Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cookie Cutter Wool--Jacket Class Day Two

I learned an interesting and probably, little known, technique in the Felted Wool Jacket Class. I had never seen this until introduced to Barbara Skimin, the instructor of the class. She has won several contests using this technique to embellish her felted wool garments.

The following samples I made up quickly, and they are not as accurate as they would be if I were actually working on a garment. This is fun but not for the faint of heart! Those who like to play with embellishments and make art garments will find it challenging and fascinating.

Begin with wool that has been felted. Cut out a garment. Work out a design on a muslin . Think applique type designs. The design could take the form of a flower, hearts, or something geometric. Once you have a design drawn on your muslin (or pattern paper), pin the muslin to the garment. And--cut the design elements from your garment fabric. This is like cutting cookies out of dough. See--big hole cut into wool fabric!
The objective is to fill that hole with co-ordinating wool felted fabric(s), using the cut-out shape as a pattern. It can be a solid color piece of fabric, or fabrics pieced like Crazy Quilting. To make a patchwork fabric, cut two pieces of felted wool, making sure the two edges that are to be joined are straight.

Butt the two straight edges up against each other. They should be "bunched up" --crowded--just a bit--not laying flat when they go under the presser foot. This will ensure that when they are stitched together, there will not be any gaps between the fabrics.

Sew them together using a "serpentine" stitch, and using lightweight (lingerie) thread to match the fabrics. Instead of lightweight thread, I used transparent nylon thread on top. (not the cheap, packaged stuff but good, flexible quality like YLI) and lingerie thread in the bobbin. Use an open-toe foot. Stitch length set at 1.

Continue adding fabric and repeating the piecing process until there's enough for the shape that was cut out. Lay that cutout onto the pieced fabric and cut out the shape. Press well.

Lay the new pieced fabric back into the hole in the garment. Make several registration marks completely across the design and garment fabric. Those are necessary when sewing the shape back into the hole.

Sew the shape into the hole. Using the same technique as above, put the fabrics under the open-toe foot. Butt them together, crowding them together and sew with a serpentine stitch. This is a slow process, concentrating on sewing from one registration mark to another. Sew from the center to a point. Stop. Sew from the opposite side to the point. Press well.
On my sample, I didn't set the piece in accurately, and it isn't as smooth as it should be.
The seams are now embellished with decorative stitching. Using lightweight thread in the bobbin and a heavy thread on top, sew over the inside seams using a decorative stitch. I used lingerie thread in the bobbin, Sulky 12 weight cotton variegated thread on top, and a wide feather stitch.

When the inside seams are finished, continue decorative stitching around the outside of the design. Extend the stitching if you wish, into the garment, wherever you want. This is the finished sample.
Now that I understand the technique and have worked on some samples, I have second thoughts on the design I have. Fortunately, I haven't cut into my garment. I will redesign. I have some sketches and when I'm satisfied, will start the garment. It's been long time since I did an artsy type project and this will be a work in progress for a while.

Meanwhile, I cut out 6 long sleeve t-shirts. They are stacked up and ready to sew while I think.

5 Talk to me:

KID, MD said...

What a fun technique! I can't wait to see how it all comes out.

The Sewing and Knitting Loft said...

Very interesting! Looking forward to seeing your project!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the inside secrets! What a fun class. And...good luck with the tshirts!!

Trudy said...

That is really neat. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Fran said...

Very cool!

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