Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tatting Tuesday - Upcycled Sweater Cuff Tutorial

When one of the sweaters in my closet ended up being something I didn't wear anymore, I decided to try upcycling it rather than just toss it away.  The front had a little lace-up part that I really liked, so I thought I would transform it into a kind of cuff bracelet.

 I grabbed a catalog destined for the trash can and used it to make a pattern that was wide enough for my wrist.

Yes, sweaters are stretchy.  Make sure you pin the pattern to the sweater so it won't move during cutting.  Even so, you will probably have to trim it up so you don't end up with wavy edges.  Cutting a sweater is also quite messy.

Since I was going to double the material over, that gave me one edge I didn't have to sew.

Because I was too lazy to get out my sewing machine, I sewed it up by hand.  First, I sewed the open long edge.  To sew the sides together, I sewed each layer separately.  You could sew it all together at once, but then you will have a big lumpy line against your wrist when you wear it.

 Here is how it looked once it was all sewn up.  I still really like that laced up look!  Somehow, though, it still needs something.  I decide to add some tatting to it.

 I had some thread stashed away that I thought would look good with the sweater material since the thread was really soft.  It was actually a thin yarn for doing punch embroidery.  Big mistake!  As soon as I tried to close the first ring, the thread broke...

I was able to carefully close the ring, but the damage was already done.  This project would take years if I kept trying to do tatted rings with this weak yarn/thread.

 I figured a chains only edging would be the answer.  The chains worked up fine, but I didn't like how they were looking.  The cuff was already fairly long and the extra edging at the end looked awkward.  Breaking out the scissors again...

The area with the lacing gave me an area I could frame in a tatted edging.  Since I didn't want it to look too boring, I did a row of chains of 25 ds and then went back around with another row of chains hopping back and forth over the chains of the first row.   It has a fun, kind of messy look and I like it.
 Here is the finished piece.  This is probably a longer cuff than most people would like, but I have very long arms with large wrists, so this works for me.

I was pretty excited to wear the cuff bracelet to work today.  There's something kind of Gothic or romantic about it.  I also like that it's upcycled.  After the first hour of wearing it, I realized that it moved around a lot and need to have a little more trimmed off so it would fit more snugly on my wrist.  If you try this project, you might want to put some elastic inside before sewing it up for a snugger fit.  Since this was an old sweater, it probably had a little too much stretch to it.

Now I just need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of the sweater....

I'm linking this post to:
Get Your Craft On - Today's Creative Blog
Making the World Cuter
Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday
Sew Cute Tuesday - Creative Itch
A Crafty Soiree - Katie's Nesting Spot 
It's Stinkin Cute Craft Thursday

2 mad comments:

Domesblissity said...

I haven't seen tatting used for years. Nice job!

Jami said...

What a clever upcycle!! The tatting adds just the right romantic touch! I hope you'll stop by the Tuesday To Do party and share it!


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