Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reduce. Reuse. Repurpose!

Granny used to say.... use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

I know Granny isn't the only person to say it, but she was one of the few people I've known in my life to actually DO IT.

She used the Styrofoam packages from hamburger to feed the cats on.

She used shirts to make quilts and old blankets for batting and old sheets as backing. In fact I have a quilt that has the California Raisins on the back. Not kidding.

She used the insides of the chicken for stuff I don't want to talk about here.

She ate stale cookies. She used half and half in cereal. OK that has nothing to do with this post but isn't that gross?

Once she went to a yard sale and bought me rough rider jeans that fit and were hideous and a pair of guess jeans that were too big and awesome. Then she took the Guess triangle off the back and sewed it onto the rough riders. Fail. Epic epic fail.

My rabbits drank out of an Aunt Jemima bottle. (Remember when they were glass?)

And as long as I can remember I drank milk out of a snuff glass (like this one). Granny fun fact #77: She chewed snuff.

Anyway, you get the point. Something about living during the Depression will change a person. We could probably all learn a lesson or two from living that way. For example, only flush the toilet once a day. Unless it's a #2... you can flush that right away.

It is in that spirit that I set out to find a way to repurpose my favorite sweater which has been sitting lonely in my closet for over a year. Lend me your ears and I will tell you a story...

Once upon a time there was a lambswool sweater, It was beautiful and the most expensive sweater in the closet. And then one dreadful day, the man of the house where the sweater lived decided to help with the laundry.

The end.
BTW. Just in case you like to hang out around fire. Don't.

Anyway bless my husbands heart. He was being helpful. Lesson learned: Do not put in the laundry things that should not be washed.

Here is said sweater next to normal sized sweater:

Yeah. It's small. Like infant sized.

And here are the other sweaters that met the same fate.

And here's what I did with it.

No. I didn't just lay it on the table and put scissors on top of it. That wouldn't do any good at all.

First. I cut off the sleeves and made a cut in the neck to equal the depth of the armpit holes. In the shape of a U or a V. Whatever. Like so:

Easy enough.

Then I used one of the arms to make a bottom. I just cut it the length of the bottom and left it as wide as I could . Not brain surgery. (Thank god, because I'm a nurse, not a brain surgeon.) I could have used a rotary cutter to do this but that's another story. It goes like this: My rotary cutter is missing. Oh ALSO I hand sewed this, by HAND, using a running stitch because my sewing machine is broken. That's another story. It goes like this: My sewing machine is broken. The end. Anyway, this is an optional step. I could have just sewed it straight across but I wanted the extra room. Cause I like to carry a lot of crap.

This is a pretty bad representation. I apologize. I was holding a baby when I took this.

Anyway I digress.

Then I saw a whole used sleeve and I didn't want it to feel lonely so I cut it up too.

Strips. Made with scissors.

And I made flowers. Well kind of. They're more like pinwheels but whatever I like them. Oh, and I made leaves. I used a needle and thread to sew them on. Needle. Thread. See aforementioned story.
I actually only used white thread. Because I'm lazy. And I was holding a baby.

And it looks like this.

There is really no denying what this once was since you can see the ribbing on the bottom, but that's fine. I LOVE this sweater. Love it. I would have cried if I had to throw it away.

So to make this I used: A shrunken sweater. A pair of scissors. A needle and thread.

That's all.

Thank you for joining me today on How to Make a Purse Out of Your Favorite Shrunken Sweater.


Ballerina Baller said...

sooooo, you're rad.

Marci Barone said...

That is sooo Awesome Joni!! What a great idea and I definitely have all those tools. My daughter loves purses, so if I have anything leftover I can do this one easily for her!!
You're so wonderful!! :-)

The Great Quiram Adventure said...

Ok, so like 3 things:

1: you never cease to amaze me with your crafty ideas...I have several sweaters....maybe I should send them to you for re-purposing and Etsy sales.

2: I love half and half on my cereal, but I blame my grandpa (been gone for 10 years and he still moves in my life in wonderful ways) for teaching me to use such yummy stuff. Did I mention I love a good breve? Yes, that lovely cream and fat makes coffee like crack for me! Like I tell the coffee house lady, if I'm going to have a vice it might as well be a good one.

3: the blog always brings a smile to my face. It is usually read during one of my breaks in between class so it is a great source of laughter.

Anonymous said...

Seriously...I love this :) You amaze me! Stace

VFisch said...

You rock!! I love purses, this is A-dorable!!!

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