Making Fabric and Yarn with Sweaters

Lesson 3 of 6

How to Make Felted Flowers

 

Making Fabric and Yarn with Sweaters

Lesson 3 of 6

How to Make Felted Flowers

 

Lesson Info

How to Make Felted Flowers

So let's talk about these recycled flowers I have been making these for a bazillion years and I use them for all different kinds of things. I have a version of these in my book this is one project this is a mirror that I made for my daughter's room that uses these flowers made from felted sweater knits just by the hundreds and I have used these to put on tops of packages I've made bunting with them I have decorated pillows with them you can turn them into a pen for a jacket so there's just there's one hundred different ways to make them and a hundred different ways to use them so that's what we're going to make can it do you want to make one of these with me? Would you like to me? Yeah are someone which is the main way maybe we could have one of our studio audience members his game rosalie come on. Thank you. Thank you. You really mean it. I'm going to start this off and I'm gonna let you cut this a little bit so that we can show them how we're kit with them cutting I thought it was a ...

friend of a friend I know it is a friend of a friend that's, right? So when we're cutting this, we're just going to cut close to the seams on either side because we're making usable fabric again and you want to get as much as you can, so a sharp pair of fabric scissors is very helpful and I just turn it inside out and if you want to just start cutting along there I cut off the rib but I saved the rib and I'll show you guys sort of how we go about making the flowers were so sharp sharp scissors air like the coolest thing ever. So do any of you guys use felted sweaters for anything you do? What do you use it for? Oh yeah that's a great idea tees and I've seen him for like, fingerless close yeah cowell's purse that's about this I didn't make it myself but super cute. Yeah, yeah it's really sturdy fabric I mean, you can feel this how thick it is it's really sturdy, really strong. So to make these felted recycled flowers what you're going to need in addition to your sweat earn it is you're going to need a rotary cutter which is essentially a razor blade around razor blade on a stick. And, um, any size that works for you is totally fine, but I would just every time you put it down please close the handle so that you don't graze your hand and if you see me not closing it, you feel free to call me out and I actually keep scissors in a couple of different sizes, so I'll do like a large size and a small size perfect now you have to we can cut that up so you're also good in and grab this ruler here it's really helpful to have one of these clear quilting rulers, but any yard stick will d'oh because the beauty of these is that once you make them you can make them in any size it doesn't really you can make them without a ruler, it doesn't matter but to get you started it's really good to make a ruler very nice. Yeah, well, so this is what you're creating your cutting away the ball, the scenes you're cutting off the rib and I actually saved the rib because you could you can actually make a tiny version of these flowers with the rib, and I'll show you how to do that. They're really best when they're all different sizes it's supplies so a fabric marking pen is really helpful. It doesn't have to be a disappearing marking pin, but I'll tell you what I like to use is these are called friction pins you can get them at the office supply store and they disappear the marks disappear with the heat of an iron, so even though you wouldn't really see these marks, it would still be nice to have it disappear and you can use a sewing machine you're only going to sew one scene so you can use a sewing machine or you can hand stitch with just a needle and thread and then you're finishing items do you want to turn it into a pin? Do you want to pin it to a tote bag? Do you want to sew it onto a pillow? You decide I've also added wire stands to the back of these to make flowers for a base because my cat likes real flowers and these don't get eaten by my cat and so yeah that's about it that's all you need for these so let's you and I make one and well we'll show him have done so we're just going to cut us a rectangle of fabric and I give a rough measurement of like three inches by eleven but feel free to vary this you can make him I would make a much smaller at first then are much narrower than three inches but you could make him a little shorter or whatever and so I'm gonna let you use this all right? And you need a rotary cutter give me that by doing it out of it. Yeah, I just pick a panel and then cut a rectangle about three inches by eleven or so soon I wanna cut it like this yeah yeah there you go and I'm gonna cut this yes. So she's cutting from the sweater sleeve and I'm actually cutting from the rib of a sweater. This particular sweater had a really large rib and it actually ended up making this big flower. So this is kind of fun, and then I'm gonna grab this way. It's that sharp enough for it? That was pretty cool tear ray it's pretty sure I'm putting the cover on. Thank you don't have to find you now. Awesome. Okay, so you have your strip, I have my strip. So now what you're