Sunday, December 27, 2015

How to Make Felted Baby Booties and Matching Hat

What's cuter, quicker and easier to create than felted booties and a matching hat for a darling handmade gift for a newborn baby.

Both the booties and hat are reversible but I do have to say that I completely forgot to add shrinkage to the hat template so the original hat (including all the photos in the tutorial) is going to be a hat for a doll!  I made a new hat for the baby using a larger template.  It's the hat with the felted flower on the side.  I sewed a pin on the back so that the flower can be removed.

I used foam packing material for the resists; floor underlayment is good too but more expensive.

The booties are made in one piece and later cut apart after the felt is somewhat substantial.  The bootie resist is 6" from toe to heel and 9" from side to side. 

I forgot to allow for shrinkage for the hat so all of the photos of the hat are a doll size.  For my second try, I made the baby hat resist 13" wide and 10" deep to allow for a brim.

Add embellishments to the resist. I used green hemp and silks. 

 On top of the embellishments, add one layer of merino wool roving with all of the fibers going in one direction and extending beyond the resist by about 1.5" except on the open end of the hat.
Place the second layer of merino roving perpendicular to the first layer. Also extend this layer beyond the resist by 1.5".  I used green merino roving for both of these layers.  Wet out the layers and cover with bubble wrap. Wet the bubble wrap and compress the fibers with your hands.  The wet bubble wrap allows your hands to slide.

 Flip the package so that the side you worked is now on the bottom.

 Bring the "rays" from the first side to the second side of the resist.

 Add two more perpendicular layers of green roving but do not extend these two layers beyond the resist.

 Add two more layers of roving, each perpendicular to the layer before.  I used magenta merino roving for these next two layers. 

 Extend both layers beyond the resist by about 1.5"  

 Add embellishments.  Wet out the bubble wrap and compress the fibers with your hands. Flip the package. 

 Bring the "rays" from the bottom to the top side of the resist. Add two more layers of magenta roving, each perpendicular to the layer underneath.  Do not extend the roving beyond the resist. Add embellishments.  Wet out and rub the bubble wrap.  Flip and rub the bubble wrap on the other side.

 No need for rolling.  Use the no roll/dryer method for this small project.  Click HERE to see how to do it.

 After the felting process has been completed via the dryer method, move on the to fulling process by rolling it on itself, throwing it, and rubbing it on the bubble wrap. 

Cut through the felt in the middle of the booties to make two booties but do not cut the resist. Make a cut in the front of each bootie.

Continue with these fulling methods until it's complete.  It's kind of like baking's complete when it's done!

 Here's the updated baby hat with a pinned on felted flower that can be removed.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's a Jungle Out There

It's a jungle out there so why not wear a jungle inspired poncho to navigate this urban jungle of ours.  Feel powerful and fashionable at the same time!  

This is my latest design and creation.  It's a pull over nuno felted seamless poncho with a side gusset to make it swing with ease.  It has a high collar that can be smooched down and deep armholes with capped sleeves make it comfy for a one size fit's all.  Of course it can be worn back to front and it's reversible too.

I created my resist to include a side seam gusset to expand one side seam to form a swing shape.

Close up of the textiles before it was felted.
Along with merino wool roving I used new silk, vintage saris, repurposed textiles, yarn, tusseh silk, silk hankies and more to create this garment.  I love all the texture.

 Urban jungle armor

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to Make a Nuno Felted Poncho

My newest design and creation is a pull over nuno felted seamless poncho with one armhole on a closed side and the other side completely open.  It's super comfy, easy to wear and one size fits most.  Wear it front to back or back to front or inside/out.  There is no right or wrong way! 

 The first thing I did was to gather all my materials.  I decided on my color palette of browns, turquoises and teals.  I repurposed some old silk clothing, various sari silks as well as fabrics from my stash.  To that I added some yarn, tussah silk and other odds and ends.
 I used a resist to lay out the fabric.  I made the resist larger to allow for about 35% shrinkage.  I first laid out pieces of the sari silk.  To that I added a thin layer of wool roving.
 On top of the layer of wool roving, I added the decorative fabrics including the cut up garments that I was repurposing.

 Here's the finished piece accessorized with one of my sterling and semi precious bead necklaces.

 The high collar can be folded over or worn high.

 Notice the buttons that were from the front of an old silk blouse that I eco printed in eucalyptus.
 I love to cut in some holes in amongst all the texture.
The flower is from a sheer fabric that included embroidery.  It felts in beautifully.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


For the Thanksgiving weekend, Joe and I flew two hours from Long Beach to San Carlos which is the closest small airport to where my brother and family live in northern California. I'm so grateful for the quick transportation.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful and joyful holiday.  It's warmth and love and sharing not only a delicious meal but also some real quality time with family. 

I am thankful and grateful for my health, my life, my love, my family and friends. This year in particular has been terrific with me being able to retire from my 35 year career with Boeing.  I look forward to more time felting and traveling. 

 Joe and I bought the jeroboam of wine at Zuca Mesa Winery on our recent wine tasting weekend in Santa Ynez.  Once I spotted it at the winery, I knew it would be perfect to share at Thanksgiving. 

 My nephew Gabe and friend Clare made the delicious butternut squash soup from scratch.  They garnished each serving with creme fraiche and a sprig of fresh thyme.
 Such a delicious meal with all the trimmings.
 On Saturday we went shopping in nearby Burlingame.  And how cool and gratifying it was to stop in the local boutique that is carrying my felted wearables.  They had them so perfectly displayed.