I found this delightful free pattern for a reversible wool hat, and with the kind permission of the author, Daniela Gutierrez-Diaz, here is a LINK to her pattern and a photo of her hat.
First job was to print the pattern and stick it together to try it for size. I discovered that I needed to reduce the size by 12% – easily done on the print settings.
Then I could work out the size of felt fabric I needed to make. I used 4 layers of mid-green merino wool to make a rectangle then topped it with a pattern of diagonal stripes of open-weave fabric, yarns and nepps. The dry layout was 100 x 60cms (40″ x 24″).
I got the idea for the pattern by looking down at my skirt!
I had to make a few adaptations to the pattern because the felt fabric was thicker than the fabric used in Daniela’s pattern.
Instead of folding the fabric over itself into a tube then flattening it with zig-zag, I cut the straps in half widthways, backed them with thin cotton fabric then zig-zagged around the edges.
The hat was designed to be made from two layers of fabric then ‘bagged out’ but the felt wasn’t suitable for that, so I applied an adhesive web to a piece of thin green cotton fabric then ironed it onto the felt fabric to form the lining.
I cut away the excess cotton fabric…
…then neatened the bottom edge with zig-zag stitch.
The crown of the hat is formed by joining together the points. I butted the edges of the felt together and sewed them shut with zig-zag stitch.
The first one was easy but it became progressively harder as more felt bunched up under the machine.
But here it is finished…
…and the view of the top.
With all the lovely weather we’re having this year, it’s hard to imagine it being cold enough to wear this hat!
…and last year Judith (koffipot) showed her woven scarf on the forum…
…and if you’d like to make a hat but don’t know how, then Teri Berry is running an online class via the Felting and Fiber Forum. The class will run in July / August and registration opens on 2 July 2020. The price for this four-week course is £50 GBP (approx. $66 US, $85 Canadian, €56, $88 AUD, $97 NZ) and the number of places will be limited to 30 students.
The first felting tutorial will be posted on 16 July 2020 with another tutorial posted in each of the following 2 weeks. The class forum will remain open for you to share your work and ask questions until 27 Aug 2020.
Here are a couple of her hats…
So get your thinking hat on. What can you make, in your favourite medium, to help keep you warm this autumn/winter?
Please post your photos on the Felting and Fiber Forum in the studio challenges section.
Ta-Dah! I finally finished my parasol. If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, please see this blog post
I made a paper pattern of the segments of the umbrella then I cut out the felt panels.
I stitched the panels together using the wide zigzag stitch that worked so well on my sample. The thread I used (top and bobbin) was ‘The Bottom Line’ by Libby Lehman – it’s almost ‘invisible’ and the colour of the felt showed through the stitches.
I was worried about how I could ‘pin’ the panels together for stitching, but as the felt is thin and firm thanks to the fabric between the fine layers of wool, it was easy to sew by just butting the edges together just before the pieces went under the needle. The parasol shape became obvious after only stitching 2 panels together.
I cut a hole in the centre so that the cover would slide over the central pole. To reinforce the hole, I found an old metal key ring that was the exact size. I glued it in place, then stitched it with perle embroidery thread.
I trimmed the bottom edge, then using the same red thread that formed the flowers, I secured the cut edge with blanket stitch. It’s a very bright red – I’d describe it as neon because it almost glows!
Compare the zigzag stitching in the photos above and below – one looks blue the other looks yellow, but it’s the same pale grey thread described above.
The ends of the spokes of the umbrella have plastic caps with large holes at the back so I secured the cover to the end of each spoke with thread bows.
Ann (Shepherdessann) expressed an interest in what the parasol would look like inside, so here it is on its back (the under layers of wool were plain colours – baby blue and canary yellow.
The summer cover is quick to fix in place and just as quick to remove, and fold away, for the winter.
I decided to make a small bag from handmade felt to carry a sketchbook and a few pens out and about with me.
I didn’t make a plan or measure anything. To start with I just laid out a piece of felt with some randomly placed small pieces of bubble wrap to make pockets then I figured I’d work with what I ended up with to cobble a bag together!
I thought it would keep it more spontaneous (and be less effort if I’m honest!)
In one way it was easier because the layout was carefree, then in another it was hard work because I realised I put the initial attempt at “lining” fabric (some scrim) on the wrong side and also the spacing of the pockets was completely wrong for utilising all the felt fabric I had made.
However, it means I’ve got a piece of felt leftover for a future project and also the bag miraculously ended up OK! I cut 2 pieces out incorporating 2 pockets then ironed some interfacing on to each piece to make them more sturdy. I reinforced each pocket with a line of machine stitch.
