets I made for her wedding!  Never fear, there are plenty of posts coming soon.

This is a guest post by my Mom, Janet.  She also guest wrote a series last fall about how she made my wedding dress.  I definitely got my love of projects from her!  She does a lot of sewing projects, but she's done her fair share of house projects over the years, too.

I got inspiration for this project from a lovely scarf a friend of mine had on.  It was made from several strips of wool sweaters sewn together and had a swirl of wool roving felted onto it.

I shopped for several months for nice wool sweaters at the thrift stores.  I looked for 100% wool, especially falling in love with the cashmere ones.  Stains or holes weren't a problem, because I could cut around them!  I collected up with 7 sweaters before it got too close to Christmas and I needed to get sewing.  Some had attractive hems, which I tried to incorporate (see the red one).

Once I got them home, I machine washed and dried all the sweaters so they ‘did’ whatever they were going to do (shrink, pill, run).  This way, they'll at least be hand-washable in the future, saving the owners from dry cleaning bills.

I cut the sweaters apart at the side seams then sliced them into long strips.  


I mixed and matched the strips to get cute combinations of colors and textures.

I used my serger to sew everything back together.  I set the serger for a short stitch length and a wide stitch width, and used two spools of wooly nylon serger thread and one spool of regular thread in the needle (my machine uses three spools of thread at once).  For painless thread changes, tie off each thread to the color you have in the serger, and gently pull it through.

First I sewed the strips end-to-end, aiming for a total length of 60"-70".  It looked a lot cuter when I sewed them together at angles, and also made the scarves drape nicer.

Then I sewed the strips together lengthwise.  Once each seam was started, I gently pulled the fabric lengthwise, creating tension along the edge I was stitching. This helped to ruffle the seam allowance, or as they call it in the manual, “lettuce edge”.  However, be very careful not to stress the needle and break it or the thread! 

I managed to turn the 7 sweaters into 10 scarves.  The very last scarf was compiled from all the scraps, and liked it the best!  Have fun with it!

This was an easy, fun way to upcycle high-quality sweaters into beautiful scarves.  The project took most of an afternoon, but I did make nice gifts for all my favorite gals!

Thanks Mom!!!

1 comment:

  1. You are so creative in turning sweaters into beautiful scarves. Thanks for sharing your talent to us.


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