Making It: With Bells On (Sassy, October 1988)
One of the many things I loved about Sassy was that it encouraged teen girls to have a DIY aesthetic, that thrift store finds are awesome, and that being an individual is much cooler than being part of the popular crowd.
One regular column, “Making It” encouraged girls to get their craft on. Here’s the October 1988 installation, so that you can make an ornamental sweater of your very own!
Don’t waste your money on designer wool lies this winter. Just borrow a few of their expensive ideas and you can make your own version for under $20. That’s what we did. Just follow these easy instructions and turn a basically basic sweater into one of the noisiest, nowest, fall tops.
You’ll need: A plain wool or cotton sweater; 48 small, gold-colored bells; 5 gold tassels; 3 black tassels; scissors; a needle; and thread that matches your sweater (all available at fabric and trimmings stores).
How to sew them on: Start by inserting the threaded needle from inside the sweater to the front (so the knot is on the inside where you can’t see it). Now string three bells onto the needle and thread and insert the needle back into the sweater. Then saw about 10 small stitches in and out of the sweater to secure the bell clusters snugly in place. Keep your stitches near the base of the bells so you won’t be able to see them. Knot the thread on the inside of the sweater and repeat the whole process until all the bells are sewn on in clusters of three. Then sew on one tassel at a time with the same small in-and-out stitches you used to attach the bells. You can also hook the tassels onto a few of the bell clusters (like we did).
Variations: Add pins, brooches, whistles, earrings or whatever else has been lying around in your jewelry box doing nothing. We only decorated the front of this sweater, but you can go ahead and decorate the whole thing. The noise will be deafening, but it’ll look super.
How to clean it: Once all the ornaments are sewn on, you’ll have to hand wash or dry-clean the sweater, since the washing machine could be a little tough on those bells (and vice versa).