A Great Class at BeadFX and My First Foray into Felted Garments

I taught a great Felted Necklace class at BeadFX last Friday night. Shameen, Nancy, Jean and Stephanie joined me for some felting fun and created some lovely choker-style necklaces.  It was the first time I taught this class and found that 3-hours was a bit tight.  I was able to demonstrate a little beading for embellishment, but the ladies left with their pieces unfinished to embellish later.  I took a few pictures of the necklaces in progress – they’re a little fuzzy as I only had my camera phone with me.

I loved the colour choices on Stephanie’s necklace and the wooly swirls reminded me of Venetian paper.

Jean’s Necklace in process.

Nancy’s monochromatic necklace stands out without any embellishement.

I look forward to teaching more at BeadFX.  I’ll have to try out a few more felted jewellery projects and put another proposal together.

The kids have been in full day camp all week and I’ve been feeling creative and inspired.  I’ve been meaning for ages to try my hand at some felted garments.  It scares me a little as it is such a big time and supplies commitment.  I decided to try out something relatively easy for my first go – a flat vest – that way I could use pre-felt laid in one piece and concentrate on design and shape more than laying out fibres. 

I had to lay out the piece on the floor as I didn’t have table space large enough.

I used some printed silk chiffon from a thrift shop scarf to create the main motif and then fleshed it out with some pink and purple merino and glossy purple bamboo fibre. 

The finished product

The rolling and up and down off the floor nearly killed me so I’ll have to work out an elevated work surface if I’m going to do more of this – and I suspect I will as I was quite pleased with the finished product.  It isn’t quite as drapey as I would like, but I think that’s because of the pre-felt I used.  I also cut the arm holes a little close together, but I took note of the measurements I used and will rectify that next time.  It’s still very wearable I think.  I love the way the silk melded together with the wool appearing as though the design is in the wool itself.

The back.

Purple bamboo fibre creates a lovely sheen.

Back detail.

All in all I was quite pleased with this vest and will definately move forward into the world of felted garments.  I am looking forward to doing a couple of workshops with Thomas Horst in a couple of weeks time.  He is an amazing felt designer who specializes in bags and garments.  I can’t wait to learn his technique.  I’m especially keen to learn his technique of felting with a hand sander – eliminating the need to roll.  My poor back can’t wait!

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