Tutorial Tuesday | Needle Felting Basic Supplies

Hello! Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday!

Today, I thought I’d give you a quick checklist of needle felting supplies and a little bit about the basics of needle felting.

dsc_0093

 

The tools

  • Felting Needle(s)
  • Felting Surface
  • Wool or other fiber

The list of tools is short, but there’s a lot of available variation.

dsc_0076

Let’s talk about needles. Felting needles are very sharp (and cause a lot of pain if you stab yourself). They have little barbs at the end to grab the fiber and entangle it.

dsc_0080Felting is simply matting fibers together by heat, moisture, or friction and pressure. I will show you how this is done in a later tutorial.

Fun fact: felting needles are not actually designed for manual use. They are designed to be used in felting machines with thousands of needles. Because of this, they are not really very comfortable to hold unless you use a multi tool, as is pictured above.

Needles come in different shapes: triangle, star, and spiral; and different gauges: 32, 36, 38, 40, 42– the larger numbers are for finer details. Each of the shapes and gauges have a specific purpose, but I think a good all-purpose needle is 38T (38 gauge, triangle shape).

You can use a single needle, or a tool that holds multiple needles, depending on personal preference and the type of project you are working on. You will have most control with a single needle.

dsc_0081

Next, you need a felting surface. There’s pretty much only two different surfaces used to protect your table (or lap) and your needles: foam or tightly compacted bristles. I have only ever used foam: camping foam, specific felting foam, and even couch cushions.

dsc_0085

Finally, you’ll need some sort of fiber for felting. This is where there’s the largest array of variations. For most of my projects, I use wool roving. The dyed stuff is usually merino. The more natural colored wool is usually a coarser wool like Corriedale. Raw curls can be used, making some interesting textures (Santa’s beard, for instance). You can use silk and even synthetic fibers. You could even unravel acrylic yarn and use that fiber to felt with.

dsc_0075-2

If you are doing 3-dimensional pieces, I recommend either core wool or polyester stuffing. These are not necessary, though; you can make an entire piece with your outer wool. Core wool and stuffing are much less expensive than other wool,though,  which is why they are a good tool to have.

dsc_0089

It is relatively inexpensive to get started with needle felting. I would suggest picking up an inexpensive kit to experiment with. They usually come with a small block of foam, a needle, and some wool. You may even find some kits with everything to create a 3-dimensional object. Someday, I may offer some starter kits. Would you be interested in something like that?

Needle Felting Basic Supplies at a glance

needles

other-felting-supplies

Wednesday Faves

dsc_0072

I plan to do more on this blog, moving forward, than I have in the past. Many of you have asked for tutorials on my felting processes. I hope to include some. I want to give you some tips and tricks- maybe some free patterns- on Fridays. Wednesdays will be about my recent favorite projects. Maybe I’ll have some new designs to show you, or maybe it will be something completely different.

 

So, it’s now time for our first installment of Wednesday Faves!

I have been loving the Spring props lately. I feel like this winter has just dragged on and on. This week, though, the sun is shining and giving me hope that it won’t be winter forever.

dsc_0072

dsc_0086dsc_0089dsc_0077dsc_0088

If you like what you see, please visit me at Facebook, share, or pin!

Pattern Testing: Veritas Poncho… Bonus unicorn tutorial

I did some sewing pattern testing last week for the first time in, what… almost a year, I think. I needed to figure out Halloween costumes anyway and I think this is just the cutest poncho/ cape ever! I’m a big fan of all of Heidi and Finn patterns, so I was super excited to be selected for this test!

 

il_570xn-1106972107_dexz
Click on image to go to Heidi and Finn Etsy shop

I did the size 2T for my Tessa girl. I first found the sweatshirt fleece in my stash (that was in my mom’s stash- so it’s easily 20 years old). Then, I decided I’d turn it into a unicorn to use for Halloween.

dsc_0083e

The pattern includes pieces for the ears, but not horse ears. I thought the pig/ cat ears looked like the right shape. I cut out the biggest size ears for this so they’d look more like horse ears.

dsc_0118

Of course, I added a horn and mane to complete the look. I found the fluffy pink fleece in the remnant bin at Joann and splurged for the multicolor faux fur ($29.99/ yard). I only bought 4 inches of the fur and it was on sale ($20.99/ yard), so my entire project cost less than about $4 (I made Hana one, too, and still have enough fur to use on something else). Oh, I love a good, cheap, project!

dsc_0095e2

After posting my version, I had lots of messages asking how I did the horn and mane, so I put together a bonus tutorial for you! I made a matching poncho for my Hana, so now they’ll both be unicorns for Halloween. I may make the boys’ costumes using this pattern, too, if I get around to it… maybe dragons or sharks or something. 🙂

unicorn-supplies

horn-tutorial

dsc_0141

dsc_0136

I was barely short on the purple sweatshirt fleece, so my 12 month size poncho (I modified it slightly to fit my 5 month old) has a fun pop of color on the back shoulders. I’m almost wishing I had done the same thing on the bigger one.

