Introduction: Fireplace Sweater: a Tragedy to Triumph
It's Christmastime! When people everywhere take joy in decorating a Christmas tree, and gather around the fireplace to warm their toes while sipping hot cocoa.
Everyone but me.
We were in the final throes of building our "Dream" Home, and due to a faulty install a very unfortunate event occurred: a Chimney Fire!
Our beautiful Delta Fusion and custom stone hearth all destroyed, and the surrounding areas.
But we will rebuild and eventually all will be lovely again.
So since I will not take joy in decorating a Christmas tree, nor sipping hot cocoa in front of a fire.....
I will build it on a sweater.
- A red sweater turtleneck
- cream, green(s), brown colored yarns, needle
- scrap fabric, old sweaters, fur pieces
- pin cushion chair, dollhouse miniatures,
- holiday decor, battery stringed lights
- smart phone
Step 1: Laying the Bricks, and Mantel, Garland and Wreath
Sewing the mortar, tips:
- Keep a ruler handy or make a cardboard template to keep bricks relatively uniform. Chalking was unreliable, though if you have a mark-b-gone pen to grid the whole thing out, that might work okay.
- You need to allow the sweater to stretch width-wise so keep that in mind while sewing by stretching as you set in several inches at a time.
- I did only the front so that the back still retained all its original stretch. I stopped my brickwork just as the sleeve began, as the sleeves are actually the mantel, and I wanted a "wood" one.
Creating yarn garland. You could save a bunch of time and use store-bought garland, but I wanted to use yarn as much as I could for the sweater. Two shades of green are nicer than one but not necessary.
Using a small book, wrap and wrap(and wrap!) yarn around it. Slide off book and cut along each edge of yarn loop, creating many same-length strips. Using four strands, Make tassels around a 30" length of green yarn. Alternate colors, sliding tight next to each other. Trim garland thickness to size desired.
Wood mantel: I save old wool sweaters and felt them. I found a tan one and cut off the entire ribbed bottom, sewed into a tube about 30" long by 2" wide, ironed flat and sewed onto the sweater, along the top and onto the sleeves. I tacked on using yarn and left a space at one end to feed the battery back for the stringed lights into.
Many chimneys have wreaths over the mantels so I made one onto the turtle neck portion. I only sewed through one layer so the yarn wouldn't rub against my neck. With a yarn needle and long length of doubled yarn I sewed a series of loops onto a drawn circle, cut the ends and tied them. Embroidered some pine cones into it and added a yarn bow at the top.
Step 2: Christmas Stockings
Our immediate household has four members:
Brian the Male Human, Cynthia the Female Human, Mona the Chocolate Lab, and Rajah the Cat(15 minutes of fame here): Cat Adventure and Escape Wall
I then hung them from the mantel with yarn and tacked each down a bit to keep them from being too wobbly.
Step 3: Christmas Tree!!
I tacked bundles of yarn strips to the sweater in decreasing sizes.
Trimmed to a nice shape then added shorter stands to fill out the tree.
Then came the stringed lights, only $6 at Target. The strand was long enough to do the entire tree, mantel, and even the wreath!
The battery pack tucks into the top left of the mantel and the switch is easily accessed.
Chenille yarn to make a cozy garland, some miniature bulb ornaments, a beautiful star, and presents for under the tree. And even a choo-choo train! Why the holly not? Everything sourced from The Christian Craft Store(Hobby Lobby).
Step 4: Cuddly Chair, Etc
I don't know why they make pin cushions in the shape of chairs, but they do. Even though I am a Seamstress I always bought them not for their intended purpose, but for my daughter's Barbie Dolls. Made much more sense.
I located one from storage and brought into the wood shop. I removed the back and seat cushion and sliced it diagonally in half using the band saw. I sliced the seat cushion to match the new shape with a box cutter.
I found the perfect fabric and reupholstered the chair using hot glue.
A scrap of flannel for the blanket(fringed the edges), a darling Teddy bear and a pile of fire logs for the finishing touches.
The Manger Scene. Can't have Christmas without one!
Lastly, the button hole for my phone's hotpocket(popsocket) and velcro piece(with an accompanying piece on my phone) to keep it in place while the fire sizzles.
(Virtual Fireplace - The app is free on google play... you can upgrade with bucks for more features.)
Step 5: The Finished Sweater!
Should get lots of laughs at the Christmas Party!
Second Prize in the
Ugly Sweater Speed Challenge