Save That Sweater!

comments (0) September 4th, 2008     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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Photo: Kayte Terry

The weather might be hot right now, but before you know it, the temperature is going to drop and Fall will be here! I have already started looking at my Fall wardrobe, and I definitely have a few items of clothing that have seen better days, particularly some of my favorite sweaters. Maybe it's moths, maybe it's just wear and tear, but sweaters seem to have a very short shelf-life in my closet.

I get so attached to my favorite pieces of clothing that I start thinking of them as old friends and I can't bear to get rid of them. Plus, as much as I love a new back-to-school wardrobe (even though I am many years beyond school days!), my wallet is looking a little empty lately. The solution? Revamp your old favorites with quick embellishments or recycle a much-loved sweater into a brand-new accessory or home item!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

•Cover a stain or a hole with appliqué: I spilled something on this cute hot-pink sweater and it just wouldn't come out. Instead of tossing the sweater, I just added a cheeky skull and crossbones appliqué and a few sequins. I used felt and hand-sewed the appliqué to the sweater, but you can use any fabric you want and use a machine to sew on the appliqué as well. For a couldn't-be-simpler-no-sew technique, fuse permanent fusible webbing to the back of appliqués and iron them to the sweater as desired.

•Make a pullover a cardigan: Cut a cardigan up the middle and sandwich the raw edges with bias tape. You can either make your own with a bias tape maker or buy bias tape in packages. This technique also works with making long-sleeve sweaters into short sleeves.

•Turn a shapeless old cardigan into a lacey, fitted sweater just like Carrie from Sommer Designs.

•Add trim and a cute removeable pin a la angry chicken. So cute!

•If the sweater is just unsalvageable, cut it up into pieces and felt it! You can use felt scraps for all sorts of great craft projects. To learn how to felt a sweater, check out Diane's great post here. You can make so many things from felted sweaters, from laptop cozies to simple hats and gloves. Get creative!

Happy recycling and happy Fall!

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