Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No Sweat!

I have a friend who shares my affinity for Sundance. The catalog, not necessarily the festival, although I am sure neither of us would turn down free tickets (can you hear me, Mr. Redford???)

She also shares my affinity for elf culture, but that is not the point. We both would own a fair amount of the aforementioned catalog’s wares if we happened to be independently wealthy, I am certain. However, we aren’t just yet. We also both happen to have more than a passing desire to see things reused, upcycled and reimagined.

So, some time ago we began delving into the world of thrift-store-sweater-creations. It began as a quest for the ideal fingerless gloves. Like the super-cute and also super-pricey ones in the catalog. Please see “Why My House is a Mess” and “Sweeter Sweater Wreath” for previous projects from this same mountain o’ sweaters.

Let me take a sec. here to mention that although it is September 25th, it was a balmy 95 today. 95! Seriously, Fall??? Are we being punked?

I get it if you think I’ve gone bonkers for working with sweaters in this heat, but stick with me. If the green-circled-coffee-mecca can roll out autumnal delights like the Pumpkin Spice treats, it must be Fall, right? Right? 

"a few comfy sleeves"
So, let’s catch up…we love Sundance, don’t have trust funds, like to be green and bought a pile of sweaters from the thrift store. What now? Well, I’ll tell you! After our initial flurry of stitching, I still was left with a bundle of sweater remnants. My partner in crime suggested I try my hand at boot warmers-a fun and comfy cuff to bridge the space above the boot and around the jeans. I decided to kick it around a little and shelved it in my brain that is as cluttered as my house. Good luck.

I instead made a few bags after finding a few easy online tutorials and essentially running a seam along the bottom of the sweater hem, cutting a deep “V” in the neckline and cutting off the sleeves. There is a striped one I particularly love and use often. You may be able to tell that I love stripes. Juuuust a little bit!

Something (not the weather) spurred me today to revisit the boot warmer. I looked at my pile of sweater sleeves, cast-off middles from the coffee-sleeve-cuff projects and the bags-from-sweater-bodies projects. I took a pair of sleeves from another striped sweater, cut it down and zigzagged the raw edge that would hide inside the boot. I used embroidery floss to whipstitch the top edge in a complementary color.

Next, I folded the top down and secured the sides with a few stitches. I added a few strips of an ivory sweater and tied them in knots-I did take this embellishment from a blog I found on Pinterest. This crafty momma made full leg warmers for her kiddo, and tried several embellishing techniques. I snagged one idea but added it to these shorter cuffs for a grown-up.

Not finished yet, I found a couple of sleeves that had retained their cuffs because they were wider and bell-shaped-not suited to coffee sleeves. The sweater's body had become a very sturdy, felted bag. They just looked like cozy footies on the table, so I chopped the shoulder ends off straight, sewed curved seams into them and trimmed the corners. Two seconds later, Voila! Footies for Mommy!

As soon as my young divas saw my finished footies, they immediately each requested a pair. They spent 20 minutes picking up each sleeve, rubbing them and stretching them, before deciding on the perfect ones. I have been charged with making them each a cozy pair, as well as embellishing them with “something cute” on the sides. That will be tomorrow’s task.

In the midst of all of this comfy-cozy sweater craftiness, the weatherman swears we are supposed to have a 10-degree drop by Friday. All the way down to 85…yikes, I better finish the girls’ footies and my friend’s boot warmers. I’d hate for someone to catch a chill.

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