Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flower Beret



I did a lot of these last year. Love them. One of my favorite projects, really. The upcycled beret! I make these from sweaters. Sooooo fun.
I mentioned that I made a lot last year. Not a lot of them turned out well though. I have since learned that the material counts!! Now I only use cashmere or very soft cotton. I had used felted wool before but they turn out much too stiff . . . . . Men's sweaters and vests are good for this soft cotton.
One more thing, I have to make sure that the sweater has a good cuff. This is the only way to get a good band for the beret. Trust me. And, use the band from the same sweater as the material. Piecing together different sweaters rarely has the desired effect.


Floral beret

I didn't photograph the process but its easy enough to explain. Beginning with a large women's sweater or a men's sweater (size label doesn't matter here, just make sure the sweater isn't teeny tiny) you will want to remove the bottom cuff, leaving 1/4 inch above the cuff. You will then cut a 14 inch diameter circle from the body of the sweater. I actually made a compass with string and a pencil and cut this from paper first to use as my pattern. Pick up your cuff again and put it around your head. Really! You want to measure how much cuff you need to make a comfortable band. I can usually get two bands from a cuff. If that's the case for you, cut out the side seams for a clean band. Sew the band closed, making sure that the original bottom edge lines up perfectly.  Trim the edge of the seam. Now you will attach your circle to the band, lining the edge of the circle to just where the band begins. That 1/4 inch extra fabric that you left on the cuff will give you some good wiggle room here. Pleat the fabric evenly around and stretch the band to make the pleats fit nice and evenly. Pin as you go. You will then sew the whole thing together, inside out of course. Trim your threads and edges and you are good to go! Embellish as you like or leave plain. I embellished mine with blue wool, a reclaimed button and light gray embroidery thread.

Floral beret
Floral beret

Floral beret


If you find a crew neck or slight v-neck you can get two berets from one sweater. If there are no holes, etc.

Floral beret


This one was made from a 100% cotton sweater. I used to pass the cotton by but no more. It is so soft!!!

Floral beret


I always avoid acrylic. I despise static-ey hair. I would love to try angora. I'm afraid if I do then I will jinx us into a warm winter again. 'Cuz angora is a veeerrrry warm wool. Although I don't think California ever gets that cold.

Floral beret

If you think this is cute on my lovely model, you should see this on a small child. OMG, ADORBS!!! If you make this for the infant or preschool set, change your circle to 13 inches. And size your band accordingly.

So, are you going to try making your own? If you do, please send me a photo on my Facebook page, I would love to see it!!!



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