I’ve recently been sorting out all my craft supplies and clearing out all the junk in my house KonMari style, and while doing this I came across some old woollen jumpers that had been accidentally felted in the washing machine which I had kept to upcycle one day. Well, today was that day! Here is my attempt to turn a felted lambswool sweater into a hotwater bottle cover, while basically making it up as I go along.
1. Cut out the shape
What I should have done is turned the jumper inside out, but I didn’t think about this until I had sewn it, so if you’re having a go at this, now’s the time to turn your jumper inside out. I placed the hotwater bottle on the jumper, with the neck on the ribbed edging, and traced around it with tailor’s chalk leaving about a 3/4 inch seam allowance.
I then pinned the two sides of the jumper together and cut out the shape.
2. Sew it together
Using my sewing machine, I stitched the two sides of the cover together with a half inch seam allowance, starting from the edge of each ‘shoulder’, so it left the top part open to get the hotwater bottle inside it. (To tell you the truth, I first sewed it from the top edge of the neck, then had to unpick the seams down to the shoulders after realising there was no way the bottle would fit through such a small hole. It was a this point I went to make a cup of tea.)
I then trimmed the seams and turned the cover the right way out, and put it on the bottle to make sure it fitted. (It did, phew!)
3. Add buttonholes and buttons
I next added two buttonholes using my sewing machine to the middle of each shoulder edge. Then I sewed two buttons on to the inside of the back piece of the cover to line up with the buttonholes. This made a way for me to close up the shoulders once the bottle is inside the cover. But what to do about the neck?
4. Make a neck cover
Then, inspiration struck. I picked up a sleeve from the felted jumper and put the cuff over the neck, then cut it off, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance. I turned the cuff inside out (remembered this time!), and sewed across the cut edge, then turned it back right side out again to make a little cover for the neck of the bottle. The ribbed edging of the sleeve cuff makes it a perfect snug fit.
I trimmed the flaps of material I had originally left to cover the neck to about an inch from the bottom of the neck, then tucked the back flap inside the neck cover and sewed it in place. The neck cover can then be simply folded over the neck of the bottle once I’ve put it inside the cover and done up the shoulder buttons. And it makes a nice neat finish.
I’m going to try making more of these and think it would be lovely to add further applique embellishments to make it really special. What do you think? Let me know if you have a better way of doing it or if you’ve had a go at it yourself in the comments below.