In the attic of most homes there will be a dusty, old box. It’ll be under the Christmas decs, somewhere between childhood school books and the back-up sofa covers. Within this box contains the poor, forlorn jumpers that time (and style) forgot. Our skin recoils at the thought of donning them, especially the one at the bottom with the weird crunch about it, but, still, the box remains there unbinned. Well, it turns out we were completely justified in our hoarding – they aren’t gnarly jumpers at all, they’re hot water bottles in waiting! So heave the box down and rejoice in a bit of upcycling; all it takes is a quick boil wash and tumble dry to felt the fabric, and you’re on your way.
- Hot water bottle
- Old jumper
- Linen braid
- shell buttons
- Paper and pencil
- Sewing machine and thread
Our hot water bottle cover is made from a cashmere jumper. The base of the cover utilizes the hem of the jumper and the top part is the sleeve cuff. The jumper was washed in boiling water, rinsed and then tumbled dry to felt and shrink before cutting out.
Make a template for the cover by drawing around a hot water bottle onto paper. Add a 1cm seam allowance to all the edges apart from the base. Cut out and position onto the base of the jumper with the bottom of the template sitting just above the jumper’s rib hem, making sure that the back and front of the hem are sitting level with each other. Pin the template and cut through both layers.
Separate the layers and form a length of braid into a heart shape in the centre of one. When you are happy with the shape, pin in position and zig-zag stitch the braid heart with a sewing machine. Next, make two buttonholes in the rib base edge, then do two more in the remaining hot water bottle piece in the same positions.
Lay the two pieces together with right sides facing and edges matching, then pin in place. Stitch down the two sides, leaving the base and the top open. Cut off one of the sleeve cuffs from the jumper and stitch this around the top of the cover.
Clip into the curves and then turn the cover to the right side, tease out the curves and press. Turn up the rib base of the cover and stitch two buttons to correspond with the buttonholes, then sew a button to the point of the heart. Finally, place the bottle inside the cover, fold the base up and close the cover with the buttons.