Constance Old
Constance Old

Constance Old recently alerted us to Crispina ffrench’s work:

“Crispina ffrench is an artist/crafter who makes terrific “improvised’ work. She is author of a recent book called The Sweater Chop Shop: Sewing One-of-a-Kind Creations from Recycled Sweaters which teaches how to cut and felt cast-off sweaters to make them into cool new things: like mufflers, blankets, pillows, and…even other sweaters. I have a really beautiful blanket she made (below).  She has her own website and sells work through Etsy.”

Felting is essentially a controlled way of washing knitted wool until it shrinks and tightens, changing both texture and color. We started to imagine huge possibilities right then and there (and in the inadvertently shrunken sweaters we may have mistakenly given away)…

We also remembered Page Goolrick telling us about the black turtleneck she made into a cardigan; she cut it right up the front with a scissors and had her local tailor sew in a big stainless steel zipper…

We started to deconstruct our notions about cut knit unravelling unmercifully, and started to think about old sweaters completely differently…


Constance also had an interesting take on Etsy:

Etsy is improvisational too in a way. I’m sure you are familiar with it–the craft site where individual crafters are able to sell their products. The basic model is that the artist rents space on Etsy and in exchange Etsy organizes and presents work by category to make it easily accessible to visitors to the etsy site. Commerce is conducted directly between buyer and maker. A beautiful melding of the timeless (handmade) and the contemporary (technology)…”


Crispina  teaches workshops sweater re-use and other crafts. For info, write [email protected].

Thanks, Constance!

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2 replies on “crispina ffrench’s re-imagined sweaters

  1. Looking at the sweater it certainly does look improvised, this is not the sort of stuff you find in Gap. Like the way so many different layers have been added, certainly will keep the cold away!

  2. I love upcycled goods, I especially love the unique look of upcycled sweaters.

    There’s a Canadian designer that’s doing something similar, called Preloved (saw some of their sweaters at Cog & Pearl in Park Slope).


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