Thursday, December 18, 2014

#DIY Upcycling: Sweaters

Continuing on in my decluttering and reducing efforts, I'm moving on to sweaters.  Kid sweaters, my sweaters (I don't really mess with hubby's clothes, but there's probably a few that I could get rid of on his side of the closet, too.)

You know when sweaters are done. They get all pill-y; and sure, you could shave and pick off all those little bits of worn yarn, but at some point, it's just too much.  They get too small, either lengthwise, widthwise, or you washed or dried it in too hot a temperature.  You get tired of that same old sweater that you've had for 5 years.  Your kid never really liked it anyway, but you did and its still a really good sweater.  All sweaters come to an end. Or at least their end as that original sweater.

Now with my pile of sweaters, I came up with a few ideas to re-use, up-cycle, and of course, donate.  These are simple, not a lot of sewing, no pattern necessary type stuff, because really who has time for all of that?  You can get really fancy, but if you're like me, anything too intensive will end up in the "to do one day" pile, further adding to your clutter.  These can all probably be done in less than a half hour while you're watching TV, then you'll happily say "ta-da!" and can go enjoy your new thing.

Make a cool new cowl.  For that sweater that you love the color or the stitch design, but just have fallen out of love with it as a sweater.  My such sweater was a cozy fuchsia, which I've had a couple winters.  It was getting pill-y, and I was in denial, only to be reminded every time I put it on.  Before reconsidering again, I cut off the bottom, ran a quick hem around the cut edge so it wouldn't unravel, and ta-da - a cozy new cowl in a great color.
Very little sewing - cut off the bottom of a sweater for a new cowl.

Make cozies for your coffee cup.  Save the environment, have a cool little coffee cup, save yourself the $5 these things cost in the trendy boutiques.  Cut off a sweater sleeve, about 3-5" in length.  Hem it so it doesn't unravel, embellish if you wish.  Ta-da. The envy of all your coffee-drinking friends.
Cut the sleeve off an old sweater for a cute coffee cup cozy.

Embellish and make it new again.  Being the practical mom, I bought my daughters basic, good quality cardigans from Lands End. Being the stylish, cool girls, they thought the sweaters looked like school uniforms and shoved them in the back of the closet, but then complained that they didn't have any sweaters.

I found a dress in their closet that one had outgrown and the other would by the time it came in season again with pretty little ruffles on it.  So I carefully cut off the ruffles, then sewed them onto the hem and sleeves of the sweater.  Ta-da! Cute new, ruffly sweater!
Find embellishments from other too-small clothes to dress up a plain sweater.
This requires the most sewing of all these projects.  I did it on a machine, but you could easily do it by hand while sitting at [whatever] practice waiting on the kids.  You could also add flowers or bows or other pretty things, also from other worn out or too-small clothes.  There's a belt on the dress that I think would be cute worn with the sweater, too in that Michelle Obama belt & sweater look that I can't quite pull off, but my daughter probably could.

Of course, there are many other ideas out there on Pinterest. Check out my favorites on my Reuse * Recycle *Upcycle *DIY board.

What are some of your best ideas for re-using a sweater?

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