a life of felt

Skirt remodelling part 2 – Decisions July 30th, 2014

I’m considering entering my skirt (finished!!!) into the Ilkley Flower Show under the category ‘something new from something old’ but my skirt will still be a skirt. Opinions so far seem to be that it would meet the category requirement – do you agree?  The reason I’m considering entering is that the show takes place next month which will force me to finish the skirt, otherwise I fear there’s a very real danger of it being hiddeen in a cupboard and forgotten about.


I like the texture I’ve achieved on the felted sections but the weight of those is pulling the non felted section out of shape. The central triangle won’t hang down and, as expected, the join is ruched where one section is felted and the other not.


So I have 3 options unless anyone can come up with more for me. First – stitch some pleats into the triangle to hold it in place and give it fullness at the back. I don’t think this will look that pretty and then that section will be markedly different in length to the rest – see below.


Option two is to use two of the triangular pieces which I’ve already removed to create extra thickness in this area. It looks okay and if I stagger the lengths it will also give me frills. The contrast between felted and not is nice.


Or my third option is to cut out the central back triangle and just stitch it straight up, which makes it more structured looking. It needs darts for shaping and a wasitband but you get the idea.


Part of me wants the straight wrap around and part wants the layered frill section in the back. There is a difference in material weights and I don’t know if it will behave or feel odd on, perhaps those of you with more experience can help me here. I do know that there is a slight risk that unless handled carefully during washing the felted sections could shrink a little more which would affect the back again. Think I’m talking myself into a straight wrap around but I’d love to hear what you think.

Skirt remodelling part 1 July 27th, 2014

I bought this skirt about three years ago, I adore the colours and yet hardly ever wear it.


It’s a very thin cotton which makes it rather too cool to wear  in winter and yet it has so much fabric that I end up getting too hot and bothered by yards of the stuff round my legs in summer. Although it had a piece across the hips (it probably has a name but as you’ll soon see I’m no dressmaker so haven’t a cluse what it’s called)  so that most of the fabric was below hip level it was a dreaded elasticated waist. Love the fabric but the style isn’t flattering to my ample hips.

I’ve been wondering how I could re-use the fabric then decided to be brave and transform it into a new skirt – shorter and wrap around. To begin I removed the waist section. The main portion of the skirt comprised  6 rectangular and 6 triangular pieces. I cut out 4 of the triangular pieces removing much of the excess and cut the skirt open on the sixth triangular piece.


You can already see how much less fabric there is now and removing the waist section has made it shorter. Two of the triangular pieces remain, one at the end just in case I need the extra length to wrap around and one in the centre back.


You can see the back looks longer and fuller where I’ve left in the final triangle. The plan is to nuno felt the 6 rectangular panels leaving the back triangle clear of wool. I quite fancy the change in texture and the fullness remaining but it’s a risk, the fabric could easily go out of shape. If it doesn’t work then I’ll go back and nuno the triangular sections later.


Using the surplus waist section I did a test piece and satisfied that I still liked the fabric when finished, carded up fibres. I’ve used Peacock, Turquoise, Sea Green, Forest Green and Maroon Merino from Adelaide Walker.

Gorgeous isn’t it. This is quite a big job  and my table is too small so I worked on the floor.


All laid out except for the central triangular section as you can see.


Once laid out and wetted out I rolled it up and worked on my kitchen worktop. In this hot weather it’s actually the coolest room in the house.


Just unroll a section at a time and you can work on very large projects in your kitchen which has the added benefit of being the right height. I have some concerns about how this whole thing is going to work out but now I’ve had a break think I’ll go and do the final felting and fulling. wish me luck.

W.I.P. July 21st, 2014

We’ve been away on a family holiday to France and had a wonderful time. I came back with a mission to make a crocheted gift so here’s a quick peek at what I’ve been busy with.


I have plans for some felting this coming weekend but in the meantime I’m off to finish the crochet and will reveal all later.

Just had to share June 29th, 2014

I came across the artist Hilary Fayle on the internet this morning and am so impressed and amazed that I wanted to share her work with you. The embroidery into leaves is incredible but her cut work is truly amazing and it’s all so delicate.


