How to organize and store felted wool sweaters

felted wool staorage

I am on a quest to organize, DE-junk, and clear the clutter from my home and my life.  The first thing I did was clean out my closet and have worked from area to area in my home letting things go and organizing.  I will post about this later as it is quite amazing some things I have learned.

As you all know, I love felted wool sweaters and I have acquired just a FEW over the years. (Ha, Ha)  I must say my SWEATER STASH was getting out of control. Every time I started a wool project, I hauled out my bins of sweaters (six and one mega size bin), lined them up in the hallway and would dig through them all, trying to find jut the right piece and color.  WHAT A MESS!

Not having my supplies in order caused PROCRASTINATION.  The thoughts of the mess, and the bother of hauling all those bins out, kept me from moving forward and getting things done.  Do any of you find yourself feeling like this?  It was time to MOVE ON.

I bit the bullet and turned on an audio book, got a chair, a pair of scissors and got to work.

This is what some of my bins looked liked.  Most of them were worse off.  So crammed I could hardly get the lids on them.  Who knew what was in there???

Here are a few tips on how to organize and store felted wool sweaters.

I am going to show you a technique that I have found that works really well in storing the sweaters so they don’t take up so much room.

1. WASH AND FELT THE SWEATER.  (Instructions here on how to felt and shrink sweaters).

2. DISASSEMBLE SWEATER.

Right after you acquire a sweater and have washed it, disassemble the sweater.  Cutting the sweater up like this will make it easier to cut out items for your project, and will save so much room when storing.  Here is a step by step guide in how I disassemble my sweaters.

 

Cut up the side seam to the arm pit.
 Cut the sleeve off.
Cut through the shoulder seam.

 

This sweater has a turtle neck.  So cut off the neck piece if it has one.  This could come in handy for a lot of good things.
Cut the other shoulder seam and the other sleeve off.  DO NOT CUT THE
OTHER SIDE SEAM.  This will allow you to have more intact yardage if
necessary for larger pieces.
If the sweater has a good cuff.  Cut the lower 4-5 inches of the sleeve
off.  These cuffs work well for the cuffs of mittens and slippers!
Cut down the sleeve seam.
Open the sleeve piece up and fold.
If the sweater has a good cuff along the bottom of the sweater.  Cut the
lower 4-5 inches off in a long strip.  Once again, this cuff fabric is
wonderful.
 

If the sweaters have any cool accessories on them, BUTTONS, ZIPPERS,  POCKETS, etc. save them. 

Here are a few zippers that I have saved from sweaters.  The reason I saved these zippers is because of the cool zipper pulls they have.  This can really add charm to a project.  Yes, I know it will take some time unpicking the sweater from the zipper, but something you could do while watching t.v or riding in the car.  (As a passenger, of course).

3.  FOLD AND STORE

Doesn’t this look so much nicer than a wad of wool?
This is a flatter bin about 6 inches tall, that I store all my cut out
cuffs in.  Easy to find and easy to see what colors I have available.

If you are just starting to explore the world of FELTED WOOL SWEATERS  and you don’t have a big surplus YET, just find a nice bin with a lid to keep your sweaters in.

BUT, if you have been into this for a bit, you most likely have several sweaters of many colors kicking around.

PLASTIC BINS

To make your life easier when it comes to felted wool sweater projects, get yourself several bins, preferably the same size for easy stacking.  I get mine at Costco.  I used to have a big old mongo bin that I would throw some of the sweaters in, but it was way too big and hard to organize.  So, that bin is now being used for sleeping bags.

I cut my bins down from 6 regular plus the mongo bin, to only 6 regular size bins.  Yea!  It feels so nice.

SORT IN COLORS

 

Depending on how many sweaters you have, sit and figure out what colors need to go where.  I use a whole bin for greens, and one bin for blacks and grays.

Label the bins so you can easily see at a glance where things are.

I just got a Silhouette Cameo machine a while back and was able to make some fun vinyl labels.  You can make a paper label and tape it to the box or even just stick some masking tape on and write what colors are inside.

Establish a box for SCRAPS.  After you have cut things out you are going to have pieces that are too small to fold.  DON’T THROW THEM AWAY.  There are so many projects that require only a small piece of wool. Balls, hearts, and so many other things.

I also keep smaller box, or you can even use a bag, for the tiny scraps of felted wool scraps.  These I save for laundry dryer balls.  For more information about making these gems, check out this blog post.  

So, there you have it.  I hope this LONG post was helpful to you in some way.

If you have a great idea or have questions, please feel free to chime in and leave a comment.
Some times I feel like I am just talking to the wind.

Have fun sorting, sewing and of course, SMILING!

 

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