sweater beretI’m sure you have a felted sweater tucked away in shame somewhere.  A victim of the washer and dryer, you loved that now tiny matted sweater, and you can’t bring yourself to toss it even though it’s too small for even your mythical chihuahua, Popcorn.

Ah, but then the winter settles in and you’re freezing and find yourself in need of warm accessories to fight against the bitter wind, and what do you do?

You pull out that felted sweater and you cut it up into a beret and use the sleeves to make fingerless gloves.

Sweater beret and gloves

The beret pattern is a free downloadable pattern from Martha Stewart.  I muslined it first in some fleece because I wasn’t sure if it would cover my ears or not (it didn’t).  I added 1.5″ to the crown piece (the only pattern piece!) and made another muslin because it only took 10 minutes to sew together and that was just right.  Of course, adding length to the crown makes this somewhere between a beret and a cloche, but hat categories aside, this is a comfortable length for me.

sweater beret
cover button!


I used the sweater’s hem as the hat’s band, cutting it 1/4″ above the hemline.  This worked swimmingly.  My hat is a little more loose fitting with the wool than the fleece, but I hate tight hats anyhow and more importantly, in the shrinking felting process, the fabric became very dense and warm.  I made a flower from scraps and beaded the center.  What’s a hat without a decoration?

For the gloves, I cut off the sleeves 12.5″ up from the hem, zigzagged the raw edge and tried on the sleeve until it sat where I wanted it to (hem even with my index finger’s knuckle).  I felt where my thumb bone was and marked that with a marking pen.  Around that mark I cut out a small hole maybe 3/4″ across.  I went for smaller because I guessed (correctly) that the hole would stretch out once I put my thumb through anyhow.  I made a thumb piece by cutting a 2.5″X3.5″ square, blanket stitching the top and putting it WST and sewing a dart from the hemmed edge to the base of the thumb (widest part).  I trimmed the excess fabric, zigzagged the seam for strength and turned it right side out.

sweater beret

Putting the thumb piece on my thumb and trying the glove back on, I marked where the thumb seam lined up on the hole so that I wouldn’t end up with wrong facing thumbs.  I suppose you could sew the thumb by machine, but it’s so tiny a hole and you have to sew it in the round, it’s just as quick and more accurate, and probably less frustrating to use a backstitch all the way around by hand.  Tada!

sweater beret

Elizabeth Made This

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