Incredibly inspired by this awesomeness created by Gina - yes, I wanted to be her neighbour! - I marched down to the Op Shop on a mission. I found the "thought to be perfect" jumper to refashion into my own felted top.
After 2 washes in hot water and NO sign on shrinkage or any resemblance of felting, I emailed Gina in a tizz... what was I doing wrong?
It turned out that it wasn't what I WAS doing wrong.... it was what I had DONE wrong...
Lesson 1: read the label
Determined not to give up and waste my big spend of $4, I soldiered on. Having to let go of my original plan gave me a strange sense of freedom, something I am not really all that comfortable with as I am very much a follow-the-pattern type of girl.
Anyway, things were looking good. I overlocked the neck edge and left it raw, assuring myself this was deliberate and not unfinished (again with the pattern and rules thing). I shortened the arms to 3/4 length and sewed them back on. I even cut the front bigger than the back, leaving extra fabric along the front neckline which could be folded up with a pin.
My masterpiece was finished and I must admit, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed not following a pattern and at how well it had turned out.
Then I tried it on.
Lesson 2: measure your length
I made the jumper too short. In this photo, it is pulled down as much as possible, and even with a top underneath, it rides up and comes dangerously close to being a mid-rif. And while I do puffer vests, I don't do mid-rifs.
So while I love the raw (not unfinished!) necklane and the way it sits with a gorgeous brooch, and the baggy 3/4 sleeves, it's back to the drawing board.
But I'm not writing this top off yet... the scissors are hovering close by, especially after seeing this on Tricia's blog. And a felted top remains on my 'To Do' list... as does buying a woollen jumper that is NOT Machine washable!