Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Felted Wristlets

So, the timing is not ideal for felted wool wristlet making, but since a couple of you asked, I'll tell you how I made them. You'll just have to remember this post next fall!

Okay, first step, find yourself a felted sweater (look at thrift stores), or felt a 100% wool sweater yourself. (Here is a helpful link for those of you who've never felted a sweater before. Just note that she recommends cutting all seams and removing ribbing prior to felting. In this case, I just washed the sweater whole, then cut the sleeves off after washing. If they come out of the wash somewhat misshapen or with the seam in an awkward place, just rewet and reshape, then allow them to dry before moving on. I reshaped mine so that the seam was on the inside of my wrist.)

Sweater found, make sure that the cuffs have plenty of give and fit your hand comfortably when pulled up to your knuckles. If it's too tight, and rewetting and stretching don't help, well, you might want to find yourself another sweater. It would really stink if you couldn't wiggle your fingers once the thumb gusset is sewn.

Next step: cut the sleeves to whatever length you like. My original cut in this picture is longer than the end result. (I trimmed a couple of inches off when Rich said it looked like I had wrist casts on. He was totally right, proving that even a male engineer can possess some form of fashion sense. Go figure.)

Next, turn the sleeves inside out and try them on, pinching between your thumb and forefinger to determine where the thumb gusset should be. I marked a narrow angled seam with a Sharpie. Keep this angle narrow, so your thumb has plenty of wiggle room and there is less bulk once you turn the wristlets right side out. With the sleeves still inside out, pin and stitch through both layers along the lines. (I doubled stitched mine for strength.) Stitching done, carefully clip inside the angle to its point, making certain that you don't clip any of the stitches, like this:

Turn the wristlets right side out and voila! Since my sweater was pretty fuzzy from the felting process, I used electric clippers (sans guard) to "shave" and clean them up. The felted sweater fabric was so thick that I really didn't have to worry about making a hole, but proceed with caution if you decide to use this method.

Finally, the fun part... embellish your wristlets in one or two of so many fun ways. Add some decorative buttons, needle felting, a crocheted trim... all the things I considered doing before I finally decided to keep it simple (and sane), since I made these as a last minute project before a trip.

Do these instructions make sense? Any questions? Feel free to ask and please share if you decide to make your own!


Larissa Holland said...

Ok, thanks! I have felted sweaters at the ready, but no time to try (even this) right now. I'll have to come back to it later.

Sarah Bonn said...

Your directions are clear and concise. Thanks! I will be trying this when I get a chance!

Larissa Holland said...

I gave you a major award, because you rock. totally.

Trish said...

I've made wristlets before, but your 'thumb gussets' are so clever I may have to try your method. Thanks for the cute tute.

Robyn said...

No, Larissa, you rock. I'm just basking in your reflected glow. Thanks for sharing the love!

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