DIY Try: Fabric Shaving

I am not a big DIY'er. Historically. If something needs repairing, I bring in the pros. It probably stems from a mix of not being mechanically inclined and my upbringing. While shopping for my first used car, my uncle asked me, "Do you know what to do if you get a flat tire?" and my mother responded for me saying, "Yes, you call AAA."

Don't get me wrong. She cooked dinner, from scratch. Every. Single. Night. With very little exception. She sewed buttons back on our clothes when they fell off. She had a vegetable garden, in which we spent many, many hours pulling weeds. But she hired professional painters if the house needed painting. And she asked my grandmother - a professional seamstress - to sew our Halloween costumes.

So I am starting a new series here on the blog called DIY Try. In the interest of joining the make, do, mend movement, I will try tackling small jobs myself. Two generations ago we repaired our belongings, and now, we live in a society where everything seems to be disposable. This is even more troubling considering we have doubled our population in just one generation. So join me on this journey and give it a go in your own life.

For my first DIY Try, I am going to refresh a much-loved sweater that is showing its wear. We all have those tops - you know the ones - with the little "nubbies." They just look so shabby, and they detract from the otherwise polished look we might have pulled together. So rather than donating my top and replacing it with a new one, I used a fabric shaver to remove the pilling.


This was the easiest DIY ever. If you can shave your legs, you can shave your knit tops. I bought the shaver for $10 or $12 on Amazon. The shaver has a metal end that removes the raised pilling. All you have to do is run it over the fabric, and watch the pilling go away. I did have to go over some sections a few times, but all in all, it only took me 15 minutes to do the entire sweater.


Above photo shows the finished left side and the original pilling on the right side.

Below photo shows how much pilled fabric was removed.


The final product does not look brand new, but I'd give the process a solid A-. It's a major improvement with minimal effort. I will look better wearing this sweater, and thus will hold on to it for many more years. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have four other tops to tackle.