Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My first recycled wool longies and homemade pants!

I'm so proud of myself I just had to share. For our wedding I was given a sewing machine by Mark's cousin. Very exciting. The problem was I had never successfully used a sewing machine. I tried once in High School but couldn't figure out how to get the bobbin treaded. So this summer, in desperate need of cloth wipes for diapers, I opened the machine and taught myself to sew. With the help of an instructional dvd I was able to sew several cloth wipes but sorta ended there. About a week ago I pull out the machine into the living room and started working on some wool soakers I had cut out this last summer. Success!!! I've now made two soakers; one for Ian and one for Cai. Two longies (wool pants). And two incredibly cute pants made out a thrift store weave shirt. I'm so excited. The soakers and longies are made out of two 100% wool sweaters. The longies are made for the sleeves and I used a pair of pants (one from each boy) as a "pattern." With some help from some instructions found online it turned out to be relatively simple. The soakers are cut from a pattern I found online this last summer. Although I can't for the life of me remember where now. The pants I created using a pair of pants as a guide. These I'm the most proud of, being that they were made with out a real pattern or any instructions other than my own commonsense. The boys are wearing their new pants today. And now I just need to lanolize the wool so they're ready for to use for diaper covers. :)

So wool is my new obsession for diapering. Wool is a wonderful product. It absorbs so much moisture while still feeling warm and dry. Yet it's both breathable and cool in warm weather! We've been using wool at night with Cai for months now. I had knitted a soaker sack before he was born that we used. Plus we have a wool cover that a friend is letting us borrow. We the soaker sack ended up in the diaper wash and then the dryer. It felted and now is so small. And the wool cover still worked, but not for night. Night time diapers are too bulky and it doesn't fit. :( Luckily I had started on knitting another soaker and finished just in time. The soaker was just dry when I realized the sack had been felted. I knit the soaker using Tiny Bird's free pattern which is knit flat. It turned out really nice. But I think my next one I'm going to need to adjust. The butt of the soaker is really big and awkward. Plus the waist is alittle snug despite being suggested for a 12-18mo. I'm now using the Tiny Bird's pattern for longies. Very fun. I'm loving knitting. It's so meditative and yet I feel very productive when I'm done with a project. :) The recycled soakers and longies are very fun to make as well. Just in a different way. At first I felt almost guilty cutting into a perfectly good wool sweater. But now that I finally finished them it feels good to put a sweater that wasn't been worn to good use. Plus I just found a great idea online for the scraps. Another mother used cut her scraps into squares that she was going to make into a blanket! I thought it was perfect. Now I'm on the look out for great wool sweaters to make more soakers and longies.:) If you have any 100% wool you don't want pass it my way! I'll put it to good use.

For the patterns I've been using for knitting visit
For simple instructions on making longies out of sweater sleeves visit

Ian in his recycled soaker. I don't have any pictures of Cai in any of his soakers yet :(


esaner.com said...

Those pictures of Ian are great! I'm looking forward to having you guys out here for xmas!

Eileen Saner, AMBS Librarian said...

Sewing pants and shorts for boys is about as easy as it gets. I used to ask Mark and Eric to pick out the fabric that they wanted and I made a little pair and a big pair. Then Mark could wear Eric's after he had grown out of them.

These days Eric and Mark give me a hard time about the bright colors of those shorts but they picked out the fabric.

See you soon!