If you were to go and buy a cashmere sweater in a high-end store it would likely cost round about $100 at minimum. One for you, that you would be able to wear for years. If you were to buy one for a child it would likely cost you nearly as much and you may get 2 years wear out of it…if you are lucky (and not counting possible hand-me downs). But what I have recently discovered is that thrift stores regularly have cashmere sweaters, often for $5 to $10 and cashmere is tough (have you ever tried felting a cashmere sweater, it is not easy) so the sweaters are more often than not in fabulous condition.
When I found a fuchsia cashmere sweater with a chocolate brown dog on the front I had absolutely no recourse but to buy it. Granted fuchsia isn’t necessarily a colour I normally gravitate towards but come on, it had a chocolate dog and was super soft cashmere. It was just waiting to be turned into something for my Maus!
I used the hood pattern from Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson, but found the back of the neck a little wide for Mausi’s head. I took in both the outer and lining seams at the back starting at the bottom just over 1 cm in from the pattern seam and tapering off to the original seam near the crown.
I cut the pattern pieces out of the sweater in such a way that the chocolate dog is on the left side of the hood.
I had the sleeves left over, and as Maus is such a petite little thing I was able to use the sleeves to make a pair of leggings as well. I turned one sleeve inside out and slipped the other sleeve inside (right side out) so that the right sides were together. I then sewed round the bottom of the opening twice to give extra strength. Essentially the “underarms” were sewn together to form the crotch of a pair of leggings. The waist was cut from a grey cashmere sweater vest, and as the leggings fit snuggly, and the waist comes up quite high, I didn’t bother putting in an elastic.
A little pilly from wear, but nothing that the occasional shave won’t fix. From thrifted sweater to woollies for my Maus. I’m thinking that there might be a lot of recycled cashmere sewn around here this winter!
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