Introduction: ReUse ReMake Sweater Softie

Meet Lenard. He started his life out on someones back as a wool sweater. Lenard now leads a far more glamorous life as an international poster bird for the crafty reuse of said sweater. To create your own international poster bird follow my step by step.

Supplies Needed:
One or more felted wool sweaters
Some type of stuffing
Child safe eyes or buttons
Basic sewing supplies
Freezer paper
an imagination

I used a combo of machine and hand sewing. It would probably help if you can sew.

FYI To felt a wool sweater I remove the arms and cut them open and then throw a couple of similar colored sweaters and soap in the washer on hot water wash. Then throw them in the dryer, if they don't shrink up real good, repeat the process.

Step 1: Let Me Give You a Hand

Let's make Lenard's pattern.
I wanted to use a glove like shape to create this fine bird so I placed my hand on a sheet of paper and traced it. I knew I only wanted 2 top dangles and a beak to I edited the last two fingers.

I redrew it a few times to enlarge the top dangles and then to space everything out so there would be a seam allowance between the top dangles. I also added some length so he would have a body.

Step 2: To the Sweater

I retraced my final pattern onto the paper side of Reynold Freezer Paper, (it is available in most major grocery stores. It has a shiny side and a paper side).

Lay two layer of sweater RST (right sides together) and iron the shiny side down to the sweater. The freezer paper will temporarily bond to the sweater to allow you to sew around your pattern shape with ease. DO NOT CUT YET!

Carefully sew around the pattern shape, keep as close as you can without sewing into the paper. If you are using a machine make sure to back stitch at the start and stop. If you are hand sewing make sure you use a back stitch or a very tight running stitch around the entire pattern.

After you sew around, carefully cut out your shape leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance between the stitches and the newly cut edge. Be careful between the fingers. Remove the freezer paper pattern.

Step 3: Legs & Wings YUM

Lenard needs some appendages but you don' t need a pattern for these.

Just put some scraps RST and sew 2 longish Us for his legs and 2 P like shapes for his wings / arms. Trim to a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

You can draw then out if you need to, I just "winged" it.

** Make sure the U and P are at least 1 inch wide at the opening. I got a bit skinny on the wings and they were hard to turn and to stuff**

Step 4: Turn Turn Turning

Use a pencil or other blunt long tool to assist as you in turning your body, arms & legs.

Step 5: I'm Stuffed

Here is Lenard Pre stuffing.

You can stuff him with tiny scraps of wool or fiberfill made from recycled pop bottles or bamboo.

Start with the top dangles, gently ball up a bit of fluff and stuff it way up high, then his bill. etc. Use the pencil to assist with stuffing.

Once you get done with the dangles and a bit of stuffing in the face attach the eye (see the next step).

Step 6: Eyes to See

Lenard would have a hard time getting around if he had no eyes. I love the child safe animal eyes that are available online or at some big box stores.

I added a bit of white wool to make his eyes stand out. To attach the eyes you need to cut a tiny hole in Lenard's face (and the white wool) and insert the post of the eye, then securely attach the washer inside Lenard's body.

Finish stuffing his body.

Step 7: A Leg Up

Once Lenard's body was stuffed to satisfaction, I stuffed the arms / wings & legs. I attached his legs and arms using Pearl Cotton 8 floss.

I tucked his legs into the bottom of the body. The arms I just whip stitched into place where I thought they looked good.

Step 8: Am I Really a Bird?

After getting him all stuffed and sewn up I realized he needed a beak of some sort. I sewed another fat U shape of orange wool and attached it to his nose.

I really love how striped sweaters work for softies. Sew cute.

Step 9: I Got Friends

After I finished Lenard, I used the sweater up making friends.

Visit my blog for more fun stuff I make.

Some Art Talk