Posts Tagged ‘felt’

A New Direction!

February 15, 2010

Something I have wanted to try for ages is needle felting! I’ve been very distracted by learning to construct clothing, design work, and work at a local PR firm. Recently I was inspired by a purse my mom brought home from the Anthropologie sale rack. It was a beautiful sack style purse with leather handles and was decorated with burnt red needle felted wool on black.

I loved the bag but I definitely wanted to try making it for myself! Below is my first attempt (and success!) and needle felting, purse design, and sewing with leather. It was a really fun project!

Felted Leather Purse

The bag is a heavy wool felt in dark slate grey with all different colored wool yarns. Pinks, yellows, browns, blacks, purples, blues and greens. I also used bundles of wool to add some variation in thickness. It took me two days to felt the fabric and from there I cut the shape. I really wanted something asymmetrical and something that would show off the leather strap. On one side is a kind of slumped rounded satchel and the other is a corner where the leather follows the edge into the corner.

This is my first time carelessly cutting into fabric with just a general idea of what I wanted the finished project to look like. I allowed space for seams, darts and zippers and was pretty happy with what my mental guestimations resulted in.

The inside is lined with a beautiful brown silk and has every pocket I could ever want. Gum sized, pen sized, phone sized, iPod sized and one zippered pocket.

The top has a really nice heavy-duty gold metal zipper. I wanted all of my materials to contrast a bit so with my soft fluffy crafty purse I wanted a hard industrial looking zipper and a super textured geometric leather.

This was my first experience making a leather strap. I read a lot online about buying a teflon plate and foot for the machine to keep the leather moving through the machine smoothly but I am not about to invest in new machine parts. Instead I put tissue paper on either side of the leather I was stitching, and used clamps instead of needles to avoid extra holes. The tissue paper worked great but afterwards is a bit of a challenge to remove. A damp (not wet!) tooth-brush was able to soften the paper and scrub it lightly out of the stitches.

All in all I’m quite happy with this. I’d like to know how people feel about it. I have gotten a positive response on my purse but I am thinking of making some smaller clutch style bags with my felted fabric and leather to sell in the Megnificent Made store. I’ll have to wrap my head around designing this week!

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Felt Strawberry Short Cake

December 15, 2009

Felt Christmas

As promised! A photo of the completed strawberry short-cake! A few weeks ago I posted a HOW-TO for this adorable felt play food which you can find here. You can find a tutorial on the strawberries here. I try to make lots of How-To posts so check out that whole section of the blog if you’re feeling crafty.

Felt Christmas

It took me a while to get this posted because I’ve been working so hard on all my christmas goodies. This tea party for my nieces (more of which can be seen here) has been my big project since October and I’ve poured a lot of time and love into. I absolutely cannot wait until Christmas to see the reveal.

I spent yesterday evening constructing a table for their party which is a really simple and fun project I will post more about soon. It is made of cardboard but is very very structurally sound. I’ve made cardboard furniture before and absolutely love the concept of recycled furniture that can be so creative and unique visually. I’ll be sure to post more about that soon.

Felt Christmas

I took all of these photos before the table was completed but I really love how all of the elements of their tea party together are such beautiful bright colors. It’s just so pretty to look at. I can’t help but leave it all assembled until Christmas.

Since these photos I have painted a purple lace doily on the table with their initials as well as painted the legs of the table pale yellow with faint wood grain. The scallops of the table has purple trim now too. I didn’t make them chairs for their table because, as you can see in earlier posts about the project, I had made them special embroidered and fringed pillows to sit on.

Felt Christmas

Felt Christmas The latest addition to the table are these adorable felt fruits from a pattern by UmeCraft on Etsy. The apple velcros together and slices apart. The Orange comes apart into 6 slices, and the banana peels!

Felt ChristmasTheir dessert selection is not limited to Strawberry Shortcake! These girls can also pick from four different cupcakes! This one here is their lemon merengue with orange peel and a lemon wedge. I made special cupcake wrappers with their names on them in three bright fun colors too. In my final tea party post I will show more in detail on the cupcakes.

