Friday, January 6, 2012

Felted Hot Water Bottle

Is it cold enough? Has it ever been this cold? I came to New York prepared but I can't seem to wear enough layers to make it out alive. Luckily culinary school has me running around enough to keep me warm on the walk back home when it's nearing midnight. 

Full discloser- it has not snowed in NY. This picture is from THE PAST!

This hot water bottle would certainly keep me warm but I gave it away. It was a Christmas gift I made as part of my handmade-gifts-because-I-now-have-student-loans. It turned exactly how I envisioned it which is weird because I happened upon this sweater by accident (IE: my brother moved out and left it behind. Score!)  I love this hot water bottle cover and should really make one to keep- just as soon as I find another perfect lambswool caramel colored sweater.... 

Don't worry about my brother and his swiped sweater- he was the recipient of one of these babies so he's probably warmer than I am right now.

Felted Hot Water Bottle Cover
If you have a sewing machine, this is super quick work. If you don't, you can probably hand stitch this puppy in an evening in front of the TV. When choosing a sweater, make sure it's 100% wool or it won't felt properly. The wool will get softer (IE: less itchy) once felted, but it always helps to find a soft wool sweater to start!

  • 1 old XL Men's WOOL sweater (will be enough for 2 hot water bottle covers)
  • 1 Hot water bottle
  • Needle, thread ect...

Start out by felting the sweater. If you have a mesh bag, throw your sweater in there as an extra precaution against fluff clogging up your washing machine. Set your machine to HOT and run the sweater through a short cycle first. The sweater will shrink A LOT. Check the felting- you shouldn't really be able to see the weave of the wool anymore. You can run the sweater through another cycle to felt it some more or if you're pretty satisfied, put it in the dryer. The dryer will also shrink the sweater if it is set to hot heat so keep that in mind when adjusting the time and temperature. 

Once you have a felted sweater, cut off the sleeves at the shoulder and cut up the seams on either side of the body to leave you with some flat pieces. Use the hot water bottle as a guide and cut around it, adding an extra 1/2 inch. 

Cut out another piece of the same size.

Cut the cuff off from one of the sleeves. Now you have all your pieces and are ready to sew! Pin the two large pieces together and sew all the way around leaving a 4 inch hole at the top where the neck will be.

Insert the cuff of the sleeve into the sewn body and pin the cut side of the cuff to the opening.  Sew around the cuff to attach it to the body. 

Flip everything right side out again and insert your hot water bottle.  Now you can be warm!

Fill me with hot water!!