Recently in Seamless Felt Garments Category

Nuno Felt Dress Inspired by Water

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for water dress front.jpgIsn't Rachel fetching in my latest nuno felt dress in my series of garments inspired by "The Elements".  The first dress I titled "Earth" and that dress gave me fits.  I thought I had measured correctly, but I did not take into account the shrinkage of the fabric, which was rayon. Plus I let the dress dry without blocking or placing a form inside. I saved the dress, rather successfully I think, by slicing the back up and turning the back into a corset style back. So, I put those lessons learned  into my next dress.

I started with the idea of water and waves gently lapping the shore. I wanted the dress to be fluttery and express the colors of the ocean. I chose silk chiffon, and silk organza in shades of deep ocean blue, sparkling island turquoise, storm gray with touches of white. I designed the dress with a gored skirt, the gore is in the front and back with a dropped waist. I then added v-neck front and v-neck back which means I did not have to deal with buttons, zippers or fastners. Rachel just steps into the dress.water dress back.jpg

The dress fits Rachel pefectly. I achieved this by using a duct tape dummy to dry the dress on. If you ever have to make something fit perfectly start with a duct tape dummy. I learned how to make a duct tape dummie by following these instructions.

This dress "Water" and the other dress "Earth" are going to be in the 2nd annual Wearable Art Show st the Bead + Fiber Gallery in Boston Ma. I organized this show and it takes place during the SOWA artwalk, May 15 & May 16 at 2pm. If you are in the area please come, and pray for nice weather as the event takes place outdoors.

Happy Felting 

I want to share with you some clips from the interview I did with Glenn Williams on the Boston Neighborhood Network show: "It's All About Arts".

This video highlights my model, Rachel Worrell wearing the blue circular shawl, which I showed the making of in a previous post, and an iridescent blue shawl. I don't work with blue often, as its a color that I excites me. I am trying to overcome my blue aversion. I think these pieces are stunning and fun. Rachel looks especially beautiful in blue.  Fortunately the video features the camera work captures the details of the iridescent shawl.

It was so much fun to do the interview and I had a lot of help. A big thank you to Rachel Worrell, model and friend, Michelle Poor, our make up artist, everybody at BNN, and my husband Chip, who attempted to solve an insolvable technical problem and did it with charm. I couldn't have done this without their help. Yea team!

As I mentioned in the interview, I am going to leap into dye.  Well this weekend, I did, in a very intense introduction to dye at Pro Chemical & Dye.  I did it all with the help of a marvelous teacher, Vicki Jensen.  My head is still spinning from all of the information. I am not exactly sure what I will be dye, probably wool or silk, but I do know that it is in my future. Later this year, I'm going to take another class on dyeing and felting, a master class, this time, called The Depth  and Breadth of Color Design in Feltmaking.  This class will be with the amazing artist, Jorie Johnson, and will also be held at Pro Chemical & Dye. This is a five day workshop and promises to be very exciting, to quote the catalog: "This class will encourage, even the most timid of dyers/felters to enjoy the ease in overlapping skills in both the fields of feltmaking and dyeing." 

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this video as much as I did making it. Next week, there'll be another video about the interview, this time featuring a necklace that I've done. Tomorrow, I'm going back to the studio to work on a new dress inspired by Edith Wharton's home The Mount. I will write more about this project, because it's very exciting new venture for me, and it ties in to the efforts of Rachel Worrell and others to help preserve her home and legacy.

Happy Felting.

Hello, everyone! I've just returned from is New York City,where I bought new silks for my new line of spring scarves and shawls.  In the next few weeks I'll have some updates on my unique spring felt fashion creations!

I have been a busy felt maker and marketing maven lately.  Recently, I was featured on the Boston Neighborhood Network's program "It's All Abouts Arts" hosted by Glen Williams and Suzanne Schultz.  "It's All About Arts" has been on public television for thirteen years and is a respected source of information about the arts in Boston.  Over the next week I'll post more clips from the video interview.

Today, however, I wanted to highlight something that ended up on the cutting room floor.  My son and I made this video about making a blue circular shawl which I did not use in my video taped interview.  A circular shawl is made from circle pattern, so it has no sleeves and is more like a vest with a wide collar that drapes over your shoulders. It is the perfect lightweight covering for summer and spring, especially in summer, when restaurants will last that air conditioning.

I took the circle pattern from the December issue of Threads Magazine. My inspiration for the patterns of the wool was water. For this project I used beautiful hand panted silk chiffon from Gorgeous Fabrics.  The silk I used was very special because it had just a touch of glitter in it.  In the video, you'll see how I lay out the wool, and how I create the patterns that end up on the finished product.

I hope you enjoyed this and there will soon be other videos that I'll be putting up over the next week.  You can find all of my videos hosted on youtube.  Happy Felting!

