Recently, I have been interested in trying to felt wool sweaters. I have a handful of projects that I would like to try someday soon, but thought I would first experiment with felting on a very small scale. I found a wonderful XL mens wool sweater from a thrift store and felted it a few weeks ago. Since then it has been sitting in a fabric bin under my bed begging to be used. If you have never felted wool sweaters, there are millions of resources out there on the ol' Internet. You basically wash and dry the wool sweater (100% wool) with HOT water until is shrinks up and will not longer unravel when you cut into it. I had to wash mine twice until it got to this point. It is lovely to cut into--so thick and easy to work with! Your scissors will love cutting into this fabric! I think mine may have actually winked at me in happiness.
This project is really very easy and is fairly self-explanatory, but I would like to encourage non-sewists to give sewing a try with my little blog. So to that end, I thought I would write up a simple little tutorial for all you new-to-sewing folks. This is a great starter project because you don't need a sewing machine!
First off, gather your materials. You will need a onesie, a felted wool sweater, a cookie-cutter or template for the shape you will be cutting out, scissors, embroidery floss (found at an fabric store/Walmart/Joanne Fabrics, etc) and a needle.
Once you have your supplies together, use your cookie cutter to cut the shape out of the sweater. I am planning on using this sweater for other projects, so I made sure to cut out of a little corner of the sweater to save the rest of the fabric for later.
You'll have to excuse the quality of these photos. They were taken at night with a crappy camera and bad lighting. You get the idea. Next up, lay the shape (in my case, a heart) where you want it on the onesie, thread your needle with the embroidery floss color of your choosing and start sewing around the outside edge. I then added some "flair" and did some quick rustic-looking stiches around the outside of the heart with different colored threads. It is hard to tell from the picture, but I also sewed all through the middle of the heart just to make it more stable. The photo at the top will give you the best idea of the stitching that I did.
Then ta-da! You are done! You may want to wash it on a delicate cycle to keep everything stable, but I am not that kind of a gal. I tested the onesie by washing it with all my other clothes and it turned out just fine. As long as you felted your sweater well before cutting and sewing, it shouldn't continue to shrink.
I am planning on pairing this shirt with a pair of the (many) handmade leggings that I enjoyed sewing up a few months ago. Yes, I am fairly obsessed with making leggings right now. So damn easy, quick and satisfying.
Hopefully I can post a picture of this little babe of mine wearing his/her new onesie SOON. This little SURPRISE (!!) baby of ours is going to be so well-loved. I can't wait to hold him/her in my arms, look at those sure-to-be brown eyes and say, "you are mine." And then lose sleep for the next year.