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Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Felt Vest Challenge - Work in Progress

A challenge to me, that is! It's so much fun making felt fabric and then incorporating the fabric into a garment. My body double isn't long enough for me to properly fit these longer pieces while it sits on a table; I'm going to have to figure out how to put it on some sort of stand for it to be functional.

It was really difficult to capture the muted colorways I used - the inspiration was some lovely coffee colored and robin's egg blue silks and matching wool. The idea was to cut the pattern so that the different but coording fabrics all have that really interesting pieced look. I began by stenciling some leaves on a lightweight losely woven piece of light colored silk and used that as part of the underlayer - what I learned: because the wool was brown in that area, it traveled through the fabric and hid most of my work. I also added leaves to a couple of places on the front and these turned out great!

I made two quite large pieces of fabric using a variety of silks, in prints, a little velvet and in various weights in the browns and soft blue. I slashed the plain brown silk in a few places and some blue wool peeked through so I made those into "leaves" and I added a little touch of soft orange wool curls here and there. After both pieces of fabric were well felted and the pieces cut, I added some machine needle felted flowers in the same soft orange to the area I planned to used for the upper back and some free motion stitching to the flowers and those slashed leaves. These pictures don't capture the colors correctly but when the vest is finished, I promise to do a better job letting you see the color and the detail.

When I walked through Nordstroms the other day, I got such a surprise - their Eileen Fisher display for Fall shows my color choice - Brown and Robin's Egg Blue! I hope I'm "in tune" with their next color predictions!

I found this nifty gadget at HomeGoods - it's a massage tool that works great for felting difficult spots too! Have any of you found neat felting tools that are meant for other things?


  1. This is going to be yet another stunning and spectacular piece!!! I love allof the colors and the trove of techniques that you ahve combined!! Can't wait to see the finished garment!! What a great tool for felting- have to grab one the next time That I come across one. When not felting, I can massage my feet!! What coould be a better combo- felting and foot massage!!

  2. Thanks Elizabeth! I hadn't thought of using that tool for my feet until you mentioned it - I'm going to try it right away! - I had a request from Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria to do a workshop - I'm sure this is thanks to you! maybe we'll get to meet up one of these days!

  3. The pattern for this vest was designed by Myfawny Sterling - I took a wonderful workshop with her in Glen Falls, NY, and she is a wonderful teacher! Take a class from her if you get the chance!

  4. MArgo.Love your work and the beautifull colors you use.Adore to read you.Thank you for sharing your experiences.