I was having a look through some of my precious pieces of fabric and found some beautiful pieces of felting that I bought at the Fibres West garage sale. To be honest, when I bought them I had no idea what I was going to do with them as they were quite small. Anyway, in the same area I found a small scrap of boiled wool leftover from a cape I made for Bridgette and it seemed like I might be able to make something from piecing all these bits together. I had in the back of my mind that this might be a top I could wear with my Support Ukranian designers skirt, which is a challenge I’m currently participating in on Instagram.
The fringed piece is quite interesting; it’s some lurex that has been felted onto some wool. The other piece has silk and sequins felted in, and underneath is the boiled wool.
This little collection sat on my cutting bench for two days whilst I walked around it and pondered. In the end I discarded (temporarily) the fringed piece and was left with the other two pieces.
I decided to use the Pattern Union Cora blouse, the umpteenth time I’ve used this pattern, I’ve actually lost count. I put the front pattern on the boiled wool and removed the slight side shaping. By having a centre seam I could get the whole front out of one piece of fabric, as well as two sleeves, with a bit of piecing. Well, that was easy, now for the back.
I wanted the silk and sparkles at the back but the piece was pretty small.
I tried chalking on the pattern, which wasn’t very successful. I finished up folding the piece roughly in half and looking at where I was missing pieces. You can see that it’s a very odd shaped piece of fabric. That wide strip of patterned fabric is the silk that’s been felted into the wool.
I cut out the neck and armholes and then tackled the gaps. It was really a question of taking from one spot and adding it to another. It turned out like this. I allowed the pieces to just take their natural shape rather than cutting them to size, and then I appliquéd them on, as shown below.
So, I have several wavy edges, which I love and I’ve just about managed to use all the sparkly bits. There are also leather circles sewn into this felt so I made sure to use them too.
I made a pocket from one of the left over pieces.
I was going to put a collar on, but in the end I blanket stitched round the neckline and, for now at least, it’s collarless. I did find another sparkly bit to sew on to the front though, again just using the shape formed by cutting out. I find it almost mirrors the pocket. Purely accidental!
I have to say that I really like this piece at the neck. I notice that most of my photos are of the back view. The party is definitely at the back, although I do like the front.
I mentioned that I had straightened out the sides a little as I wanted the top to be slightly boxy. I think it worked well. I still have lovely set in sleeves, so it feels really comfortable.
I said at the beginning that I put the fringed piece to one side but I didn’t want it to go back into the stash. Whilst it was sitting there it suddenly decided it wanted to be a bag. It was an almost symmetrical piece, so I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult. I cut off the odd shapes at one end and had a rectangle, which I cut in half. I honestly was making this up as I went along. I put in a zip, which I found in my stash and sewed up the side seams.
I had no idea what to use for a strap and considered making it a clutch, but I’m not that keen on clutches, so I dug deep and found a necklace which would be perfect.
I sewed the bottom seam but carefully had all the fringing inside! A bit of unpicking… So silly
anyway, a bit of faffing about and I had a bag! With the fringing on the outside.
The necklace works perfectly. It has tapes at both ends which tie behind the neck. I never liked it as a necklace, but love it as a bag handle! It has diamantes between each long bead, so it’s pretty, umm, blingy!
To cover the zip ends, I used the tape at the end of the cut off piece of zip. I find this works really well.
I had to try both items immediately, so wearing them here with my Zero Waste Culottes, but you get the idea. A better person would do a proper photo shoot!
I would love to know who did this lovely piece of felting, and am hoping that one of my Fibres West colleagues can tell me. I think this jumper will be really useful in the winter, I love the shape of it. I have a few tiny scraps left, including this bit of sparkly stuff, which I’m already thinking about adding on to something.