Felt Flowers Redoux

Yes, another entry about felt flowers, I have two dozen made, but not quite finished yet. Last night, however I put three of them to use, creating a headpiece for Rachel to wear for today's photo shoot  with Carolyn Ross at Wellesley Colleges' greenhouses.
Hat making 1.jpgI was fooling around in my studio trying to attach the flowers to the felted green cording in the picture, (the cording was originally intended for the back of the Nuno felt dress) without much luck. Then inspiration struck, or maybe desperation since it was 5 PM and I knew I needed something by 8:30 AM today. Why not wrap the cord around an already existing headband? Of course, I didn't have one in my studio so it was off to CVS to buy my supplies and finish the felt headpiece at home. I also brought home, all my flowers, left over green cord from another project (has a little bit of glitz in it) pins, thread, sewing needles and glue.

I wrapped the felted cord tightly around the headband with  glue along the back. Than I took the odd piece of felt cord and attached it to the felt cord, already glued down on the headband. I attached it by stitching it down, in such a way, to make the cord undulate across the headband.

Then I went all out wrapping and stitching cord  and finallyHat making 2.jpg
I stitched the the felt flowers. I also had made some free, form felt leaves. the leaves were made from pre-felt. The felt leave were used judiciously on cords that hang from the headpiece and I also attached them on the end of the band.
I took this picture at 11:45 PM last night. I went to bed convinced that I had failed. I just couldn't tell if it was going to work. I tried it on and well, lets just say mother nature would be ban me from the garden.   
Hat finished.jpg Doubts, Doubts and more Doubts which are all part of the artists dilemma. I decided to ignore the left brain critic and brought the felted headpiece to the shoot anyway. What did I have to loose? It wouldn't be the first time something that I had made ended  up in the circular file.  BUT not this time, the shoot at the greenhouse went better than I could have hoped and I will post pictures and videos tomorrow. When I placed the felted headpiece on Rachel, it tied the whole Nuno felted jacket and Nuno felt dress together.  On Rachel, the headpiece comes alive and the scale is perfect. I love this picture of her. Thank you Rachel and Carolyn Ross for the beautiful photograph.

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Nuno Seamless Felt Dress

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Today, I had my friend, and the wonderful model Rachel Worrall came to my studio. I had her try on the nuno felted dress and discovered a problem. Not one that is visible, nor even fatal. It seems that, even though I had produced the dress for her and had measured very carefully, when it dried it got smaller. (Lesson learned, be sure to place a form inside so as the garment dries it retains its' shape) So what your are looking at is a bit of a fudge.

I had to take scissors to the back of the dress, GASP, a bold move. But one, that I believe will ultimately make for a better garment and me a better felter. Rachel suggested that I add laces to the back of the garment. I thought the idea was brilliant, and I actually believe it is more in keeping with my idea that this garment, the first in my new Elements Collection will be more earth like. The laces will be like vines trailing down her back.I can't wait to get started. I have to have it finished by next Wednesday for the official photo shoot with Carolyn Ross. We are planning on take the photos in the greenhouses of Wellesley College

Carolyn is beautiful photographer, and a good friend. I love her work and she has done some amazing work for me. Look at her website,  to see how talented she is. 

rachel shawl back.jpgHere Rachel is wearing the jacket ,which fit her perfectly. She and I both love the way you can toss the drape over our shoulders, and it flutters  as you walk. It is utterly feminine. Here is one more picture, this time from the front. You can really see the "wings". I want to make one to fit me!  Doesn't it look beautiful on Rachel?

I have some really exciting news about my new online boutique but it will have to wait for tomorrow. I don't want to miss Project Runway.

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My First Seamless Felt Garments.

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I have been wanting to make a seamless felt garment for sometime now, but with holiday orders and all my obligations, the project had to be put on hold. Now that the holidays are over, I am so excited to start! It was so much fun to create a full seamless garment and such a puzzle. I made the jacket/shawl/shrug first . I only had a vague idea on how it was going to come together.

The first problem I encountered, was that, although I wanted a seamless garment, there was no way I could lay it out in one piece on my table. SO , my assistant, Oa and I pondered the problem and came up with a work-around. 

First, we cut the pattern, a back, two sleeves and what looked like the wings on a pre-historic butterfly. The back is a nuno with green silk chiffon, and various shades of green wool and inclusions  of other green silk materials ( I'll take close ups tomorrow), The sleeves were done in in a lattice weave going from light green to dark forest green. The "wings" are nuno on iridescent green silk chiffon with various shades of green merino wool roving on both sides.

We pre-felted everything separately . Then I pulled out my babylock needle felter, (for the first time I might add) , and needled the seams together. We than made a plastic foam resist, placed it  
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between the back, the wings and inside the sleeves and continued to felt. When everything was holding together, we then fulled the jacket without the resists.  This is a detail of the jacket's sleeves. 

Below, you see what the wings do when crossed over the chest. Tomorrow, I will write about making the dress. AND. I will have a model trying it on, so I will have new pictures.
This is the most complicated garment I have made to date and I am tickled with how it came out.

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This has inspired me to start a little "collection" with this being the first based on the four elements.This jacket and dress represent earth, I think I will tackle air next: A WEDDING GOWN!!!

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