In Which a Favorite Sweater Becomes an Alligator

I used to have a fabulous and gorgeous forest green wool sweater, but now it’s an alligator.

The problem with having beautiful and flattering clothes is that one wants to put them in heavy rotation in the wardrobe, and then they get worn out. In this case, the fabulous sweater got an unsightly hole in it. Inspired by Heather L., I decided to felt it. Basically, I put it through the hot wash and dryer cycles with the other clothes a few times, and it went from a ladies size small to roughly the equivalent of a baby size 6-9 months.

Further inspired by the sweet lambkin Paula made for her daughter’s birthday recently, I decided to turn my erstwhile sweater into a gift for Jack’s first birthday.

Clearly, since the color was green, the choices were limited. As we already have a Jeremy Fisher frog, and worms and snakes are not all that interesting in stuffed animal form, I decided to make an alligator.
First I cut the sweater off right across the sleeves, rounding one sleeve for the face and tapering the other for the tail. You can see where the neckline was in the top of the photo.
Next I hand sewed the open parts up and stuffed it, and sewed a bit across the face to differentiate between the mouth of the alligator and it’s face. I didn’t hand sew it to be extra cool, but rather because I knew my sewing machine would eat the felt for breakfast and my patience has limits. Very very finite limits. The resulting item looked kind of like a leech with a platypus mouth.
I pondered the leech/platypus and decided what the creature was missing was feet! Using the bit of sleeve left over from the face end of the animal, I created four little foot pockets, stuffed them, and sewed them on.
Then it looked even more like a platypus…
So I sewed a line of red embroidery floss across it’s mouth to make a smile, added applique flannel eyes, and voila! A creature sort of vaguely reminiscent of an alligator, crossed with a platypus. At long last, we have found one of Darwin’s missing links! Ha ha.
He’s kind of friendly looking, right? Hopefully Jack will like him.

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