That’s not made from yarn!
Rosa Ferrigno, 75, just knitted a new skirt suit for herself using more than 300 plastic grocery bags.
The talented grandmother living in Greece, New York, got the idea after she saw a friend with a purse made from plastic bags.
She figured out how to make a couple of her own plastic bag purses; before long, she wanted to try something even more ambitious.
“She was like, ‘Hmm, I think I want to make a skirt,’” Ferrigno’s daughter, Fran Bertalli, told TODAY Style. “She’s always thinking of other ideas. She’s always looking for winter projects.”
Ferrigno stocked up on bags from her local Wegmans grocery store and cut them into strips. She tied the strips together to make longer, yarn-like pieces, then knitted them together.
Regular knitting needles were too small for the task, so she made her own needles using long pieces of wood from Michaels craft store.
The skirt went well and so Ferrigno decided to make a coordinating jacket. She also added a soft, cotton inner lining to make the suit more comfortable to wear.
To polish off the look, she accessorized with a tote she also made from plastic bags.
Most amazing of all, Ferrigno didn’t use a pattern to make the suit; she just eyeballed it.
Ferrigno used to work as a professional seamstress for Hickey Freeman, a suit manufacturer for men and boys based in Rochester, New York.
She has “sewn and crocheted and knitted her whole life,” her daughter said.
“It’s in her blood. It really is,” Bertalli told TODAY. “Growing up with me, she always made all my outfits. She would just set out with the pattern and then after she knew my size … she didn’t really need to use them anymore. She has a good eye, a great eye.”
Ferrigno debuted the suit at a family wedding earlier this month, and everyone was blown away by her creation.
Wegmans was impressed, too.
“Our reaction was one of amazement,” Jo Natale, vice president of media relations for the grocery chain, told TODAY Style in an email. “It’s recycling at its best … That suit is not only made of plastic bags, but 40 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. Rosa is not just an artist, but a friend of the earth.”
Now that Ferrigno has finished the suit, is she working on any other projects? Nothing quite so large scale at the moment, her daughter said, although her mom has been making keychain lanyards from Wegmans bags to give to friends.
“My mother’s always been creative,” Bertalli said. “She’s always finding something to do.”