Saturday, May 24, 2008

How to make a felted jumper blanket

Before I start, let me just say that I'm really not very good at this sort of thing, so please let me know if I explain something very badly or don't tell you enough information. I shall try my best!

You see, I start off all wrong - why is this photo so much smaller than all the others?!

First of all, collect together a pile of pure wool jumpers. They must be the sort that say on the label 'hand wash only' - the machine washable jumpers just don't felt. Cashmere works too, but not as well as lambs wool in my experience. I have used 8 jumpers here, but have some large bits left over. Bung them all in the washer on a hot wash - 60 degrees works for me - with something bulky like a pair of jeans.

When they're washed and dried, give them an iron - yes, sometimes that ironing board has to be used people! Then take a piece of A4 paper, and using the narrow side as a width guide, cut out lots of pieces of felt. They must be all the same width but different lengths. You should end up with a big pile of rectangles like this:-

Find a big space and lay out your rectangles into a pattern that looks right to you. Lay them in vertical strips, each strip being approx the same length - don't worry about this too much, you can trim them much later.

Keeping the vertical strips together, machine sew the rectangles, leaving a half cm seam.

When all the vertical strips are sewn, lay them all back out again so you remember where everything goes and machine the strips together. This will give you the basic blanket shape.

Trim off any wonky edges and pieces that are too long. Get the iron back out (believe me, this is so much more fun than ironing shirts!) and press the seams flat. You will find that thicker jumpers lay flat and the thinner jumpers are much easier to bend. That doesn't make sense reading it at all, but when you do it, you'll know what I mean, promise!

Now you need to sort out a border. I was lucky that I had 2 orange jumpers here, but you can use different shades - using contrast colours makes the middle stand out more. Cut out long strips approx 3" wide and sew them together to make 4 lengths, slightly longer than each side of your blanket.

Back to the sewing machine and sew the border on, again taking a half cm seam. Iron it all flat.

Now for the fun stuff - cut out 4 different motifs to applique on and embellish with embroidery, buttons or ribbon.

Hand stitch the motifs on the corners of the blanket - or anywhere else you might like.

And here we are - all done.

Was that OK?

It's a very forgiving design, all sorts of mistakes can be hidden on the back! If you do make one, please let me see the results!


picperfic said...

oh you clever thing, this blanket tute is excellent thank you! I wonder if I will ever get round to making one?

Anonymous said...

That is a very good straightforward tutorial. You make it look easy! You say you can hide any mistakes on the back. Did you back it - with what? I suppose a Saturday pudding is too much to ask for!?! I've done a yog cake. very boring but Im on my own (Rugby at Cardiff!)and I happen to like it!

Joan said...

That was very ok. It's beautiful. Do you iron your seams open or to one side? I think I'll have to haunt the thrift stores from now on.

Mama said...

That one may just be may favorite (so far)! Great job on the step-by-step too : )

RooKnits said...

Oh that's fab. Thanks so much for sharing. I went on a little jumper hunt yesterday but came back empty handed. It seems all the charity shops around here contain shorts and teeshirts at the moment! How annoying!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the detailed tutorial - step by step - with clever comments. The jumper quest may take a few months for me... I am not familiar with charity sales and this will be new territory to investigate. You are so nice to have written this tutorial! Just trying to make sens of it all - assembling bits and pieces of knowledge. Thanks again, hard working and talented Michaela.


Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

Those instructions are great and I love the blanket. I have been playing around with some knitted felting lately but my colours keep running. Any tips for keeping the colour whilst felting the jumpers up?

RooKnits said...

I've finally collected enough. Off to get the iron and start cutting. Yipeee