If you’d like to see more photos of what I’ve been up to with this project, please visit the tea party post to see more about the table ware, and my flickr site to see food more in detail.

I can promise you two more posts on this subject…if you don’t mind! One on cardboard furniture with this table as the feature, and one on the final project after christmas. It’ll be a part of my slew of holiday gift ideas for 2010!

How To (Felt Strawberry Short Cake)

November 29, 2009

I’ve been hard at work sewing together my niece’s christmas present…a felt tea party!

Earlier I gave you a tutorial on how to make felt strawberry slices, and as promised, here is the strawberry shortcake to put them on!

For this project you will need pink felt, tan felt, white felt, pink thread, tan thread, and white thread.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)

First step is to make the top and bottom of the cake. I took a cereal bowl that was the size I wanted my finished cake to be and traced it on the felt. The pink will be the top of the cake, the tan will be the bottom. To make perfect quarters for the slices of your cake, fold the circle in half and cut along the fold. Take the half circle, fold it in half again and cut along the fold. You should end up with 4 pink quarters  and four tan quarters like this.

The size of the next pieces will depend on the size of the circle you’ve cut. For the outer edge of the cake you will cut a rectangle out of the pink. Determine how tall you want your cake. Mine was 3 inches tall, therefore my pink rectangle was 3 inches tall. The length of your rectangle is determined by how long the curved edge of your cake quarters.

Pink rectangle = 3 inches tall x lenght of curve

The next piece you will cut are the insides of the cake slices. They will be cut from tan felt and have the same height of your cake. The length of the tan rectangle is determined by measuring the straight side of the cake quarter.

Tan rectangle = 3 inches tall x length of straight side of cake quarter.

You will need 2 tan rectangles per wedge, and one pink. Total…8 tan pieces and 4 pink pieces.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake) Next you will cut a looooooooong wavy strip of pink felt. This will be your layer of cream in the cake. Put two tan pieces together end to end, lay the pink strip over the top, and cut it to fit the length of each piece.  You should end up with 8 pieces of wavy pink filling, one for each tan rectangle. Stitch them to the center of the tan pieces with pink floss.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)Start to stitch it all together! I started by putting the filling pieces beside the pink topping and sewing along the straight sides of the topping wedge with pink floss. From there I stitched the pink rectangle to the pink curve of the wedge.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)

Continue on with the pink floss to stitch the pink rectangle to the sides of the tan rectangles.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)

Switch to tan thread sew the point of the cake together. Stitch the tan wedge into the bottom of the cake making sure to leave a space to stuff the cake.

How To (Strawberry Short Cake)Stuff your cake making sure that you don’t over stuff it! You want your slices to fit together on the straight edges. Stitch it up and shape it nicely.

Next we’re going to make frosting. I went nuts with this but you can make as little or as much as you like.  You’ll start by making a paper template of a pointed leaf shape about an inch long.

This next step can be done by hand stitching one by one, or you can cheat like me! Trace out this pattern on white felt so that the points of the shape touch but don’t over lap. Fold the felt over so that you will have two layers of this shape.

How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

On the sewing machine, sew down the center of your row of frosting.. IMPORTANT.. back stitch over every spot where the shapes touch end to end. This way, you can cut out the shapes and the stitching won’t unravel.How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

Cut out each shape!

How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

The two layer piece should unfold into an “X” shape. By sewing these pieces overlapping at the edge of your cake you create frosting!

How To (Strawberry Shortcake)

With the size of my cake and my one inch pieces of frosting, it took 5 pieces to line one edge of each slice. I frosted the top and bottom edges of each slice, as well as a small circle of frosting in the center of the top of the cake. Frost it up!

If you’ve made the strawberries as well, arrange them and stitch them into your cake. Decorate it however you like. Try red velvet! Dark chocolate! What ever your felt tooth desires 🙂

UPDATE: For the finished cake and related items please follow the link to this post!

How To (Felt Strawberry Halves)

November 24, 2009

I’ve been hard at work sewing together my niece’s felt tea party. I’ve used some wonderful patterns from UmeCraft on Etsy, but I won’t share her secrets! Sorry!

