Thrift Store Shopping Result

I went, I saw, and I bought!!  I love going to thrift stores, you never know what you will find.  If you know your brands, you can find some really nice clothes for just a few dollars each.

Here is a very attractive blouse in a lovely color:

J.Jill is a wonderful brand and the blouse new would have cost at least 200% more than I paid.

Next,  I found a silk sweater from Ann Taylor:

I am thinking of unwinding the sweater and re-using the lovely silk yarn.

I found another nice empire waist blouse by a brand I see at macys:

Next up is a light jacket shirt by Chicos, would look fabulous over a white tank or shirt.  It looks better in person that it does in the photo.

On this shirt/jacket, I saved over $100, I bet.

But wait!  I was there to hunt for sweaters!!  Was I successful?  You bet!  First up is a teal sweater that will be re-made into a sweater wrap with crochet trim when I get done with it:

Looks pretty boring now, but it has potential, I tell you!

Last up was my best find of the day, a 100% wool Ralph Lauren blue sweater.  Here it is before the felting:

I will add a picture of it felted in the morning, so you can see how much it shrunk.  I always wash the clothes I buy to remove the Thrift Store Cooties.  You don’t know where they have been, y’know?  Best to be safe.

I will document what I do with the sweaters above.  It will be fun to work with them both!

Anyone care to share their Thrift Store Outing?  Carla

Recycle/Reuse Sweater Challenge #1

I have decided to hold my first Feathered Fibers Recycle/Reuse  Challenge for all you creative souls out there.    Anyone creative may participate.  All you have to do is create something artsy/crafty out of an old sweater or thrift store find; something you would actually wear or display in your home or studio that uses the philosophy of recycle/reuse.

You will need to post your  creation on your blog, and link back to this post.  Feel free to use the artwork above in your blog posting. (Save it to your computer as “Right Click, Save as” for PC users, and “Control, click, save as” for Mac Users).   If you do not have a blog, but still want to participate,  once you have your project ready to share, just drop me a comment and I will post it for you.

To help get those creative juices flowing,  here are just a few ideas:

-Deconstruct the sweater and reuse the yarn.

-Felt the sweater and then cut it apart and reuse it.  Here is a tutorial for how to spot wool and felt it.

-Add to the sweater and improve on it.  Here is a tutorial

-Only use part of the sweater.

-Chop the sweater up and create a fiber fabric out of it using this tutorial.

-Make a stuffed plushie.

-Create a winter hat or slippers.

Here a tutorial from Betz White for a pomander project using recycled sweaters.  See her other free tutorials, too.

Google “recycled sweater,” “recycled sweater project” or a similar term to locate fun ideas.

Any questions?   I hope you will join in the fun.

Regards, Carla

Thrift Store Recycled Sweater Tutorial


Time for another Feathered Fibers tutorial, this time it is how to remake or reconstruct a thrift store sweater into a stylish garment you would love to be seen in.  This is a beginner’s project:


I have remade about 8 thrift store sweaters over the last few years.  I first learned how to do this from Leslie Riley, a very talented mixed media artist.  Anyway, here are the supplies you need:


Need 1 sweater from the thrift store, rummage sale, or even “borrowed” from the back of your closet or husband’s closet.  The sweater above was in perfect condition with the exception of extra long, stretched out sleeves, which I plan to shorten.

**Helpful Hint: Use a sweater that has knitted holes large enough to get a crochet hook and yarn through.  The sweater in this example is perfect for this project!

**Helpful Hint #2: Wash the sweater and block dry to get the thrift store cooties out of it before you start.

**Helpful Hint #3: Take your thrift store sweater with you to the yarn shop if you don’t have the perfect yarn already in your yarn stash.

Also need:


crochethooks also scissors, sewing machine, pins, thread, etc.

This sweater is pretty easy, all I’m going to do is adjust the sleeves, finish them off, and then add more decoration to the collar.  Before you grab your scissors, there are several steps that you must do first.

Step 1: Measure the alterations and pin where the sewing lines will be.

Here is how to handle a pullover sweater (like in the blue sweater at the very top of this tutorial):


Here is what you can do with a turtleneck sweater:


As I was saying, Step one is to figure out your design and where your stitching line will be.  I pin along the line where my stitching will be to use as a guide:


The next- and VERY important step is to sew 2 lines where you have pinned, about 1/4 of an inch apart. Follow the picture below for a visual reference:


You do this so that you will have a secure space to place your crochet stitches, plus the sweater will not unravel.  Once you have done all your double stitched lines, you can trim about 1/4″ from the stitched line like I have done here:


Because this project is easy, all I had to do was the sleeves.  Now it is time to crochet:


You may choose to do single crochet stitch, double or any other combination of a crochet stitch.  Here is a picture with one sleeve finished and one sleeve not finished:


For a bit more decoration, I also crocheted the collar, too:


I also could have crocheted the bottom edge at the bottom, but I didn’t want to overdo it on this one.

Finishing touches:  You can make the favorite closure of your choice, button hole, frog closure, tied closure, really whatever you like.

Congrats!!  Your thrift store project should be finished.  Please send me a picture as I would love to see your new sweater, too.

Pat yourself on the back…you have just saved another item from ending up in a landfill!

Here are some close ups of other sweaters I have “remade:”






Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I have a whole page of various tutorials covering many subjects.

Take care,  Carla

Sweet Treat!

I was blog surfing the other day and I came across Betz White‘s latest offering of cupcake pincushions made out of recycled sweaters. Too cute! So, of course, I had to buy one… Doesn’t this look yummy and edible?


And, best yet, my cupcake has friends to buy, too, on her etsy shop found here.


I almost bought this one, which is shaped like a cuppa joe. You all know I love joe, right?


Betz’s work is fabulous! She has appeared on Martha Stewart (see the tutorial on Martha’s site), written her first book- and is currently writing her next one. Besides being crafty and talented, she is cute, has cute kids, and has fabulous taste. Betz, keep the goodness coming!

Off to do some creative goodness of my own… Hugs, Carla