Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DIY Merino Wool Upcycled Slouchy Beanie Cap

DIY, outdoor, clothing, gear, sewing, 100% italian merino wool, slouchy beanie, upcycle, recycle, creative reuse
DIY Merino Wool Upcycled Slouchy Beanie Cap

Upcycle – also known as Creative Reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

My grandson and I visited a Salvation Army Thrift Store and he picked out a 100% Italian Merino Wool sweater on sale for $2.99. Using the free pattern and instructions from the Imagine Gnats website, I put together this merino wool slouchy beanie cap just in time for the cold season! The free pattern comes in sizes for both adults and children. And the instructions are uber easy to follow. For free pattern and instructions download, and supplies links, see my Supplies/Resources Notes below.

Supplies used:
100% Merino Wool Sweater in the largest size you can find
Pen or marker
Scissors or rotary cutter
Cutting mat (for rotary cutter)
Ruler or Tape measure
Suggested Needle: Schmetz Stretch Needle 90/14
Suggested Top Stitch Needle: Schmetz Stretch-Twin Needle 4.0/75
Suggested Thread: Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Household Sewing Machine
Walking Foot attachment (Here’s a video on what a Walking Foot is/operates)

**This DIY project assumes you already know how to use your sewing machine and have basic sewing skills. If you don't, contact a sewing store for basic sewing lessons.

My grandson picked out this 100% Italian Merino Wool Sweater

Following the instructions for this project is so easy!
I used the front and back of the sweater, placing the bottom
of the pattern piece along the bottom edge of the sweater.

Just a few more steps....

And completed!
I added the extra finishing step of folding under the edge and double stitching.

Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread
Works perfectly with Fleece and knits. It’s stretchy and will have more “give” in stretchy and knit fabric than polyester threads. If you don’t have a serger/overlock machine, you can still use this thread. Just buy one cone and wind some thread on a bobbin to use in your regular sewing machine. If you’re finishing off the hem edge with double stitch, then wind the thread onto two bobbins.

Walking Foot
The Walking Foot (aka Even Feed Foot) 
is an amazing sewing machine attachment! It equalizes the feeding of upper and lower layers of fabric so that the layers of fabric are evenly stitched with no uneven stretching or puckering. Not only is this attachment great on stretchy knits, but on slippery as well as heavy fabrics.

Suppliers/Resources & Notes:
Imagine Gnats Website:

Free downloadable pattern with instructions:

Apparel Sew-In Interfacing:  Joann’s Fabric & Craft

Maxi-Lock Stretch Serger Thread: Wawak Sewing (Washington)
Orders shipped from either their east or west Coast warehouses.

Schmetz Sewing Machine Needles
Any sewing store will have sewing machine needles.

My Sewing History
I spent many years sewing my own clothes….that’s what you did after your mom sent you to sewing lessons for the summer when you’re 14 years old. Over the years I handmade Halloween costumes for my daughters as well as prom dresses and figure skating costumes complete with beadwork all done by hand. Living just 12 miles from Malden Mills, I outfitted my family with handmade Polarfleece jackets, pullovers, hats, gloves and pants. We still use Polarfleece blankets that I had made years ago! And I even had a small biz selling Polar Fleece Skatewear to figure skating teams – I contracted a small manufacturing company in New Hampshire do to all the sewing in order for me to focus on the sales end of the business. I stopped sewing for several years but now am back at it again. This time for making my own outdoor gear to be used while out climbing and hiking!