Sweater Weather


words and images: Janna Wilson

Cozy wool sweaters have value beyond their season of fashion and style. Rather than tossing sweaters that have a hole, pilling, or just aren’t on trend – think of the possibilities to refashion and repurpose a quality wool piece. Perhaps you’ve accidentally laundered your favorite sweater and it’s shunk up to toddler size – perfect! You’ve already completed step one of the refashion process! You can also purchase sweaters secondhand for a fraction of the cost. One sweater can be upcycled into many different practical and fashionable accessories. I’ve used a lady’s and a gentleman’s sweater to create our five projects.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Sharp fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine/matching thread
  • Basic sewing notions
  • Marking pen
  • Measuring tape/ruler
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pattern pieces -Download here:  SweaterWeather-patterns

The Felting Process = Heat + Moisture + Friction

If you’ve ever laundered a wool sweater and it shrunk to half its size, you’ve “felted” wool. Wool felt is relatively expensive and felting sweaters is a great way to create your own. The cool thing is that you can cut felt without raveling. Different blends will produce different results. For the best felted wool, choose a garment that is at least eighty percent wool. The tighter the weave the less stretch after felting. Felting sweaters is basically washing in hot, a cold rinse, and drying on hot. Check after each step to see how much the knit has shrunk/felted. You can repeat this process until you get the desired results.


Boot cuffs

Make boot cuffs in ONE easy step…okay, two. (no felting required)

  • Cut the sleeves off the sweater.
  • Optional but not necessary: Hem the raw edge with sewing machine.


  • Lay sweater flat and trace pattern onto upper/chest.
  • Cut two pattern pieces and pin RIGHT SIDES together.
  • Stitch around hat taking a 1/4 inch seam.
  • Hem raw edge (optional).
  • Turn RIGHT SIDE OUT; press seams.


Coffee Cozy

I love plastic reusable coffee cups to take on the go, but unfortunately they don’t come with sleeves.  To make your own, just wrap a felt rectangle around the cup snugly–; overlap an inch (3.5″ x 12″). Mark where buttons should be and tack in place with a dab of hot glue. Stitch to secure (optional) and sew or glue on buttons.


TIP: Adust the sizes of our patterns to create a custom size.




  • Lay sweater flat and trace pattern onto lower edge (see sweater diagram).
  • Cut through the two layers of fabric TWICE to produce four pieces of the traced pattern.
  • If your felt has a RIGHT side, place two of the pattern pieces RIGHT SIDE TOGETHER. Pin.
  • Sew around the shape taking a 1/4 inch seam— BACKSTITCH at the beginning/end.
  • Turn the mittens RIGHT SIDE OUT; press seams flat with iron.



  • Trace the pattern and cut out the two pieces.
  • Pinch the center of the large piece and stitch the middle to create the pleat/pucker of the bow.
  • Hot glue the band around the center.
  • Embellish mittens or hats or make hair accessories with these adorable bows.

Janna Wilson is a long-time crafter, graphic designer and teaches calligraphy workshops locally. Find more inspiration on her blog at JannaWilson.com.

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