noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

craft, design, fabric, felt, holiday, projects, sewing

upcycling the sweater

I’ve had the idea of a felted wool wreath rolling around in my head, and scattered around my sewing room for a few weeks now. In the wee hours of the night I put the last stitch into place and here she is.

I think I’ll get a tutorial up, but not until next week, after the holiday. So, here is just a pre-project planning and how to get a project like this started. Make a trip through your local thrift store or your mending pile or your grandma’s house… What you are looking for is 100% wool sweaters (or very close to it) and this is harder than you would think to find. After searching and checking tags on hundreds of sweaters, I found only a few that fit the wool criteria and were good bright colors I liked.

I think I’ll be keeping this one. Thank you thrift store.

I took all tags off, added a few other sweaters that I’ve been saving up and tossed them all into the washing machine.

I set the washing machine to ‘sanitize’ because that was the longest, hottest cycle the machine has.

This is what they looked like after a couple of washes- baby sweaters. In hindsight, I think I could have only washed the sweaters once and gotten a good felted result. I got a little overzealous and kept on washing. The more pure the wool the better the wool felts when you wash it. The orange sweater in the picture was kind of experimental, I liked the color but it wasn’t 100% wool (95% or so with something synthetic as the 5%) but I tried it anyway. It took a lot more washes to really felt up, I think I washed it 5 times on the super hot cycle.

And here the sweaters are now, keeping themselves, the door and the foam on the inside of the wreath warm, and of course looking cute.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving- eat some excellent food, take a nap, read a book, tell a joke, give a hug.

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