Sunday, September 30, 2007

recycled sweater applique tutorial

i find all different kinds of sweaters at local thrift stores
but i've found the best ones in Michigan.
each sweater speaks to me.
different languages for different colors, materials, styles.

today it is the purple angora lambswool gap sweater i found at the VOA in Lansing. [best thrift store ever]

a few years ago i found a few yards of this beautiful printed chiffon at a fabric store. the entire bolt was on sale for incredibly cheap, so i bought the entire thing, which turned out to be about 2 yards. it's been sitting in my fabric bin, and i have found the perfect thing to do with it.

applique to purple sweater. here is my process.

after cutting the parts of the pattern that i want to applique to sweater, i pin it and baste it before sewing with the machine. basting is very important, as it makes it easier to sew with the machine, keeping the fabric from moving and shifting.

basting is simply sewing the fabric by hand very loosely to the garment, temporarily of course. you can also baste with the sewing machine, if you want to save a bit of time. setting the stitches as far apart as possible. i personally prefer to baste by hand, i find the stitches easier to take out afterwards.

materials for pinning and basting. cheap cheap white thread [or another contrasting color for visibility purposes], pins, small baby scissors.

after basting, you're ready to use the sewing machine! choose your thread. i chose brown so that it would blend in with the chiffon, but it's always fun to use a nice bright contrasting thread!

how you sew the piece to the garment is completely up to you. i chose to follow the pattern as closely as possible. because this is such an interesting print, i want to go back and outline it with hand-embroidery. chiffon comes apart very easily, so the stitches are very close together. i like the straight stitch, but the jagged stitch is also very effective, if you want that look.

be sure to secure the thread on the inside of the sweater, after sewing with machine. if you went back over your stitches, then you can simply cut the thread. otherwise you can bring the thread in front to the back using a seam-ripper. tie them in a knot to secure.

after sewing the fabric on with the machine, you can cut out the basting stitches. using a seam-ripper or small scissors. i prefer small scissors, especially when you have delicate fabric like chiffon. cut in increments. less pulling and tugging.

i cut the fabric around the stitching, for a nice clean finished look. please be careful when doing this. i like to use my little baby scissors [very sharp and precise], helps me have more control, so i don't accidentally cut the stitches or sweater. big clunky scissors = big no no.

i hold the fabric that i'm cutting. makes it very easy.

finished product! i'll be adding a bit more to this sweater, so stay tuned for updates!

any questions?


Ruth said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. The purple shade is SOOOO pretty. This is such a good use of used sweaters, and then enhancing them with careful craftsmanship and gorgeous fabric. I really love it. Are you going to post it on Etsy?

And where, little girl, did you learn all this? Teach yourself from books?

Rauf said...

The purple is just lovely, Ruth's comment helped me to identify the colour Lesley.
What you wear contributes to your state of mind.
Even a monkey like me feels happy wearing some t shirts.

your instructions don't seem to come from a young mind. That speaks of your confidence. You have already gained so much experience at such a young age.

don't know when i am going to post pictures of hand embroidary Pardon my spelling, i always copy spelling from Ruth. All my pictures are lying in cold storage Lesley.

Rauf said...

Lesley, please check Sewmouse blog

Ginnie said...

Soooooo fun and creative, Ms. Lesley! That's YOU! And how sweet of you to show us everything you do, step by step. :)

lesleyanne said...

thank you mama!! yes, i think i'll try to sell this one on Etsy. i'm going to try to get some more sweaters out before it starts getting really cold.

i learned from myself! haha, no i was also taught a lot of this at CCS, in my fibers classes. a lot from just trial and error, and also a lot from teachers and fellow students.

lesleyanne said...

and thank YOU Rauf! i know exactly what you mean, i feel so much energy when i'm wearing something colorful, or something that i love. i am so envious that you live in such a colorful country. i always admire the photos you take! so much color and culture. i am so inspired by India.

get those pictures out of cold storage! i want to see this hand embroidery. maybe one day i'll visit you and be taught authentic Indian embroidery by the natives.

lesleyanne said...

and thank you for the link! looks like an interesting blog.

lesleyanne said...

thank you Aunt Boots! it's fun to teach others. i really enjoy it. i invited a new friend of mine to my knitting group last night, and was teaching her to knit. she was smiling and is so excited! that is the best feeling.

you gonna try to make your own sweater? :)

Fancy said...

That is gorgeous. What a great idea!

DrowseyMonkey said...

Wow - I'm impressed! I can't thread a needle. When the button falls off it's time for a new sweater.

Loving your blog...the pics are great!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, methinks this sweater might look good with my new hat and fingerless gloves. ;)

lesleyanne said...

thank you so much fancy and DM!!! i'm so happy you visited my blog.

buttons are always a little tricky. maybe i should do a button application tutorial next.....hmm...

lesleyanne said...

heather!!! goodie goodie! you're right, it would be so pretty. :) i'll be finishing the sweater this weekend, and will be posting it on Etsy! i'll also post the finished product here, on my blog.
i can always do custom sweaters too!!

i'd still love to see a photo of that Rubik's Cube cake. those 4x4 and 5x5 are CRAZY! that's just unnatural.

Ruth said...

Les, the Rubix cube cake was so cute and yummy, we had the remainder at Sapphos last night. :D Heather is famous for finding good cakes. Did you ever see the one she had at their wedding party? I'll email it to you. She used a turquoise vintage lampshade for inspiration.

lauragray said...

Thank you for posting this blog, it's really informative and great i deal for recycled your things for making it good. nice! please come and visit my website recycled printing when you got a time.

lesleyanne said...

Hi Lauragray! Thank you for visiting my blog! Great website, I'm going to check out your blog too! Glad you enjoyed the tutorial. Check my Etsy shoppe for more recycled goodies!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog by googling recycled sweaters and, low and behold, you taught me something I have been unsuccessfully trying to figure out forever. First you sew around the pattern in the fabric and then you trim around your stitching!! Duh! Thank you so much!

lesleyanne said...

Hello anonymous poster to my blog! I love that you found this entry useful, and I'm sure you will make many beautiful sweaters!! Thank you for visiting, and happy holidays!

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