Then I decided to neaten the top edges by folding over and machine stitching then trimming away the excess.
I sewed round the edges of the two pieces with right sides together then turned it out to make the basic bag shape. I realised at this stage I was not going to get away with not lining it as it looked a bit shabby inside with the interfacing on show.
So I cut some thin cotton navy fabric and made a pocket lining to sew inside. That was a palaver! But I got there in the end and it looked surprisingly neat!
Lastly, I just needed to figure out a handle.
I found some yellow webbing and sewed that on before realising I had forgotten to topstitch round the outside of the bag so I did it afterwards. I think it worked out OK.
I mostly like to make felted artwork so this was a nice change to make, and definitely a challenge! 🙂
I have a plastic umbrella that I intended to cannabalize to make a felt parasol, but I wondered how I would control the spokes once the plastic had been removed.
So I decided to take the easy way out and leave the plastic in place. Originally I planned to make a felt cover then stitch it to the plastic, but after a bit of thought I decided that if I made a detachable felt cover, I could have an umbrella AND a parasol.
I would need to make some felt that would be fine enough to be lightweight yet strong enough to cut and stitch, and it would need to be firm, not stretchy.
I had an idea that nuno felt, with the fabric sandwiched between layers of wool, would work. I needed to make a sample!
I used some very fine net, plain yellow merino wool, a mini-batt leftover from another project and some 2 ply wool.
The sample is a ‘sandwich’ made of two fine layers of yellow merino wool, a piece of net, one fine layer of yellow merino wool topped with one fine layer of blended yellow/orange merino wool. I added a 6″ (15.25cm) square made from 4 lengths of 2-ply wool to make the shrinkage estimate easier.
I used tepid water and gentle rubbing then rolling to felt the sample. Here it is after drip-drying. You can see that although the net has gone frilly around the edge, it didn’t buckle the felt at all – the felt is flat. The shrinkage was 17%.
The felt was thin, lightweight and strong.
My plan was to sew panels of felt together to make the removable cover, so I experimented on the sample.
The felt cut beautifully – the cut edges were firm.
First I tried a plain seam. The felt travelled under the needle effortlessly and smoothly.
The plain seam looked good but was too bulky, so I cut the sample again, butted the cut edges together and joined them with a wide zig-zag stitch. Perfect! It made a strong, flat seam.
I thought a test was needed on the zigzag seam so I gripped it firmly between both hands and gave it several sharp tugs. It held fast – probably thanks mainly to the layer of net.
Sorry the photo below is a tiny bit blurry – I put the camera on a tripod then set the shutter timer for 10 seconds. I yanked and yanked on the felt until the photo was taken so it’s an action shot!
I would need 8 triangles of felt to make the removable cover, so allowing for shrinkage each triangle would have to be laid out 45cm (18″) wide at the base and 65cm (26″) high.
I decided it would be daft to lay out a triangle exactly – it could mis-shape during felting – so I made a paper template to the correct size, to use as a guide during layout, then ‘squared off’ the point of the triangle. After felting, the triangle could then be cut accurately from the larger piece.
My colours and pattern for the parasol would be an hommage to Annie’s ‘Flowers on Coverack Beach’ but in a very, very minimalist style using just 3 colours.
I carded a batt of blue blend merino wool and a batt of yellow blend merino wool…
…and found some spools of bright red thread in my stash. I don’t know what it is but it looks like there’s some wool fibres in it.
I expect you’re wondering why I’ve only got half a parasol?
Well … things happened. My time-plan collapsed so I’ve only made 6 panels so far!
I need to make 2 more panels, cut all 8 to shape, then stitch them together. I’ll post a photo of the finished parasol on the forum soon!
We think it likely that many people associate handmade felted, knitted or woven items with providing warmth in the darker months, so the ‘Personal Items’ challenge for this quarter is to make something that you could use in sunny weather.
It can be as simple or as complicated as you choose but most importantly it’s a challenge so perhaps try new colours or designs or something just a little different from your usual style.
Don’t take this too seriously though – it’s meant to be fun!
The first thing we all do at this time of year is to try to find our sunglasses so that we can read outside in the garden or on holiday.
This Kindle and these sunglasses could do with handmade cases to protect them and make them pretty and a textile bookmark would be very useful for the paperback.
Hmmm, how about a lightweight sleeveless top or a delicate shoulder wrap and of course a sunhat is essential.
