Sunday, December 21, 2008

variation on a theme... hats

I made myself a hat.  A floppy, funky sort of beanie.

I got a wool sweater at my favorite thrift store.  I washed it in hot water and dried it in the dryer... against the recommendations of the tag... and I did it on purpose! 
Washing and drying the wool sweater bonded the fibers together, kind of like fleece or felt.  Once the sweater was shrunken and felted (nappy), I cut it apart.  I made six panels and sewed the pieces together.  I topped it off with a big button.  It still needed a little something... so I cut a flower out of a red wool sweater that I had washed and dried, stitched around the edge, sewed a button in the middle, and attached it to the hat with a safety pin...


I also made stockings from these sweaters... check back soon to see!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the Muff... a $5 winter essential!

We live in Chicago, so winter is all about surviving the extreme cold.  Two years ago I got a rabbit fur muff at the thrift store for Alli ($2 or $3).  It was vintage (the satin lining was a little dirty-looking, but the fur was nearly perfect on the outside).  I freshened it up with a new fleece lining.  It was perfect to keep in the stroller for winter walks!  Alli could keep her hands toasty warm  and I didn't have to worry about lost mittens.  Unfortunately, we had only one muff and two girls who wanted warm hands. 

Then I found another muff at my favorite thrift store!  What a bargain for $3!  And it matched the original muff!

This beauty is a real rabbit fur muff.  Classic.  I am not a huge fan of fur, but since this recycling, I think the bunny might approve... or at least not disapprove.

Anyhow, to rejuvenate this vintage muff, I made a tube out of new fleece (I bought a remnant from the fabric store for 75% off the original price) for the inside.  The tube is a rectangle folded in half with one seam sewn at the bottom.  To get the right size, start by guessing and trial-and-error... start a little big because it can always be trimmed smaller.

Once the tube of fleece is ready, check the size by slipping it inside the muff.  Make sure the tube is long enough to reach the fur all around the openings on both sides.

Now get out your needle and thread!  Stitch the new fleece lining into the muff.  Be sure to stitch all the way around the hole on both sides.  The stitching doesn't have to be too pretty, fleece and fur are very forgiving.

When you are done, stick your hands into the muff and feel the fleecy-warmth!  For under $5, we have the best hand-warmer in Chicago!  Seriously, when using the muffs, Alli and Ruby have never complained about cold hands!

Here we are two winters ago, strolling with the original muff!  I did change the strap on the original muff this year.  It had a wristlet-style strap, so I took it off and put a neck strap on it (so there would be no reason to fight over who got which one).

We are glad to have two girls and two warm muffs! 

I am on the lookout for another matching muff... baby girl #3 is coming soon!

More fleece hats!

My creative mother-in-law made these adorable snowman hats. 

Okay, now she is trying to show me up

PS- My mother-in-law rocks!