Added Oct 1, 2010
I have a bad habit of collecting wool sweaters. Whenever I see them exorbitantly cheap or free, I just can’t resist. Felted wool sweaters are good for just about anything. Right? You can guess that a couple of yeas of this, and I have quite a stash. They really need used up. So I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a good use for felted wool sweaters. When I saw the cover of the new “Ohio Knitting Mills” book, I knew I had my answer. I needed a sweater dress out of these sweaters. And not any sweater dress, a Mondrian sweater dress.
So I set to work. My first decision was to copy the YSL Mondrian dress instead of the Ohio Mills one – it had fewer pieces. I had always thought the YSL Mondrian dress had no side seams, just the front and back seam, and that the pieces wrapped around. I was disappointed when my research proved me wrong, so I decided that mine wouldn’t have them – the color blocks would just wrap around. Instead of starting from scratch, I chose a sheath dress that I never wore, and decided to cover it. It was gingham, which proved really useful in designing the color blocks — I just drew the design I wanted on. Then I traced each shape onto Wonder Under, and ironed the wonder under to the back of a sweater. Then I steamed each block onto the dress. I had to raise the neck of the dress to more closely resemble the original, but that was easy with a piece of stiff interfacing. After ironing on all the blocks, the Wonder Under proved not quite strong enough to just hold the wool pieces there permanently, so I zig zagged around the edges of each piece. In the process, I had ironed and sewn the zipper shut. A seam ripper and some scissors fixed that right up – good thing felted wool doesn’t ravel! The neck and armholes didn’t turn out looking too great, so I bound them by ironing on more strips of felted sweater.
All in all, the dress used an entire black sweater, two white sweaters, quite a bit of a red sweater, and a small piece of a blue one. Not too bad. But it was begging to have leggings under it — so two more black sweaters, and voila, matching leggings.
I love my new outfit! Thanks to my cute sister-in-law for modeling the dress and all those sweaters in the pics.
Felted Wool Sweaters, gingham shift dress as base.
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