Sometimes you know exactly when, how and why you started following or knowing about a blogger. Honestly I can't tell when that happened with Abby from Things for Boys, seriously, I can't tell. I can tell I like what she does though, the tips and tutorials she shares in her blog. And oh my gosh, I was blown away when I opened her post for today... I have refashioned blankets into robes for my daughter before, but I have never thought about turning them into some of the gorgeous things she has collected to show us.
I was very honoured and excited when Magda asked me to join her Refashion Month series. I get great satisfaction out of being able to give an old item a whole new life. It's thrifty, eco friendly and great for the creative imagination...I will warn you though, if you're new to repurposing, refashioning and upcycling, you may find it hard to throw anything away. Everything now has the potential to be something else!
If you haven't heard of me before, my name is Abby and I blog over at Things for Boys. I blog about all the sewing, crafting and baking I get up to for my two little boys and the big boy (my hubby). There's also a bit of selfish sewing thrown in for good measure. We live in Australia and are in the middle of a heatwave!
As most of you are in the midst of a very cold Winter, I thought I would show you some ideas that you can use to refashion old woolen blankets. I will never pass up a wool blanket, they have so much potential.
1. Make a Coat! I made this coat from one Queen size wool blanket. It it the warmest thing I own and is affectionately called my 'blanket coat'. You can read all about it here. I think a kids Bomber Jacket made up in a wool blanket would also look amazing. I don't find my jacket itchy, but if you're worried, you can always line it, particularly for kids.
2. Baby Sleeping Bags! No one seems to use blankets for babies or toddlers these days, it's all about the grobag. These sleeping bags keep your baby nice and warm even if they roll around or kick about. I have made up quite a lot of these over the years, from lightweight Summer bags to these warm Winter bags. I love using wool blankets for the batting because the wool is breathable, which is perfect if your baby is a sweaty sleeper like my boys!
3. Ironing Board Cover! Ok, this one isn't very exciting, but if your ironing board needs a new cover, why not make it instead of buying one. Use your favourite crazy print fabric on top (the one you bought because you had to have it, but it's too crazy to use on anything) and then use one or two layers of an old woolen blanket as the padding underneath. The wool can withstand high heat from the iron and is great for holding in the steam.
4. Pin Cushion! Did you know you aren't meant to put the polyester toy stuffing into pin cushions?! It can rust your pins! I also find that pincushions stuffed with hobby fill tend to be too light and move around a lot when I'm trying to stick the pins in. My solution is to use the scraps from my other wool blanket projects. I cut them into little pieces, about 1/4" square and use them as my stuffing. I will admit my hand can get cramped up doing this, so I usually give the job to hubby! The wool has a bit more weight to it, so my pin cushion stays still and my pins won't get rusty! All the details for the Cathedral Window pincushion above and matching thread catcher can be found here.
5. Oven Mitt or Pot Handle Covers! Pieces from a wool blanket also make the perfect insulation for an oven mitt or hot handle cozy. The wool works just like insul-bright and you don't need to try and remember which side of the insul-bright goes where!
6. Casserole Carrier! I might be cheating a little bit...this idea is pretty similar to #5 in that it uses a wool blanket for the insulating layer. Take your casserole to the next Pot Luck in style. You can find a round up of free casserole carrier patterns here.
7. Quilt Batting! I've heard of many resourceful people who use the blankets as quilt batting! Second hand blankets have usually been through the wash a lot, so any colour run and shrinkage has been taken care of. I'd suggest trying to get a plain, light coloured blanket for this project as you don't want some bright green tartan pattern showing through your quilts top layer.
(image source, See Kate Sew)
8. Hats! When I think of a winter hat, I usually think of knitting. Sewing is much faster, so why not sew a hat! I love this boys hat pattern from See Kate Sew. See Kate Sew also has an adult size version.
9. Slippers! Slippers are often made from old felted wool sweaters, but there's no reason a wool blanket wouldn't work too. There are a lot of tutorials around for making slippers just your size. You can find a few here, here, here and here.
10. Christmas Stocking! Ok, Christmas is finally over and you probably want to forget about it for the moment, so you can file this idea away for later. A lot of wool blankets come in traditional tartan colours... think bottle green, reds and gold. These colours are perfect for Christmas stockings! I have a free stocking pattern here.
How would you refashion an old wool blanket?