Monday, April 1, 2013

DIY: Felted Floral Sweater

Warning: This post is full of photos taken by my hubs. Usually the photos you see on this here blog are taken by me and my 10 second timer. Press the button, run in front of the camera, attempt to look natural and SNAP!, picture taken. With hubs, it's a little different. Strangely, I'm more self conscious. Probably because of the constant commentary which has me cracking up. My favorite? After I complained that the photos didn't look so hot, hubs quipped, "well, let's take some more and attempt to put some whipped cream on this crap-pie." And, yes, I do believe I was the crap-pie he was referring to. Sigh.
So, as usual, this DIY story begins with me drooling over some uber expensive piece at Anthropologie. Case in point: that lovely embroidered number on the left. Them crazies wanted something like $198 for that thang! Do you know how much whipped cream that would buy?! Why, I'd be the best tasting crap-pie in town. And I already had this thrifted Banana Republic sweater just sitting in my closet like a blank canvas. So, in normal Cassie fashion, I decided to copy that little piece. Like I said, same DIY story, different day.
I know what you're thinking: dang, girl, another felted sweater? Or maybe that's not what you're thinking, my ESP skills have always been lacking. Regardless, can you believe I've not gotten over this felting bug that bit me way back with this first Anthropologie DIY?  Since then, I've felted sweaters of birds, flowers and my cat. I've found I really enjoy the process because it combines two things that I love: creating pictures and creating clothing. 
But enough about that. Lemme show you the basics of how I crafted the flowers. To begin, hit the thrift store or your closet and get yourself some sweaterage. Wool roving and needle felting tools can be picked up at your local craft store. I began by pulling a long thin amount of roving and folding it over my finger as shown on the left. I slipped that off my finger and ended up with the loop on the right.
Lay it onto the sweater...

...and commence stabbing. As you punch the roving, it's fibers sink into and interlock with the sweater. This causes the size of the roving to shrink a bit. That's why the blue flower on the left looks so much smaller than the one I'm punching.

Once finished with one flower pedal, follow the same steps to create the second one. They resemble heart shapes and already have me thinking up a Valentine's Day sweater. Never too early to get a jump start, says me. For the dot in the middle, I used a very small piece of felt that I rolled between my fingers and punched into place.
For the flower stems, I initially used green roving. But I just couldn't get the felt to cooperate. So I discovered a stash of 100% wool yarn in my sewing room (the things I have buried in there!) and decided to try it instead. It works beautifully. In the photo above, I've simply laid the yarn out where I want it to be punched and started stabbing away.
And this is a little what the end result of that looks like. For such things as the flowers with multiple pedals, I followed the same steps as the heart shaped flower. Really, you can create any ole shape with roving. Just use your needle tool to shape the flower, strawberry, leaf, stem, you-name-it as you go.

Wait! This pie needs more whipped cream! By the way, that dip-dyed blouse under my sweater is yet another Anthro-copy that I plan to share with you next week.

Probably my favorite photo from our day out. You can see the back of the collar and the little sprinkle of flowers on my shoulders. Did I tell you I kinda love this sweater? You know what I really love? $198 in my pocket.
Now I'm not gonna lie, this sweater took me ages. Mostly because it was one of those work-on-here-and-there projects. But I'm happy I finished it even if I've only got a matter of weeks to wear it. You'll have to let me know if you've given felting a shot. I'd love to see what you've created!


  1. Your hard work certainly paid off. The sweater is absolutely stunning!

  2. Gorgeous, just gorgeous! I hereby vow to seriously take up felting.

  3. That is so cool! I have a stash of needle felting supplies in my craft room that I haven't done much with ... you've inspired me to get it out again and give it another go! ^_^

  4. Its beautiful and such a great finish! Gotta love Anthro for inspiration!

  5. Wow, that looks so beautiful! And such a lot of work to make it look so pretty! Love it!


  6. Another wonderful creation! Just wondering if you could share any special tips for laundering felted pieces like this? Do you hand wash yours or use the washing machine? Just curious.

  7. Nooooo, I haven't started felting yet but I have ideasss! And stashed holey cashmere sweaters. And, damn, you've given me an excuse to keep hoarding those scraps of wool yarn I was reluctant to get rid of - thanks!

    I love your sweater! I think it's way prettier than the inspiration. And I totally get what you mean about not being able to take pictures when someone else is taking them - I'm the same way. As much as I sometimes wish I had a photog (bc let's be real - I take, what, 70+ pictures and maaaaaybe a dozen of them turn out ok, due to bad lighting, bad focus, bad face, etc... it'd just be easier if someone was actually LOOKING at the camera, you know?), I can't do it. I feel too self-conscious when someone else is watching. Tripod and Timer for life!

  8. Whoa, I have never "felt" inspired to try this craft before today. I can still access all of my doubts about it--takes forever, stabbing self, necessity of composing a design--but you almost make me want to give it a try. Your sweater is glorious. And your photos look nice too. It might be the gray light that you are not liking--it's not really in keeping with the cheerfulness of the sweater!

  9. It came out beautifully- and $198 in your pocket adds up to serious crafting supplies ;)

  10. This is gorgeous! How do you wash your felted sweaters? Does the felt come out when you wash them? Or do you just spot-clean?

  11. oh my goodness, this is so perfect! I wish I had the patience. You're a crafting goddess!

  12. This sweater is incredible! I have been wanting to give felting a try for months now (even to the point where I had the felting needle in my shopping bag at the craft store). After seeing this project I will be giving it a try!

  13. I like your version better than the Anthropoligie one. Great going!

  14. Anonymous8/16/2014

    Think I'm trying on a burgundy sweater my boyfriend's LOL only I'm using black embroidery thread. Use those patterns ect...I am lots older than you I have never used the felting ect...Send a picture when I finish will see.


Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)