Project: Cashmere Hoodie with Patches

I haven’t showed off a project recently, partly because I have been working on this one for almost two months.  Yes, I am slow.

All the materials came from my local Goodwill bins – cashmere hoodie, embroidery thread, background fabric, and even the embroidery hoop.  Everything except the needle.  The hoodie was missing the label, but there is no doubt that it is cashmere, and good quality at that.  So, why was it in the bins?  There were four holes.

Holes in cashmere don’t bother me, especially if it is a product this hefty.  Repairing it is quite easy, and I’ve repaired enough cashmere to be able to do a neat and almost undetectable mend.  That is what I’d planned, but the holes were pretty large, so I started thinking about alternatives.

I came up with embroidered patches, and because I was anxious about recent world events, I pictured a scream.  Actually, I pictured The Scream, by Edvard Munch.  I can tell you that embroidering this detail from the work was therapeutic.

I began by finding details of four paintings that I love.  I had the great product above, which is a fabric with a paper backing to run through a printer.  I isolated the sections I wanted to embroider and printed them onto the fabric.

I used a combination of wool thread and cotton embroidery floss, depending on the type of texture I wanted.  I pretty much stuck to a plain straight stitch throughout.  Sometimes I mixed two different color strands on the needle.

Van Gogh’s Wheatfields with Crows

Monet’s Water Lilies

And this one is a bit harder to recognize because I pulled the detail from the background.  Any art lovers want to attempt a guess?

My poor camera just does not capture the richness of the color and texture of this sweater.  It’s soft and warm and reminds me of beautiful things.

Over the past few years I’ve really cut retail shopping, and this year I hope to buy nothing new to wear.  I have so much fabric, and the Goodwill is such a great source of raw material, that I’m hoping I can make anything I need to fill in gaps in my wardrobe.

Every week it seems there is another article warning of the unsustainability of the shopping habits of people in developed countries.  Besides the human cost, the clothing and textiles industries are two of the most polluting on earth.  I think is is time (past it actually) that we all reevaluate the way we shop for clothing and other textile products.  When it gets to the point that people  don’t have access to clean water because of the dyes and other pollutants used in the manufacturing process, it’s time to take action.

Stepping off the soapbox now…


Filed under Sewing, Viewpoint

22 responses to “Project: Cashmere Hoodie with Patches

  1. I am on the same “soap box”! What good is all of this superficial “wealth” (greed) if we choose not to preserve our basic necessities like air/water!


  2. ps! GREAT/LOVE THE SWEATER-FIND it in a guy’s LG.! PLEASE!


  3. iamvictorialand

    Love your patches!…I’ve used felt patches in the past – yours are wonderful!


  4. Is it a Turner? The London Fire?


  5. Amazing project by the way!


  6. Mmmm now you’ve got me curious, if only there was a way I could quickly scan Turner paintings! Ha ha kidding, just google it!


  7. Fire in the House of Lords? Last guess


  8. Ellen Ruggles

    Wonderful completed project. I rarely buy anything new anymore.


  9. Lovely idea and beautifully done.
    Is it the Fighting Temeraire?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a great project! I love the Scream patch.

    I think the last clothing I bought for myself new was some wool socks. I’d like to say it’s entirely an attempt to shop ethically/sustainably, but honestly, I don’t really enjoy shopping for clothing (other than thrifting/antiquing) the way I once did.


  11. Hear, hear on buying less! And what creative patches. I think that the Goodwill Outlet near you should consider rebranding into “couture supply house.”


  12. Susanna

    how truly beautiful ! best wishes for the coming year


  13. Christina

    The Fighting Temeraire would be my guess too. Amazing patches!


  14. Love these especially the Van Gogh!


  15. What a great use for that transfer product and what a fine way to patch that sweater up. Recently discovered beetles had perforated my knitted hats and scarves. All of them in the drawer.


  16. My goodness! What a talent you have! Those embroideries are exquisite. And I thought you were just an amazing historian…


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