Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Felted Garment Construction Workshop

Felting Workshop March 2018 from Beth Marx on Vimeo.

The March 2018 nuno felted garment workshop in Southern California was a real hit with lots of camaraderie and sharing.  

The first day was optional but in the past students have said that this day alone was worth the price of the workshop!  We met in Long Beach, CA and took the Metro rail train about 50 minutes to downtown Los Angeles.  It was a cold, rainy day for a change so instead of walking the short 3/4 mile to the fabric district, we opted to take the Dash E bus for $25 (senior rate).  We bought silks, notions and closures at three of my favorite places.  After several hours of shopping, we headed to our reserved lunch, at a local Mediterranean restaurant on a quaint alley street where lots of movies have been made.  The lunch was delicious and everybody enjoyed themselves.  Then back on the Metro to head back to Long Beach.

For the next three days we met in Los Alamitos, California to construct the garment.  The first half of the first day at the workshop, I taught how to size up an existing garment to account for shrinkage.  This is such an easier method to use than taking your measurements and converting them to allow for shrinkage.  With my method, you don't even need to use a calculator just my EASY PEASY SHRINKAGE CALCULATION sheet which I provided to everybody with their handouts.   

Then it was on to felting, fulling, demonstrating and sharing.  I scheduled the work and worked the schedule to keep everyone on task to complete their garment.  And beautiful and unique were each and every garment.


Barabara felted a rectangle and then connected it part way  to make this lovely, airy poncho

Debbie made a beautiful vest with lots of texture

Vana made this gorgeous pull over long poncho with large pocket
Pam felted a trapezoid and cut in the armholes at the end.  Love it!

Susan modeling her beautiful vest
Monica was a brand new felter and look what she made!

Louise made this gorgeous jacket with beads
Renee's vest has locks on the back and cool bling!

Daveen modeling her vest open
Daveen wearing it upside down

Gina modeling the vest upside down and wearing it like a shrug.
Dorothy was new to felting and she made this amazing vest

Lindy's beautiful vest has lots of texture and cord closures
Lindy wearing her amazing vest upside down
The vests can be worn 4 ways:  Right side out, inside out, upside down right side out and upside down and inside out. Here's Lindy showing two ways to wear it.

Thank you ladies for making this workshop such a joy!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cobweb felt curtains

For awhile I've wanted to make felted curtains for the bathroom in my 1920's California bungalow.  I tried nuno felted curtains but I wasn't too pleased with them since I wanted something more lace like.  I decided on cobweb felt.  

Cobweb felt using Wensleydale wool roving
Cobweb felt using Merino wool roving
Before making the final curtains, I experimented with both super fine merino wool roving and also Wensleydale.  I added silk and other fibers as embellishment.  I really liked the look of the Wensleydale which is a long staple fiber and creates a large curl cobweb when felted.  The merino was nice too but felted more closely together than the Wensleydale.

To make the cobweb felt , I took a hank of the roving and placed it on the bubble wrap on my work table with the bubbles up.  Using my hands I spread out the wool to a size 35% larger than the final size I wanted.  I made sure that the wool was spread fine with lots of open spaces. I added embellishments to the top third of the each piece including using pieces of wool yarn hanging off the edge.

Using a ball brauser, I wet out the wool with warm water and liquid soap.  I covered it with another piece of bubble wrap with the bubbles down.  I rubbed the package with my hands and then used the electric sander to agitate the package. When using the sander, I always use caution, wear rubber soled shoes and use one of those heavy duty orange electric cords.  

I then used a pool noodle and rolled the package for 2 minutes.  I opened the package and rotated the two curtains and rerolled.  I repeated this for all 4 sides.  I then rolled without the pool noodle but with the bubble wrap, then rolled it on it's own.  I then used hot water to bunch it up and throw it on the table periodically opening it and re-stretching it.

Once felted and fulled, I rinsed the two curtains and put it in the spinner to remove the excess water.  I then ironed them. I hung them in my bathroom on thin rods.  I was going to sew a pocket to thread the rod through but decided to just loop the curtain over the rod with the yarn pieces hanging loose.

 I am so pleased with the curtains.  They let in so much light and although they have holes, they still allow for complete privacy.

Roman glass used for embellishment

A fish trying to swallow a bead.  I left the threads hanging to resemble a fishing line.

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