Full of colour June 23rd, 2014

Do you remember me making these pre-felts a couple of weeks ago?


They were made using dyed Merino from Adelaide Walker. I used all the colours except for browns, greys and black.

IMG_8123 - Copy


After attaching fixings to the back it’ll be going to the wool shows with us. Should add a nice bit of brightness to the stall.

Going, gone June 21st, 2014

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Preparing for the chop. Charlotte will donate her hair to the Little Princess Trust.  The hair is used to make wigs for children who’ve suffered hair loss through diseases like cancer. Charlotte also wants to raise funds for the charity and if you would like to support her you can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/Charlie-Battersby/


First cut!!!!!




Charlotte couldn’t stop smiling and frankly it was freaking the haidresser out. It was such a radical change she expected to see more nerves and far less smiling from her client.  Finishing touches coming up.


Very happy. Check out the mirror for a second view.


Cheshire cat time.



The hair was nearly 12″ at it’s longest.


Thank you to all who’ve already donated.

Going June 21st, 2014

Our beautiful daughter Charlotte is going for a radical haircut today. Before I tell you a little more I thought I’d share her pre-prom picture with you.

charlie & Jack

Very happy with boyfriend Jack Smith. They were both more nervous than I expected but when we got to the hotel it was quite a daunting crush of peers, parents and interested onlookers that they had to walk past. She put her hair  into a low roll or chignon for the occasion.


This afternoon the whole length of  it will be chopped off at the nape of her neck after which she will donate the hair to the Little Princess Trust. We think there’ll be over 10″ in length and the hair will be used to make wigs for children who’ve suffered hair loss through diseases like cancer. Charlotte also wants to raise funds for the charity and if anyone would like to support her they can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/Charlie-Battersby/

I will of course be posting before and after photos. For now, I fervently hope she’ll like the new elfin cut.

Metaphor 3 June 18th, 2014

As in my previous post, I’ve worked from a photo of cup and ring stone markings to create a drawing from sections, painted and torn papers then I’m moving on to manipulation in Photoshop.

The crop.

slim crop

Four copies of the crop manipualted to form one new image.


The new image tiled and colour added.


I’ve not put nearly so much colour on this but I thought the colours worked so well together that I didn’t want to do more. Shall we repeat the exercise?

The crop.

odd crop

Four copies of the crop manipualted to form one new image.


The new image tiled.


Colour added.


I don’t think this is quite so successful colourwise but it never ceases to amaze me how far it travels from the original inspiration.

Whilst playing around I also created this, unintentionally I may add.

odd & slim

Amazingly, I do know what I did and can recreate it. It’s an overlay of one tiled image on another creating an even more complex pattern. Rather lovely isn’t it?

Metaphor 2 June 16th, 2014

Having; drawn, painted papers and torn them, my next step was to photograph my work. Once photographed, I cropped a section from each and then began to work with them in Photoshop. Hubby was most helpful with this part of the process and I managed to complete it without losing my temper, although I did feel quite brain dead afterwards.

The crop.

swastika crop

The tile.


Then I manipualted four of the crop images to create one new image.


The new image was then tiled.


And colour added


I love the new pattern, feels a bit like William Morris stuff?

Another one soon.

Metaphor June 14th, 2014

A couple of months ago I was invited and felt privileged to join Metaphor, a textile group comprised of some very talented and friendly textile artists. It’s fun to meet with like minded people and I intend to work with materials other and as well as felt but before then, it’s back to design stage.

It’s not usually something I discuss very much here so I thought you might enjoy a quick walk through of the process I’m currently following. We’re studying folk culture and I chose to look at cup and ring markings on Ilkley Moor.

Below, are some of the specific stones I’ve used for inspiration.

Swastika Stone

and my drawing.

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Green Crag Slack cup and ring marks.

Backstone Beck

I drew sections from each of these then painted papers and created my images again using torn paper.

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Dobrudden Stone

and my torn paper interpretation

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and finally, I created a new pattern from some of the edges of the torn papers.


We then moved on to manipulate the images in photoshop which I’ll show in my next post.