Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fun with felting

At last I've completed a sewing project worth reviewing and blogging about.  It actually started way back in October when I went through my fabric stash and unearthed a couple of wool jersey pieces way down at the bottom.  They probably date from the 1980s because I was quite fond of wool jersey dresses back then.  I have since more or less sworn off wool of any kind because of moths here in Texas (and probably also here in our very accessible old house).  These two pieces were nibbled on, especially along the outward facing fold, and since they were unusable as so, I decided to felt them, something I had long been wanting to try. 

Vogue 8430I found three articles on felting wool jersey in my archive of Threads magazines, and after a little experimenting with some scraps, I plopped the first piece into a washer full of hot water and then into a hot dryer with satisfactory results.  The articles suggested repeating the process three times, but even one time left me with such a reduced piece of fabric that I stopped there.  Unfortunately there was not enough for this Marcy Tilton jacket (for which felted jersey is one of the recommended fabrics).  The second piece was longer and by dint of careful placement of the pattern pieces I was able to use it.  It also helped that there are no hems or facings on this jacket.  All those outer edges are simply cut and left raw since felted jersey doesn't ravel.  I'm not a raw-edge sort of sewer, but after trying various stitching effects on the edges, I had to conclude that they looked better left alone.

As always, I made a muslin for the jacket which led me to make a couple of crucial fitting changes.  (For details, see my review on Pattern Review.)  The result is a jacket that I'm really pleased with.   The felted jersey was easy to sew, if a bit bulky.  Of course, it wasn't the three-hour wonder that other reviewers had boasted about.  I think I'm constitutionally incapable of making something quickly.  And, of course, I couldn't just leave it plain.  When I showed it to Mr C, he asked "what are those lines all over it?"  Those, I explained, are embellishment.

That first shorter piece of jersey is still laying on my cutting table, silently challenging me to come up with an idea for turning it into another jacket. I just hope I'll get it done before winter here is over.