Works In Progress

I feel like I’ve been working on a production line recently, making lots of pieces of felt that will eventually be made into something. Some of the pieces were made with specific things in mind, some were just for the fun of it or to try things out. I never really enjoy making felt during the summer when it’s hot, so around about this time of year I start working through my stacks of felt, working out what I want to use them for, or having an idea and searching through to find the perfect piece. After measuring, cutting, pinning and sewing, I then have a nice pile ready to making a start on stitching and adding buttons etc.

One piece of felt that I found when I was searching through, was a sample I’d made using silk throwster’s waste, rainbow trilobal nylon and nylon fibre that I’d dyed. It wasn’t a pretty piece, but then it was only a sample :) The first piece I started to make out of it is a pouch just the right size for holding a pack of cards, small notepad and a pencil-perfect for train journeys with young kids. There’s silk throwster’s waste on the left and dyed nylon on the right.

The second piece I started to make is a camera case. This has silk fibres at the top and rainbow trilobal nylon at the bottom.

Both the camera case and card pouch are lined with cotton fabrics. The 3rd piece is a pouch for earbuds. The front has trilobal nylon and the back has silk fibres. All 3 of these pieces have a loop of elastic on the top for using with a button to keep them closed.

These next two pieces are a camera case and an ipod case, made from a nuno felted piece using muslin. I added machine stitching in an uneven zig-zag pattern to the felt for the camera case, just for a little extra thickness. I’d made this for my new camera, but I’m torn between this and the one above. These pieces are the only ones I’ve finished with blanket stitches so far.

These last two pieces are coin pouches. I first made one of these a couple of years ago because I was tired of reaching into my back pocket and trying to find coins, but getting a handful of keys instead.

Now all I have to do is find a few films to watch while I get started on blanket stitching the edges of all of these! Do you have a particular way of working? Do you like to streamline your process, work on a few items at once or maybe complete a project before starting another one?

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12 Responses to Works In Progress

  1. Karen says:

    They all look gorgeous zed, i wish i had a more methodical way of working but i dont, now that ive been packing everything away i found i have so many unfinished things its not funny. I’m trying to pack methodical though so i can bring something out to do thats easy for now ?? what i dont know yet lol Hope your making a cup of tea to go with all that blanket stitching :)

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Kaz :)
      Yep, a nice cup of tea, I’ve got some catching up to do ;)
      I know it’s a pain, but it’ll be nice to be able to put all your craft things away and re-organise a bit, especially since you’ve been working on different things and probably use things more than others that you didn’t last time you re-organised.

  2. I made a large quantity of cell phone pouches to sell. I found it easier to do it assembly line style. Those little pouches are a lot of work. I did not use felt, as it would get too expensive. I used cotton and thrift store fabric that I embellished with beads. But for personal use, I could make them with some beautiful felting, like yours.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Judy :)
      I tried to keep the work down to a minimum which is why I used felt, it can be made as thick as you want and it’s hardwearing and can be embellished with fabrics or fibres without any extra work. I find it much cheaper than fabric too, I doubt there’s more than £5 worth of wool in all those pieces. I suppose I’d need some kind of spongey lining with fabric? I find beading etc too fiddly for my sausage fingers and dodgy eyes :)
      We’ll get you addicted to wet felting before long :)

  3. Lyn says:

    The little pile of ‘waiting to be sewn’ is scrummy and all your pieces have made up beautifully – the decorative effect of the silk fibres and the machining take some beating as far as I’m concerned.

    If I’m sitting with hand sewing I prefer not to watch the tele as I need to keep my eyes on what I’m doing, so I’d rather listen to a good play or talk on the radio.

    If I had to make 100 eye-glass cases, then I would use the production-line method but for one-offs I prefer to start and finish one thing at a time as I find my creativity improves if I’m only working on one thing (when I’m off doing mundane chores my mind is still ticking over on the work in progress and sometimes that’s when the good ideas come).

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Lyn :)
      I’ve tried listening to audiobooks on youtube, or documentaries, but it usually takes too long to find a decent one!
      I don’t usually have so many things cut or pieced ready to sew, but I had my machine out and thought it’d save time to do a few at once.

  4. ruthlane says:

    These are a great way to use up that pile of felt you’ve been accumulating. I like to listen to podcasts while I’m hand stitching. I’m not very good at production line work but I do that for stuff I sell. Otherwise, I’m usually working on 3-4 different projects at once all in different stages.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Ruth :)
      Yeah, I usually have afew things in different stages. I try to lay out a few pieces ready for felting on the same day, but that’s usually as organised as I get.

  5. Nancy says:

    I’m with Lyn on doing the projects one by one unless a big production, the ideas do tend to come when I’ve left it for awhile and take my dog for a walk.
    I tend to pay attention to a movie and not the work so I listen rather than watch but a great flick to see is The Help.
    Your felts are beautiful and I’m inspired to make some more pieces for small things.
    Nancy

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Nancy :)
      I definitely need to leave some ideas brewing for a while, they usually come when my hands are wet from washing dishes.

  6. Great ideas and work. I think you need to reread some of Ruth’s Market Mondays. The cost of felt is not the raw materials but the time and skill. Your little bags are unique, don’t undersell yourself.
    I guess I do stream lined sort of. I do cover my table with pieces to felt and do it all at once. Then I finish felting and fulling individually. Last is the finishing, sometimes I really have to kick myself to get going on the finishing.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Ann :)
      Yeah, I didn’t think about the time to make the felt or the sewing up/blanket stitching, just the felt vs fabric costs, but even with the time taken to make felt, I still think it works out as a very cheap fabric/material.

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