Thursday, 9 September 2010

Wonderful Wool Felt

Rather more years ago than I would care to consider, I spent the rainy days of a summer holiday  making the shell shape needlebook and hedgehog pincushion (from the 'My Learn to Sew Book') for the sewing basket I shared with my sister

The mouse soon followed, and I was very chuffed with him!

 Working with felt is great for children, but just lately I have rediscovered its delights, thanks to another item from my childhood sewing basket - this lovely Red Riding Hood 'hussif' or sewing kit.  This was lovingly stitched by my mum, based on one which she had been given as a child.  I decided that these might be popular at Craft Fairs, so I created a pattern and made a few.  Here is the first one I sold.

I used some 100% wool felt which I bought online from either
Myriad Natural Toys or Handmade Presents (they are both equally good!)and it is just gorgeous to work with!
 Because the felt is thicker than lots of the synthetic felts you can buy, it is much easier to neatly blanket stitch on all the pockets and patches that go inside, without the stitching showing through to the front.There's space for a thimble in her hood, and the ones I make nowadays have a shell ring for looping some thread onto.  The pocket on the left can take a tape measure.

After about five of these, I was a little bored of blanket stitch, chain stitch and slip stitch, but still wanted to work with the felt.  I was in one of those nostalgic moods, pondering a vintage style life in a cottage with roses round the windows and wisteria climbing the walls.  I wanted to make something 3D, something with a purpose.  It was at this point that I dreamed up the matchbox cosy!  How did I ever live without one?  Now, as the nights draw in and the draughts begin to hurl themselves beneath the doors and windows of our lovely home, I am safe in the knowledge that I will be able to find the matches when it's time to light the woodburner!

 Or Wisteria?

Next came a Peeled Plum Tomato tin, begging to be transformed into a moneybox. 

And then the flat pocket version, perfectly sized for a book of stamps.

Then another home for stamps.

 This one's a bit of a rubbish photo, probably because my husband has run off to France with the camera (don't worry - he IS coming back!) so I put the real thing in the scanner, which has made it look like the 'Stamps' is drawn on, when it is actually small stitching!  I'm now a little obsessed about postboxes and always on the look out for good pre 1950s ones to stitch!  

By now the felt bug had really got me.  This lovely embroidery transfer...

...became this needlecase...

The applique panels make use of some lovely vinatge scraps from the brilliant Rag Rescue website, and the lace is many, many years old.  I especially liked creating her ringlets with bullion knots!  She now has a sister, finished just today, but as I had to put her in the scanner too, I think she's going to look like a huge gust of wind has just blown up her petticoat and sent her into orbit...

Thought she would!

Till next time!

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