Sunday, March 4, 2018

Village at Sunset Art Coat

 It started with a sketch, of a large coat, that could be mounted to the wall with the fronts open to the back to display all the details in a wall mounted art coat.  It also needed to be totally wearable.

Then I set out to make lots of "pre-nuno-felt"... meaning I laid many beds of merino wool roving, covered with fine silk chiffon fabric in many bright colours, sourced from vintage saris.  I worked them until the nuno felt was partially felted, but not near hard felted or shrunk at all....  Then I cut house shapes, and roofs, and windows and doors.  The village was placed on another bed of merino in the form of a wool batt, and the sky, sunset and evening sky were all worked.  The piece was quite huge, big enough to work as the front and back of the coat, from bottom edge to neck.
 Here is a close up of a couple of the houses... after fully felting.
And some of the machine free style stitching to add details to the windows and doors.

The last photo is the completed coat (still needing the detailed top stitching).  You can see that I have added black sleeves with white stars, and just catch a bit of the collar that is black and curly locks in blue.

More photos to follow, after all the stitching is done, hopefully displayed on the wall, and displayed as fashionable wearable art.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tracy's Coat

I have a special project to share.  My friend Tracy wanted to make a coat.  I prefer to make "yardage" out of felt, and custom tailor the coat with my sewing machine.  With my workshop space and my assistance, she started with these lovely ingredients: 
 Above you see merino rovings, vintage sari silk pieces, and a merino batt (for the base) in medium grey.
The next two photo shows the layout of the "fabric" that will become the back of the coat.  She laid out a layer of the batt, then various silk fabric pieces, and merino roving ...
 then yarns and bamboo fibre and silk fibre, all in the warm autumn colours.
 And after felting the whole piece.... here is the back of the coat.
 and a close up shot with one of the sari fabrics.
 This one is the back and the front felt pieces.
 For the third piece (the sleeves, and collar) I remembered to take a photo in the earliest stage.  The grey batt, with the start of the neutral taupe merino.  The whole thing is covered with taupe before adding the sari fabric, then the other colours and details.
 The top of the sleeve, collar piece after wetting down.
 Then we flipped it to add edging and "back of collar" colour.. (the gold).
 On the last day, after all pieces were dried and steamed with the iron, we cut the coat pattern, and sewed the seams for a perfect fit for Tracy.  Four different buttons were spaced along the front, and four secured button holes created.  The collar can be up or down, and the cuffs of the sleeves are turned up to show pattern on the underside.  Nice details.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nuno Felt Coat - repair with sander.

I have a few photos of my latest nuno felt coat.  The first shows the thin layer of merino fibre, laid in all directions (but only one layer) over my large table.  This size will make a perfect piece for the back, then I repeat for both fronts, then a slightly smaller piece for the sleeves and collar and pockets.
I like to make yardage and tailor the coat to fit with set in sleeves, and a curved collar.
 This is the end result of the first piece, the back.  It ended up nice and thin, but alas, it had a hole in one spot.  So here are a few photos of the repair job, using a bit more merino wool, and a hand sander with polar fleece instead of sand paper, to quickly felt the hole closed.  A quick rinse and rub with hot then cold water has it repaired! 

 And the finished coat.  Nice and light... the whole thing weighs just 320 grams, and it warm enough for mild winter days or spring and fall.  The surface has silk chiffon from three different vintage saris, laid over the merino base, with yarn and rayon and hemp fibres to add more detail.
 I add an extra piece of felt to the sewn button holes to make them extra sturdy and reduce stretching of the button hole. 

 I just love the crinkly texture and the shimmer of the fibres.
Custom order one for yourself on my Etsy site, or shop in person at Pamela's in Jordan Village (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Scraps of silk become a fabulous scarf

I am doing a reasonable job of using up my silk scraps.  For months I used large saris to make scarves, coats, vests and jackets, but tossed the small scraps in a bin.  Here is how to use them up!

Lay out your scraps in a somewhat rectangular (scarf) pattern.  You can see some of the scraps overlap, but there are still gaps.  That's OK.

 Cover the edges with merino roving in thin long strands.  Where the gap is tiny, place roving from one side to the other over all edges.  Where the gap is large, make an intentional "negative space" by covering the edges, then criss cross strips of roving to hold it together.  Also decorate the large silk spaces with more roving, and silk, and other fibres.
 To make sure it all stays really well, I wet and flip the pirce and lay some roving on the other side to sandwich the edges between two layers of roving.    (here I skip photos of the wet, and roll, and roll, and roll, then hot water squish and throw...)

and here is the end result!  Several different pieces of blue sari, with cool intentional holes.

 One piece of sari had embroidery and beads, so I made sure not to cover that with wool.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Felted vessel... vase

I found a lovely shaped glass vase at the thrift store.  Then made a vessel with spikes (black and grey) and strands (brown and silk).  Cutaways and  nunofelt beaded silk sari fabric covered the surface.  After working it to a strong felt, I shaped it over the glass and used the strands to wrap the upper part tight to the neck of the vase.  I loved the result!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to felt a large scarf on a small table....

I wanted to make a long nuno felt shawl.  As you can see it extends about 24 inches past the end of my table.  I used a long enough plastic wrap below and went ahead and started laying the wool roving and pre-felt details on the top half....
 Then I wet it down and covered it with half the top plastic.  After rubbing it a bit and making sure it was smooth with no air trapped there, I folded enough of the wet half over, to pull the dry half onto the table.  Now I can lay out the wool and details here.
 I pulled the rest of the plastic over the wet second half and smoothed it out.
 Carefully folding, I flipped the whole thing over and uncovered the first half (other side) to work a bit of merino on the flip side.  Then I covered it again and slid the second half up to do the same there.  All details in place and wet with soapy water.  Just had to roll up and beat it up a bit, and wash it out and dry....
 And tah dah!  A lovely long nuno felt shawl...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Felted vessels and a table runner

Two more vessels:  One stretched over a glass vase with branches reaching up.

 and one with five sides that I made some spikes to fit in the opening.  Cool, eh?

 The table runner is black merino, circled with natural curly locks, and decorated with grey dyed silk cocoons, and a bunch of spikes for the center piece.
 close up of the center spikes.