Fleece Navidad: Crafting Old Sweaters


Looking out my kitchen window this morning, I saw something glistening on my neighbor’s roof. Frost? Could it be? Berkeley doesn’t often show visible signs of winter. Maybe she’d climbed up there on a ladder the night before with a box of powdered sugar?

Then I went outside. Sweater weather has arrived! I check my closet for something to wear. Half my sweaters look like they’ve seen better days: holey wool, balled-up cashmere, cardigans that add an unfortunate poof at the belly. Many seem ready to retire to that great heap of yarn in the sky.

But I don’t just cast things off. Noooo! I am resourceful! A fixer! The God of ratty, overlooked things! These sweaters are still soft and warm, no? Still worthy of being spun into something useful. I will turn them into holiday gifts! There’s a vault of sweater-reuse ideas online (how many felted owls does one person really need?). I settled on this patchwork pillowcase project (via Apartment Therapy). It’s fairly easy if you know how to sew (by hand or machine).

This version was made for a lucky hound, but I’m making mine for humans. Too fussy for you? Here’s a  simpler, though no less luxuriant version, courtesy of the Budget Fashionista. Fleece Navidad.

• old sweaters (half in animal fibers such as wool, alpaca, cashmere, etc.)

• an old pillow

• scrap paper and tape

• ruler

• scissors or rotary cutter

• pins

• washer/dryer
Follow the step-by-step instructions here.

Find a whole host of other ideas in this book:
 Last-Minute Fabric Gifts: 30 Hand-Sew, Machine-Sew, and No-Sew Projects

And for those who prefer the “Make it for me” route, here are a few other items on my list:

Domestic Trophies by Rachel Denny
 Log pillows by Eve’s Little Earthlings
And the  huge variety of felted rocks  on Etsy

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