Annie said she wanted a new sunhat – one that would make a statement – so I made her one. I don’t think it’s quite what she had in mind though.
It would be good to have a pretty tote bag for all those things too wouldn’t it? A bag could be made from scratch or a simple jute bag could be purchased then embellished with textile panels or hand embroidery.
In January 2013 I embellished a plain jute tote bag with fabric scraps from an old skirt and a bit of rough machining. The bag is still in use – it’s a bit grubby now but still pretty.
So whatever your skill level please enjoy this challenge and post your photos on the forum for us all to enjoy!
The theme for this year’s challenges is ‘Personal Items’.
So here’s the first challenge for felters, spinners, weavers, stitchers, knitters, crocheters and mixed media fibre artists …
…make a piece of jewellery!
We might associate jewellery with metal and glass, but jewellery is just ‘personal adornment’ usually in the shape of a necklace, ring, bracelet, brooch/pin or earrings and they can be made from anything.
This isn’t a competition – there’s no judging and there are no prizes – you just challenge yourself no matter what your skill level and we’d love it if you could post a photo of your jewellery on the forum.
Here are just a few examples of textile jewellery – hopefully they will inspire you to get designing and making!
Pebble necklace, felt, made by Karen (Lincs in Stitches)
Flower pins, organza, silk, etc made by Judith (koffipot)
Butterfly pin, felt and beads, made by Pam (Pamd)
Close up of bubble bracelet, felt, by Ann (Shepherdess)
Flower pin, needle-felt and beads by Annie (rosiepink)
Cuff, felt & stitch by Annie (rosiepink)
Choker, embroidered felt beads by Lyn (rosiepink)
We’re looking forward to seeing lots of pieces of jewellery posted on the forum!
I was fascinated by this colourful photo of Chilhuly Glass. I love the transparency of the glass and the way the overlap gives a secondary, and sometimes tertiary, colour.
But how to achieve that effect with fibres?
My first idea was to try delicate nuno felt so I cut three circles of fabric (2 are silk and 1 is unknown but it’s open weave) and some lengths of 100% wool yarns that I reduced to one ply.
I arranged wool on each piece of fabric then overlapped the circles. I was hoping that gentle agitation would make the wool fibres migrate into all the fabrics and hold them together.
Long story short – it wasn’t successful and it would have been a waste of a photo to have shown the resulting mess. The thin strands of wool were not ‘loose’ enough to work through the silk but the wool on the open weave unknown fabric was ok. Also there wasn’t enough transparency with the silk.
My second idea was to try cobweb felt. I fluffed up a small amount of wool fibres …..
… wet it down, then added a spiral using just one strand of wool.
I made two more puffs of fibres in a similar way then placed them down as shown in the photo. I felted them very gently.
When the felt was dry I picked it up and I liked the effect but I wasn’t sure where I was going with it – should I make a see through piece that needed light behind it or a piece to be mounted onto a stretched canvas?
Eventually I decided to make my colourscape using puffs of fibres and one-ply yarn on a thin base of bright white merino fibres so that I could mount the finished piece onto a stretched canvas.
Sampling may look like a lot of effort, but it actually saves time, frustration and materials!
Sampling also inspires new ideas.
I made circular puffs of fibres in different sizes and decided to just use one line of yarn on some, but not all, of the circles.
My colourscape developed during the laying the down of fibres to become the almost finished piece, shown below, that I trimmed with a rotary cutter when dry.
The trimmed felt is 43x28cm (17″ x 11″) … and yes … it really is that bright!
I have a lovely assortment of commercially dyed wools: vivid fuschia, vibrant lilac, canary yellow, bright orange, spring green, fluorescent pink etc…
…and the puffs of fibres were see-through enough to imitate the effect of layers of glass.
Then it was time for a bit of pencil-end chewing as I still wasn’t sure of where I was going with it.
I knew I had to keep the circles theme so I sketched out several ideas but none really felt right.
So I put the felt to one side and carried on with other things. The next day an idea formed. I picked up some cookie cutters, an air erasable pen then I drew circles of two different sizes on the cobweb felt using the cookie cutters as guides. I cut them out, shuffled them about, put them back, and I liked the result!
I secured the circles in place with a single-sided fusible fabric, ironed onto the back, then, as this piece so lightweight, I simply applied a thin layer of fabric glue to the fabric backing to attach the felt to a stretched canvas.
Below are some close-ups:
Anyone else taking up the fourth quarter challenge? A colourscape really can be anything at all: wall art, clothing, vessels or perhaps a small piece to put on a greetings card.