Category Archives: Textiles

First Weaving Project Complete – Yay!

wool

For what feels like years, but really wasn’t very long, I’ve been working on a weaving project for college. It was my first time doing weaving on a larger scale (I’d made bracelets and things) and thought it was really cool!
samples
I did some samples using different techniques/patterns and wool first, then decided on a final design.

Before any of that we had to choose a work of art that we liked (this bit was ages ago!) and base our colours and balance of colours around it. I chose a piece by Matisse.

After doing the samples I decided I wanted to make a cushion using the 2/2 twill and soumak techniques. I chose white as the main colour, along with a  few colours that were similar to those in the work of art. I then got to it!

on loom

sumach

I wound up with this…

long

and I turned it into this…

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sofa

Ok sewing this thing was a major pain and I plan I redoing it at some point to tidy it up, and I really wish I’d added pink to the colour mix because it looks very much like an HBC product.

Alright, I loved weaving. I would do it again and again and again. I need to add loom to the list of things I really really want (along with a knitting machine!). There seem to be so many possibilities of things you can make and do. It was cool. I found it strangely relaxing as well. If you get the chance give it a go!

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Mittens!….oh meh.

So…I normally always make a (measured) pattern, but I got a little gung-ho today. “The rest of my felted wool will make rockin’ mittens!” I thought to myself and drew up a quick mitten shape around my hand on tracing paper. Well the mitten I drew was a cartoon mitt, not a functional in real life mitt.
mitts2

Still this didn’t stop me! I was excited, I was going to make pretty mittens! I was oh so close…

So I cut out my pieces, sewed them up…then noticed they looked a little funny…then tried them on. Oh dear. There was way too much fabric between my thumb and the rest of my hand. It was like a tiny little cartoon thumb, not a human opposable thumb.

I picked the stitches out and tried to save them. I basically did. They fit which is great, I just didn’t give myself enough of a seam allowance so I don’t think they would last long if I wore them through the winter. I plan on either attempting to fix them again, or making kids mittens out of them.
mitts1

Too bad, but I did it to myself! You live, you learn. Probably didn’t help that I was being watched by 15-20 cows the whole time. The brown one in this photo was staring at me for ages. Ya, it’s their fault, they threw me off 😉
cows

Wool Clutch Bag – I loved making this!

I’m currently taking a design and textiles program at Orkney College and we’ve just started learning to use knitting machines. I think I’ve fallen in love with knitting machines, but I’ll get into that later.

I had knit a fairly large piece of turquoise lambs wool and hadn’t fully decided what I was going to do with it. I decided to felt it, so I popped it in the washing machine on 40 with a towel. I knew I wanted to make a bag and started searching online for inspiration.

I came across a great tutorial by The Renegade Seamstress for a wool clutch bag and decided to give it a go. I decided I wanted to line my bag and also do some machine embroidery. I also decided to cover it with a few Swarovski crystals I had kicking around.

woolclutch1

Now my first piece of advice on felted wool is make sure it’s properly felted before you cut into it. Just snip a corner and if it doesn’t fray you’re good to go, otherwise pop it back in the machine. I had to rewash mine. Don’t forget you lose about 30% of the size with each wash.
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I always make a pattern out of a tracing paper before I set off. I’ve had too many issues when I’ve decided to eyeball it! I created two pattern pieces, once for the felt and one for the fabric as it was going to see a seam allowance.

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Next I cut the fabric and marked out where I wanted the corner on the front to the cut. Ok, obviously I needed to cut a corner out of the lining as well and this is where I messed up…twice. First go I cut the wrong corner…so make sure you line your fabric up properly. So I cut a new piece of fabric, cut the correct corner but totally forgot about the seam allowance! Ah well, I made it work in the end.

After cutting out the wool I covered it with various machine embroidery stitches. I didn’t follow any guide or anything, just went with it. I then tied each row of stitching off and sewed on the crystals using a clear thread. After I was finished with the wool, I sewed up the edges of the lining and pinned it to the wool.

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Ok so my blanket stitch leaves a lot to be desired, but I got through it and finished it.

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Over all I’m really happy with my first attempt at this bag and thought the tutorial was great. I feel my bag is a bit big, and next time I think I might use some interfacing so it’s not as floppy.

If you have an old wool sweater kicking around, give it try! Thanks Renegade Seamstress, that was fun!