Tuesday, 9 August 2011


I've been craving the chance to finish this piece. I was waiting for two clear days, the first one solitary so I could lay out surface detail. I usually strive to do this part without distraction. Well, I gave up on that idea and just got on with it. Bit of chaos in my living room but no-one got hurt ; ) I've felted much bigger pieces than this in the past so I don't know why this was a bit overwhelming...something to do with felting in the round and the delicateness of that early stage.
 I cannot tell you what a stretch this was for me in terms of confidence. I wouldn't ordinarily dream of attempting to make a garment. I gleefully worked without a pattern and wondered how on earth I would get it to fit me. You can see in my last post how much it needed to shrink. But watch out, it happens fast in the end! At one stage when I unrolled it and shrinkage was 'live and happening', my watching boy said matter-of-factly 'It's definitely not going to fit you...That would fit me Mommy.' And I did wonder, it looked mighty small indeed compared to the giant dress of the day before. But alas all was well, I laid an old dress of mine on top and the sizing seemed close.

 The felting happened effortlessly, the patches of pre-felt literally seemed to melt into each other. I'm quite smitten with this method of building a nuno-felted piece. I worked the piece inside out for quite a while in the beginning, so there were some magical surprises when I turned it right side out and saw all that happened and changed. The best part : ) despite parched hands and sore muscles.


The final rinse...and that orange-peel texture that tells me I'm done.

My longtime friend Catherine, a feltmaker herself, happened to come through for the night when I was just finishing this off, so I asked her to give it a whirl. It was fantastic to see it on someone else, and boy doesn't she wear it well..?

I haven't decided yet whether this one's a keeper or whether I'll list it for sale in my upcoming Etsy shop. It shall be known hereafter as the dingle dress : )
There are two things I'm most excited about in the end. I can make clothes now, without the need for sewing machines or patterns. If I could make one garment this way for each of us in the house over this next year, I'd be thrilled. Both lads have ordered waistcoats ; ) And, if Jenny and I could begin to teach others how to make wearable felt, imagine the possibilities and the joy of seeing what people come up with! Thanks to sunny Catherine and thank you for reading.