this year, the three boys in my house are getting heart pocket pillows with a love note and candy tucked inside. I made two different kinds…two hearts with the seams inside and one (for my husband) with the seams kept outside for a ‘raw edge’ kind of look.
it all started with a pretty honest moment between me and my closet.
no melissa, it really isn’t appropriate to wear a sweater that requires you to keep one hand permanently on your hip and never raise your left arm because of two ever-widening holes. give up the ghost, these sweaters are done.
so, fine. the sweaters landed in my ‘felting’ pile and instead of lingering there I took charge and did actually felt them along with a few others that were waiting patiently. to felt them, I cut the sweaters apart at the seams and threw them in the wash on a hot, heavy soil setting. then, they were shipped off to the dryer on the highest setting. I had to repeat that whole cycle once more to get them to truly felt.
they went from this……………………………………………………….to this.
once wool is I felted it holds together tightly and the edges don’t fray so it can be used for a gazillion crafting purposes. to make the pillows with hidden seams I used a pretty conventional method: cutting out two hearts from the felt; sewing a pocket on the front of one side and sewing them right sides together; leaving a small opening; turning it inside out; putting in some stuffing (and even shredded sweater bits for heft); and finally hand stitching shut the opening.
to make the raw edged felt heart I came up with an easy method that I’m going to share with you just in case you also have an honest-closet moment:
cut out a heart from paper (fold the paper in half and cut out a half of a heart; open the paper to reveal a heart just like grade school!!) position two pieces of sweater felt and one small triangular swatch such that it will form a pocket at the bottom of the heart. place the paper heart on top of your sweater felt and pin it in place.
don’t cut around the pattern, simply sew around the pattern. keep the paper in place, just pulling pins as you sewed like a conventional pattern but leave a small opening, about 2.5 inches without any stitches. it should look like this:
then, cut around what you’ve sewn and stuff in polyfill fiber as well as some of the remaining sweater felt cut into tiny pieces—it’s a great way to use up the sweater scraps and gives the heart a little heft. last, sew the opening and there you have it, a felted heart pillow pouch.
just for fun I hand-stitched on a little heart from another piece of sweater scrap. voila!
kristen powell says
I Love these!! I am totally making one!! AND I have sweaters ready for a project. Lovely work!
fantastic! I can’t wait to see them!
so that’s what it means to “felt” something!! I had some idea that it required complicated equipment (a felting machine??), but it actually looks like something I can do! Heaven knows I have enough decrepit sweaters that I am never going to repair …. thanks for an awesome project!
I think there is a ‘felting’ that requires more effort but this is how to felt wool sweaters. I did find that they need to be 100% wool, not a mix, to felt properly…which is a bit of a bummer since so few sweaters are actually all wool. Can’t wait to see your sweaters whipped into something new, Anne!