Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Sweatercoat Chronicles - Chapter 2 - The Washing

The second coat I finished was this purple one. It was better than the first one but I still needed to work out some glitches.

Finally at the third coat, I was getting the hang of it. These were getting to be a lot of fun.

My lovely model is Julia's friend, Jeanne.

Anyway - on to "The Washing."

After thrift shopping I will leave the bags in the trunk of my car until I have accumulated "a lot" of sweaters.

When the coast is clear, I bring them all into the laundry room and sort by color, I try to have one load of "darks," (black, navy, brown, etc.) one of "mediums," (blues, tans, etc.) one 'lights" and one "reds." Red dye will run and I just prefer to wash the reds separately.

Kat recommends washing on HOT and it was just against my nature to wash all of those lovely wool sweaters on hot but I did it.

I was shocked to see how much some of the sweaters would shrink. It seems that the washer does the shrinking and they don't shrink much more in the dryer.

In the meantime I read another book about designing with thrifted sweaters and this author recommended washing on "warm." So, I tried that too. And the warm wash didn't shrink the sweaters as much. Surprise, surprise. Also, the author, Crispina recommended a shorter cycle.

Well, the less-felted sweaters just don't work as well. Hot is better for the sweatercoats.

I use regular detergent and a Shout Color Catcher in every load.

It is surprising how much lint is created. First there are little balls in the washer. This is especially true of certain fibers like angora and mohair. I very diligently clean these out of the washer and shake them off of the sweaters as I remove them.

Then I run them through a regular dryer cycle with a Bounce softener sheet. I just like the smell of Bounce.

I clean the lint catcher after every load. But no, I don't save it.

Just want to be clear on that.

Then I sort my lovely clean and fresh sweaters by color into piles in the sewing room.

"Mom the sewing room looks like an episode of Hoarders." (Actual quote from my daughter.)


Marsha said...

Laura, these are amazing! Wish I could see them in person. And I love the "hoarders" comment...only because I know it was in jest. :D Love you all!

Andrea Michelle said...

These are fantastic!! Do you sell them at all??