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Tag: silk fabric

Sewing and Bargains

Sewing and Bargains

I’m doing another Craft Fair at the beginning of November so I wanted to make a few diary covers. This usually involves my desk getting covered with embroidery threads, and the only exception this time was that I decided to tidy them up too. I made cardboard ‘bobbins’ for some of them and spent ages untangling and winding and then putting duplicate spares in a bag. Then a couple of days later I decided to clear some more drawers and spread the threads out a bit, make them even tidier and easy to choose. These are all the drawers:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the pieces I’m using for a book cover is a piece I made years ago. I wanted to see if I could make a subtle plaid design by laying out bold stripes of colours on my two layers, it was more subtle than I thought, but I like it. I’ve cut to size and sewn the inside pocket edges so far:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou might remember this next piece from when I tried some commercial pre-felt from Heidi Feathers. The silk hadn’t attached in a couple of places so I added blanket stitch, then decided to add some more simple stitching in the blocks of colour. I’m still working on this, and have added a bit more since I took the photo:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI went in to the city centre this week, which I don’t often do, so made the most of it looking for bargains. I found a couple of elasticated summer dresses for £1 each so got them because I liked the pattern, they were only tiny though, so once I cut the top off, the bottom was a bit bigger than a pillow case, but well worth £1!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the same shop I treated myself to a ‘scarf’ because I liked the pattern, it’s actually the size of a door!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI saw this scarf in a bargain shop and thought I’d see if it nuno felts well:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, I couldn’t go to town without a trip to Abakhan fabric shop, where I got some more braiding (I took a photo of the back for you, Ann!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd probably the best bargain of the day, I found a roll of silk fabric, down from £10 a metre to £3, so I had to get some 🙂

silk 2

Cathy’s Nuno Felt Projects

Cathy’s Nuno Felt Projects

We have a guest post today from Cathy (Luvswool on the forum) about Nuno Felting.



Following are my three attempts at nuno felting, none of which has been very successful.  I am posting here, hoping to get some recommendations.  Any advice offered will be welcome.  While I understand it’s difficult to compare processes–you will not know exactly what kind of wool I used, what temperature the water was, the quality of my silk–still I hope the photos will help explain.

After having watched numerous videos and studying books on nuno felting, I purchased some silk scarves (silk gauze) from an Etsy shop.  These scarves were approximately 12 x 57 inches and particularly recommended by the shop owner for nuno felting.  I wanted to make a scarf that looked light and lacy with some silk showing, so I used wisps of Merino wool and some silk hanky pieces which I lightly placed on top of the peachy/orange silk scarf, just one layer. (Sorry, no “before” photos)

photo 1bphoto 2After following the nuno felt instructions carefully, I ended up with some of the pieces felted and some not, as you can see from above photos.  Not a good start.  Figured it could be the silk quality or the water temperature?  Not enough wool?  I set the project aside.

Project #2 – I had some silk scraps from vintage Japanese kimonos, and thought I should do some samples before attempting another “real” project.  So I used white and red Merino wool on top of silk, lightly nuno felted to make “pre felts”.  Silk scraps literally peeled away when I lifted the corners to check on my progress.

photo 3photo 4Project #3 – I purchased a remnant of beige silk chiffon from a nearby shop, Vogue Fabrics, which has an amazing selection of fabric, including lots of gorgeous silks.  Huge remnant section so I did not need to break the bank.  Clerk did a “burn test’ so I was assured to be purchasing silk, not synthetic fabric.

photo 5I used three layers of wool, not being sure this was actually Merino, since I bought this on ebay and the seller was unsure what type of sheep’s wool.  It felt a bit rougher than the soft Merino I usually use, but nothing to lose, right?  Although I did not photograph my first go-around, there were approximately 20 “holes,” that is, I could see the beige chiffon through the wool (nickel to quarter size holes), and it did not look good. Underside after nuno felting:

photo 7Next I needle-felted the same wool, along with some light green Merino wool, onto the holes.

photo 8Then I wet-felted the entire piece. After rolling, I rinsed in hot and cold water, fulling (throwing in sink), vinegar dip & cold water rinse.

photo 9Now it looks better, but I still do not consider it to be a successful nuno felt project.

photo 10bProject #4 — Here is my piece of light green silk gauze (as purchased from Etsy shop mentioned in Project #1) ready to be nuno felted.  Awaiting your suggestions and comments!

photo 11

New Diary Cover

New Diary Cover

Before the black Merino and multi fibre notebook cover I made recently, I’d started to make a greeny blue one for a diary. The first batt I was happy with on my drum carder was blues and greens so I used this for the top layer. As well as Merino, I added some texturey Icelandic wool, and locks of Bluefaced Leicester and Wensleydale that I dyed a few years. I added lots of surface embellishments: silk fabric, cotton gauze, organza, silk top, silk throwster’s waste, some synthetic curly fibres and some more of the dyed texturey, curly wools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was too large to get a decent clear ‘after felting’ photo, but this is almost all of it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis notebook took even longer than the black one as it was the first one I’d made like this, using felt off cuts for the straps and hand sewing all around the edges:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI machine stitched the smaller strip onto the wide closure strip

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd I machine stitched the two pieces onto the back

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut I finished all the edges with blanket stitch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI kept the natural edge of the felt for the inside front flap, I like the little detail of pink and yellow on the silk at the top.