Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Felt Garments!

Handdyed felted jacket made from Shetland Mule fiber.  I just need to add the buttons and maybe tweak the sleeves a little.  The scarf is nuno-felted handdyed haboti silk with a merino/tencel blend. 

Stan's vest felted from natural colored Bluefaced Leicester wool and silk gauze.
I have a long way to go in learning how to make felted garments, but so far I've made a vest for Stan and a jacket for me and I'm having a blast.   Yes, Christmas is looming up this weekend, but I've been on a creative bender.  Good thing we aren't exchanging a lot of gifts this year and everyone knows it.

I started sewing in 4th grade. I remember that I made a corduroy jumper.  I was thrilled with it until my mother mentioned that the nap didn't match (so the fabric pieces took the light slightly differently).  Drat!

Well, that became the story of my sewing life.  Along with my friends, I sewed quite a few of my own clothes during high school, but I never felt I was good enough at my finishing skills.  My hem stitches always seemed to stand out like beacons at sea and my zipper stitching always looked a little crooked.

I suppose it's like when you wallpaper your own rooms, the tiny imperfections that no one else notices glare out at you.  Gosh, now that I think about it, that's how it is with painting too. It's taken me years to realize that most people will take things as they see them, they don't pick out all the tiny little inconsistencies, they just take in the overall impression and go one their way.

Anyway, I find myself again delving into garment making. But this time with felt!  The cool thing about felt garments is that the felt becomes clay like during the fulling process and you can shape it to the desired size and shape.  And even cooler is that you can wet it back down and reshape fairly easily - at least up to a point.  And best of all - NO hems required!  No facing required either. :-)

11 comments:

  1. BEAUTIFUL, Becky! I think you may be on to something here. I have a neighbor with a felting machine and I sent some batts over to her to have made into felt. They're done now ~ I may just go pick them up today. I've decided that I'm going to have a FIBER day for the Winter Solstice. Going to spin & dye roving and/or yarn.

    Keep up the gorgeous work!

    P.S. Where do you get your silk for you nuno felted scarves. That may just be the next thing I experiment with...

    ;-)

    Happy Solstice and Have a Merry Christmas!

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  2. Wow Becky, you are turning out some nice stuff. So much talent!

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  3. Way cool, Becky! Keep up the good work!

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  4. Thanks you guys! I was thrilled with the jacket, I love those colors. But seeing myself in it has really motivated to cut back on the calories and start doing exercises again!
    Nancy, I get my silk and some of my dyes from Dharma Trading Company. But if you want smaller amounts to start off with, you could check your local fabric stores.
    What kind of felting machine does your neighbor have? Can you get pre-felts or do you have to get them fully felted?

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  5. I think that these are wonderful! You inspire me to finally try a felt garment which has been on my list to do for years.

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  6. Ohhhh...your new jacket is wonderful!!
    Congratulations!

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  7. Love the jacket ~ great color combinations! And I love the 'wavy' ends. You're right on that the best part is no hems required.

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  8. Beautiful work Becky! You really have been on a creative bender. As far as imperfections, I've always been the same way--no matter if I draw something, cook something etc I'll be quick to pick out all that is wrong instead of all that is good! Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
    Tammy

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  9. Thanks for the comments everyone. I also used the colorful cut edges from the jacket pictured in a 2-D framed piece which I have to still have to stitch together and matt. I'll be making myself a natural colored BFL jacket next week - I've already cut and dyed the silk. Can't wait to get started on it. I love the texture and feel of the BFL felt. I'm using Lizzie Houghton book, Felting Fashion Felt, as a guide. Merry Christmas!

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  10. BEAUTIFUL vest and jacket Becky, how I wish I could stitch like you!!! Happy New Year from Ireland. X Nicola

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