I’ve promised to keep you posted on the progress of the tea party and I’m currently in the middle of crafting a strawberry shortcake. This tutorial will give you an idea of how to put together the strawberry slices for the cake (tutorial to come for cake!)

How To (felt strawberry halves)

For this you’ll need some red, pink and green felt. I used a cream color embroidery thread for the seeds, green on the leaves, and red thread to pull it all together.

How To (Felt Strawberry Halves)

Your basic shape is a heart! Make sure the bottom is rounded and not a point, and that the lobes at the top are nice and wide and rounded. To start off, stitch in your “seeds” scattered around the surface of the heart.

How To (felt strawberry halves

First, ignore my nail polish. Sewing is harsh on nails…and I’ve never been diligent that way. Fold the heart in half with your seeds on the inside. Start whip stitching within the dip in the top of the heart. You’re going to sew along the humps at the top of the heart from the folded side to about where my white knot is. I like to start further away from the seem at the side with the fold, and as i sew outward start placing my stitches closer to the edge. When you turn your strawberry back out again, it will make the curve at the top of your berry rounder and smoother.

How To (felt strawberry halves)

Tie off your knot and turn your berry inside out. There should be a nice curve at the top! Place the berry down on the pink felt like you see here. I just cut around them but if you prefer, use a fabric pen to draw the outline of the berry onto the pink felt.

How To (felt strawberry halves)

This pink piece will be sewn to the open side of your strawberry. Cut an elongated red heart to stitch into the center of the pink piece. I hate tieing knots so I try to do all of this in one swoop! Before finishing off the stitches, stuff the strawberry and seal it up.

If you like (it depends on how you attach the berries to your cake) you can and a green star shape to the top of the berry with green thread. Free-style cut them and they’ll look more organic!

I will post soon how to make the felt cake to go with these berries…but they’re beautiful all on their own!

In Stitches for Christmas

November 13, 2009

I’m very busy making a very hand-made christmas this year. I wish I could share all my ideas with you so you could put them to use before christmas yourselves, but I can’t give away surprises before the holiday!

There is one bit I can share, as I don’t think these little girls are surfing the internet on their own yet. Normally, I’d recommend the Megnificent Made Custom Coloring books for kids this Christmas, but these kids were my guinea pigs and already tote their coloring books everywhere.

Instead I’m putting together a tea party for my two little nieces Bella and Riley. Since I’m far away, Riley had asked my mom if she could have a tea party with me when I came back. I thought that was sweet and have ever since been looking for a tea pot but have been hesitant to buy one she won’t feel like she can play with.

In Stitches for Christmas

I found this great pattern for felt tea pots, cups, and saucers at UmeCraft‘s Etsy Store. I’ve been sewing away to make a fantasy tea party with embroidered table wear and beautiful felt cupcakes, cake, ice cream and fruit.

In Stitches for ChristmasIgnore the blue lines! They’re fabric pen and will fade by tomorrow.  The pot Has the initials of both girls, and each will have their own initialed cup and saucer.

In addition to all the goodies on the table, I’ve sewn up some sitting cushions with fringe for the girls to sit on for their party, and initialed napkins for their flat wear.

In Stitches for Christmas

In Stitches for Christmas

When I get back to the states, I’ll paint up a raised cardboard box as the table with a table-cloth for them to sit at. I hope to make it an easy storage option when it’s flipped over too.

I’ll keep you posted on how the sweet treats turn out. I can’t really say I’ve ever worked with felt before, and embroidery is new for me too but I like how they’re turning out so far.

Kazzki Bags

November 7, 2009

Light Grey Wool Industrial Felt with Pink Leather Messenger Bag

Light Grey Wool Industrial Felt with Pink Leather Messenger Bag by Kazzki

Check out these great messenger bags by Sydney based designer, Karen Marosa! They’re made in heavy duty wool felt with leather straps in bright fun colors. I really like this grey and pink one.

She also makes ipod and phone cases, laptop cases and is willing to take custom orders. Stop by Kasski’s Etsy store and see all of her great designs.