Sunday, September 8, 2013

Avoiding hoarding by repurposing

I have had this green sweater since middle school. Since my mom took me back-to-school shopping at Bob's Stores before eighth grade. Yes, this sweater is 17 years old. Of course it's stretched, it's unflattering beyond belief, but it's comfortable.

But, in my effort to declutter, I realized I had to say goodbye. I hadn't even worn it around the house in years, despite it's comfort. It's just so stretched out and misshapen, I don't even feel good in it.

It was too tough to say goodbye to it. So I decided to figure out a way to repurpose it. And, that said, I present to you the sweater and what it has become.

From the photo, it might be hard to tell, but I was able to make a hat and boot mock-socks out of it! And all it took was tracing around a hat I currently own and sewing the two sides together.

There are a few bumps along the seam. But I'm OK with that. In my previous post about cleaning out my closet, I found sea green was a good color for me. And I didn't own any, other than this sweater. So I was pretty happy to be able to turn it into a hat.

But, the best stroke of genius I had was all those pictures I keep seeing of boot socks, by far one of the cutest accessories I've seen in some time. And I had to have them. But not at $30 a pair. So, I just cut the sleeves off my sweater and hemmed them (very messily, I will add) and put them over my calves for the look without the actual socks. Mock-socks, I like to call them.

Of course it's the middle of September almost and the summer heat hasn't quite departed yet, although I have been anticipating the cooler weather since buying my boots on clearance in July.

I made another pair of boot mock-socks from another sweater and I also used a Pinterest-found tutorial to turn an old sweater into mittens. Surprisingly, it worked out great and I now have a pair of gray cable-knit mittens!

  • The whole project of doing two pairs of boot mock-socks, hat and mittens took about an hour and a half.
  • I used a zig-zag stitch on my machine because that seemed to work better with the cable knit I was working with.
  • Don't get too crazy with sewing the seems on the boot mock-socks. Those are the ends that go inside the boots on the bottom. The end of the sleeves are the tops of the mock-socks so the finishing edge was already done.
  • Pin in place! With stretchy fabric like knits, it's not enough just to line everything up and hope for the best. Pinning helps keep your seems straight and your ends even.
  • Give yourself at least a half-inch seem allowance. With cottons, it's easy to go as close to the raw edge as you'd like, but with a knit like a sweater, the edges fray easily.
In the end, throwing away what was left of the sweater was easy, since I had gotten even more use out of it as two new items for me! So, goodbye, green sweater. You won't be forgotten!