The challenge for our designer group for February was to use wool sweaters to make a garment inspired by the ones at KatWise. You can see what the rest of the group did at our Blog, but here is mine and my story.
The photo on the left is on my dress form, but the outside picture shows the true colors better. I was trying to show how it twirls, hence the blurry edges.
This was definitely a challenge for me. I spent a lot of time looking at pictures online, searching by the tag of "recycled sweater-coat", and I purchased the tutorial from KatWise. One Etsy seller who had coats I really liked was Jill2Day (who has temporarily closed her shop on Etsy). I knew early on that the long, very full skirt was not my style and the tightly cinched belted waist was not likely to be very flattering. So I planned on an empire band and a flared skirt - sort of a swing coat type style.
But when working with felted wool sweaters, having definite ideas about your finished product is not always the best way to go. When I first cut the sweater for the bodice, the band seam was going to be just under the fullest part of the bust. As you can see, it is now a waistband. After serging all the panels together for the skirt with the exposed seams on the outside, I was very unhappy with how it looked. Some were very wavy, some not so much - not a consistent look at all.
So I pulled out all the stitching and sewed them again using conventional right sides together and seams on the inside. Then I steamed all the seams and pressed them into submission. So my coat has no exposed raw edges or exposed seams and I am very happy with it now. I used the ribbing from the lower edge of 2 sweaters to make the band at the bottom of the skirt. And I removed the sleeves from the bodice sweater, enlarged the armhole opening, and made new sleeves that were not as snug.
The collar was cut from a FairIsle sweater with a circular yoke. It was quite tightly felted when I found it at the thrift store, so the cut edges were very stable and I sewed it to the V-neck of the bodice sweater. The front is closed with 2 extra large snaps.
So far all my sewing and knitting friends have liked it as much as I do. Hubby thinks it looks like a "hippie" coat and daughter says it's "just weird". But I am happy - and consider this to have been a great challenge. Just one question. How do people manage stacks of sweaters if they aren't lucky enough to have a cat to hold them down???