Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Button Scarf + Anatomy of a Sweater

I knew when I chose the Button Scarf as our first project that people would probably be hating on it from the get go. Because of the faux furriness of it and everything.

I mean, my first reaction to seeing it in the book was, "Really? Faux fur? Is it 1983? Ew."

But almost right away my mind started churning to the tune of what if I knitted the front panel or what if I used fleece or what about corduroy or what about OMG WHAT ABOUT IF I USED THAT OLD WOOL SWEATER THAT GOT FELTED AND THEN LEFT IN THE SCRAP BIN TO BE FORGOTTEN UNTIL NOW?

Yes. And then I went to the scrap bin to exhume the sweater and decided that, indeedio, I would be making my Button Scarf from this old ass Old Navy sweater which had gone in and out of the Goodwill bag about six times before getting felted and thrown in with the other fabric cast-offs. You know, for futures.

And, TEE DAH, the future was here. My $20 sweater of yore was going to become a Button Scarf and...well, one minute, let's first talk Button Scarf.

So, the Button Scarf went like this:
  1. Wait until the 11th hour (in my mind) so that you have to race to the fabric store with only a half hour to choose a coordinating fabric before the early game comes on
  2. Go to the fabric store without the sweater so that you have to coordinate fabrics on the fly which is always a terrible idea
  3. Look desperately for wide wale corduroy and fail because you are shopping in a quilting store which obviously doesn't carry apparel fabric
  4. Decide on a sweet Asian-y/organic-y fabric in orange because you like the fabric so much and WANT IT NOW
  5. Riffle randomly through the button bin with a four year old and let her pick out buttons that she thinks look good with your fabric
  6. Check out, race home, watch two football games and eat a mountain of nachos with Bubba. Forget all about the fabric, project, etc
  7. Wake up the next morning and begin making your way toward the inevitable doom that awaits any project that requires the use of the buttonhole feature on the sewing machine
  8. End up hand-sewing the buttonhole to avoid Total Devastation
  9. Take a lot of photos to prove that, despite Buttonholing Gone Awry, you are still pleased with the outcome AND are now inspired to take the $20 sweater to its fullest potential (keep reading)
So, in a nutshell, I'm considering my Button Scarf a success, if only because I like the fabrics and the buttons individually (if not necessarily all sewn together), the scarf fits and is warm and PLUS I recycled an old forgotten piece of clothing instead of giving up, throwing it in with the Goodwill and buying new fabric.

Sweet ass. Button Scarf can be hot if not necessarily made with Faux Fur. I like this.

So, what else was I talking about back when I said, "My $20 sweater of yore was going to become a Button Scarf and..." and , "now inspired to take the $20 sweater to its fullest potential...?"

I was talking about my new endeavour, people: Anatomy of a Sweater.

I decided that I'm going to go all native on this bit of $20 felted wool that used to be in the shape of a boring Old Navy v-neck sweater by using all of its parts and pieces in Projects to Be Named.

Like, I'm going to not just slay a sweater for the sake of its best meaty parts, OH NO. I'm going to go on to use every last hoof and tooth in other projects in order to produce many wonderful things from only one original thing and also produce ZERO waste.

Then I'll come on here and show you what I made so that maybe when you're cleaning out your closet next and come across a heinous old woolen thing and think to yourself, "I should really *do* something with this wool...", you'll have some ideas. Or maybe you'll see my projects and think, "Whatever. I could make cooler things from Old Navy sweaters. She is a retard." and then you will and I will like that a lot because your ideas are usually better than mine anyway.

I feel like this is rad.

So, for Project 1 in Anatomy of a Sweater, I present to you the Button Scarf. And soon, I hope to present to you at least three other projects and no evidence of waste of any variety. I am about to make a six+ year-old Old Navy sweater as cool as I can possibly imagine.

Prepare yourself accordingly.


  1. I looooooooooove it! What a great idea with the felted sweater and all.

  2. Oh wow, your scarf looks fabulous! I also have an article of clothing from old navy that recently bit the dust... Can't wait to see what you make next with this sweater!

  3. you are too darn smart. I love it! And look how you are totally rocking that scarf! Dude. You are getting good at this.

  4. I enjoyed reading about your process almost as much as seeing the result of your endeavors. Recycling the sweater was a fabulous idea and your scarf is wonderful. I'm looking forward to seeing your other sweater projects so I can learn from it. There aren't any old sweaters in my stash but maybe a trip to a thrift store would net me something; I'm thinking cashmere (I'm a dreamer) as I'd like to make little cashmere sachets as gifts but don't want to knit them myself.

  5. I love the Asian-y/ organic-y fabric!

    And it's funny that you talk about using every hoof and tooth because I posted a project today that I named the Buffalo Scrunchy because I was using every part of a fitted sheet (chopped up for grocery bags). And I didn't use the scrunchy in my hair, but to close up a bag.


  6. Also, I forgot to mention how impressed I was with your picture perfect modeling abilities.

    I thought you photoshoped those scarves on at first.

    I can't wait to see what you make out of the rest of your sweater!

  7. The button scarf is beautiful and the fact that you recycled an old sweater makes it even sweeter. I wonder how many things we discard or give away without ever contemplating a new purpose for them?

  8. Oh, HELLO! You are really cooking with gas now, Ms. Finn. The scarf? Excellent. Using a discarded sweater, and then deciding to attempt to revive it's lesser members, and promising to share the inspiring tales? Even more excellent. Well done!

  9. LOL I love the modeling pics - way hot! Next you'll be on the catwalk with all the clothes you're making!

  10. Looks great - way to recycle!

  11. the cat walk you could do, or stand up. truly, laughed out loud all the way through this post...you are too funny

  12. I love your repurposing.

    (Are you going to hate me if I admit that I made one out of leftover faux fur that I have? lol)

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