going to do is full bed in half lengthwise, so you gonna fold in half lengthwise and then we're gonna stitch you want to use the machine? Or do you want to do hand stitching? Because you can do it either way all used the machine. Ok, so you're just going to stitch straight across, right five this open edge? Yes, just it doesn't really matter. Yeah, I don't need to do back so anything just stood just just go for it and I'm going to make a version where I don't actually fold it over. I'm going to leave it open, so I'll show you how that works next way to push down harder so this it could easily be done with the hand sewing needle and thread her sisters, her hiding them perfect okay, so you have yours you want to show them what that looks like so we're ready to move on to the next up someone like you used those so what you're going to do next is cut into the short side and I'll show you how I do that I cut make little cuts into it going almost all the way to the stitching the not on the radio all the way across yet and then I'm going to do a version that does it it's not folded over so I'm going to I'm going toe stop cutting like about a half an inch from the edge and just cut in one edge you see that all the way across that makes sense you see what I'm doing there? So that's what's really cool about using the rib is that you've kind of got um I mean if he really wanted to be really as precise as possible that's when you would use here pin to draw the line that you stitch on and then you could draw the line that you cut into but you certainly don't have tio that's what's fun about these flowers they're just really free form I've done I've taught these two kids and so kids really like to do it because there's just there's not a lot of steps and you can really customize them a lot that's good okay, yeah there we go, there's fine, so we're done and I have this edge. So now all you need to do it with your hand sewing needle and thread give you one just looks better than mine. It does, you know? So now you're just going to roll it and you're going to take the edge that you didn't cut into our son. I'm eternally right this way and you're going to start to roll, so I've rolled up a little bit right there and I'm just going to take a little stitch just to hold this in place and then in a roll a little more stitch a little bit more and you could use a matching threat if you you won't really see the back, but if you wanted tio, are we racing? You might wait. Yeah, so just keep on sewing and that's kind of what you're ending up with. So this is the basic idea and you fan it out and glued onto lovely thrift store mirror like we did for my daughter's room. Let me show you a version that's got the contrast middle the contrast middle in here because that one spent two always a different color for that one any tricks to finishing it off once, you know, just you finish this, you finish sewing the little stitches, keep going around and you finish that. Then if you want. Tio, I was going to show this. If you want to add a pin back or something like that, you literally just stitch that down. This is just a safety pin, but I have stitched down on the back. See competitive to something. The back ends up being pretty flat just because of the way that you are doing it. I think I have a project in my book where we actually glued several of these onto, just like a piece of cardboard. So you have this little bouquet on your lapel there's. Endless ways to customize this. And then the mirror that I did for my daughter, we just hot glued these on, and then I cut thie, um, leaves out of some other sweater felt and we just plead him on all the way around. And then we got crazy and started adding little bunches of yarn in there, so yeah, they look kind of pretty when they're all together, the more you make of them. The cuter they are nice. Thank you so much for joining me. So here's rosa lease. So hers has the folded edges. Really cute. Yeah.

Class Description

Over time sweaters can lose their shape and their appeal, but through felting and yarn-making they can find a new purpose. In Making Fabric and Yarn with Sweaters, you’ll learn how to transform old tops into new and useful goods.

Blair Stocker is committed to bringing new meaning to old stuff. In this class, she’ll teach you two ways to transform old sweaters. First you’ll learn about felting – Blair will teach you how to:

  • Assess the potential of the fabric
  • Turn your wool sweater into felting fabric
  • Shape felt into flowers

You’ll also learn how to disassemble a sweater and turn it back into yarn. You’ll learn how to:

  • Unravel a sweater to preserve length
  • Handle the materials so they are easy to reuse
  • Get started on your next project with a simple crochet stitch

Not only is reusing existing materials good for the environment, it is also a great way to unwind and relax. Blair will offer tips on managing the process so it’s fun, mellow, and produces raw materials you’ll be excited to create with again.

Reviews

Carol Willyn Maple
 

I just love learning new ideas for craft projects. I wish I had known about this when I ruined all those wool sweaters in the wash. I could have made felted flowers. The reason I wanted to watch initially was to learn how to unravel sweaters to save money on yarn.