Sunday 17 May 2009

Felted Waistcoat

I have only tried flat pieces of felt so far in my experiments and wanted to have a go at something a little more adventurous (what with Tish riding elephants and all that) so I had in my head an idea to make a waistcoat, all in one piece with no seams. I used a piece of bubble-wrap and simply cut some armhole shapes at the side. The back was laid out first and left with a bit of overlap at the places where you want it to join i.e. the sides and shoulders. Then it is wetted all over and very careful turned over (with the bubble-wrap attached) and more dry roving is added on the other side. You have to smooth the stuff from the other side round to join at the sides and shoulders and tuck in the bits round the arm holes and at the neck and lower edges where you do not want it to join. First picture shows it all wetted and still rather fragile. I rolled it up with more bubble-wrap both on top and underneath. It was quite a fat bundle in the end.
After it has been rolled for a while, re-wrapped and rolled in the other direction, and then just generally rubbed all over with very soapy hands for quite a bit it should be holding together. One of the shoulders threatened to come apart when I turned it so I folded it back together and worked hard rubbing the damaged bit. Once you feel it is more secure and has begun to shrink you can open it out, remove the bubble-wrap pattern and just rub vigourously on both sides.
I then rinsed it out in hot then cold water and whacked it off the table a few times and then tugged it back into shape. It has shrunk quite a bit, probably 30%, so will not fit me but am sure I can find someone willing to try it out. I think I am going to have to buy some larger sheets of bubble wrap for larger projects.
M kept pointing out that the design is off-centre and does not believe me when I said it was meant to be. I am quite pleased with the overall effect, it has felted quite evenly and kept it's basic shape well. The edging probably needed more attention but I may add some embroidery or something to tidy it up a bit.


  1. I like the egdes as they are, organic. If you are a tough felter you have to keep in mind it can shrink 50%, but 30% is common.
    beautiful the out of centere colors


  2. Lovely felting! Thank you for visiting me over on my blog. Have a lovely day x

  3. You must be so proud! I'd be. (Up there with riding elephants!) And, I never would have thought of using bubble wrap. But, I'd have a ball popping the bubbles afterwards:)

    I like the designs you used. And, it looks good off center. A matching skirt, next?

  4. Thanks everyone for your kind encouragement, I am just so pleased that it turned into something wearable.
    much love Martine


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