 

dsc_0145

Felting, felting, and more felting

Holy moly!  Has it really almost been a year?!  Since the last time I posted, my felting projects have really boomed.  Most of what I do is for newborn photography- hats, outfits, props, etc.  That’s what this post will mostly show.  Within the last year, I was pregnant and had another baby- another little girl.  🙂  She was born on May 4th.

baby announcement

Also, since last time (and probably a huge contributing factor to why I haven’t written in so long), we moved from Oregon to Idaho.  We moved to Oregon from Utah on our 1st anniversary.  We lived there for 8 years and had all of our babies, except for Hana, with the same doctor in the same hospital.  We loved living there, but we are loving our current home in Idaho.

So, last time, I was just getting started with felting.  I made a whole bunch of my pumpkin, apple, and sunflower hats.  From there, I was making everything from reindeer and Christmas mice…

…to butterflies and dinosaurs

I started making stuffies (little stuffed toys for the baby to hold) and more intricate designs…

And now, I’m doing pretty much whatever comes to mind (or whatever a customer suggests).

DSC_0471 (2) copy

DSC_0476 (2) copyDSC_0502 copyDSC_0475 ppd copyDSC_0476 ppd copy

For my latest creations, follow me on Facebook.

 

Recent Happenings: Felted hats

Hello, my lovelies!  So, every once in a while I try something crafty that I end up obsessing over for a while.  Here’s the progression:

  1. Painting
  2. Sewing
  3. Crocheting
  4. Photography
  5. Spinning/ Dyeing
  6. Knitting
  7. Felting

I still do all of the other things- sometimes all at once- but I have really started obsessing over felting.

DSC_0103eppdIt started innocent enough: with these felted wooly layers.  Did you see my video?

And now, it’s moved on to making fun and funky hats (and other things are coming) out of wool fiber.  Have you seen the works of art that can be created?  Go here, or here, or here.  Prepare to be AMAZED!  People are so creative.  So, pretty much, there’s nothing you CAN’T do with fiber.  Let me show you some of my creations:     DSC_0196This Newborn pumpkin hat has been hugely popular in the last day or two!  It is so unique for a newborn photo shoot.  I can’t wait to see it on a real tiny human.

DSC_0209 (2)I thought an apple would be so cute- especially for back-to-school photo shoots.

DSC_0219A basic bonnet, but this one has been ombre-fied.

DSC_0213A pixie bonnet… also ombre (That’s another one of my obsessions.  I love ombre)

DSC_0215 (2)eThis is actually a newborn sized witch hat, but I decided to try it on my crazy girl, so I added a tie back.  I thought the colors would be kind of cool, but it looks more like a volcano.  I still kinda like it, though. 😉

DSC_0197 (3)A sunflower bonnet… Come on!  You HAD to know that was coming if you checked out those links above.  What’s cuter than a baby wearing a bonnet?  Bonus points for a bonnet that transforms said baby into something else, like a flower, for instance!

So, here’s the thing.  I have not had very good success with Etsy. I think partially it’s because I didn’t really know what my “look” is.  I think I’ve decided to re-vamp my shop with more organic products.  (The witch’s hat may not make the cut. 😉  You can still buy it, though!)  And, actually, I may just go away from Etsy anyway.  I have a site now: puddypad.com.  I am going to spruce it up and make it look more pretty, soft, and organic.

What are your thoughts?  Have you had success with Etsy?  Do you think customers prefer to buy from there?

Crown Prop Love

Remember a while ago, when I posted a free Crown Prop crochet pattern?

DSC_0086Many of you downloaded the pattern, which makes my heart happy!  (If you haven’t yet, snag it here, in my Ravelry shop)  This last week, I got word that Erin, from Freund’s Fibers was making a crown for a client, which also makes my heart happy!  Then, come to find out, we are in a small Facebook group together, which makes my heart extra happy!  It’s a small world, when it comes to fiber arts and crafts.
11872776_10206597455830068_470044834_nShe’s done a very thorough job of documenting her process and created a beautiful finished product.

I can’t wait to see some in-use photos.  In the meantime, hop on over to her blog to see her process- and maybe a few tips on stiffening the crown.

Freunds Fibers: Pretty as a Princess

Sewing: Pattern Testing| Blue Ridge Dress by Hello Holli

blue-ridge-dress-instructionsEvery once in a while, I have the opportunity to test a sewing pattern that has the potential of becoming a go-to project.  I think the Blue Ridge Dress by Hello Holli might just fit that bill.

This is before hemming, so it's way too long
This is before hemming, so it’s way too long

It is quick, simple, easy, but with a super clean finish and loads of possibilities.

DSC_0315
This is the first version I made using fabric from a sentimental skirt of mine. This version is reversible.

The fit is great.  Even on my bitty baby, I like the fit.

DSC_0315 (4)e

Check out all the other versions made during the test… this thing looks great on every single model.  That’s definitely saying something.

DSC_0308 (4)eThe back is cute, with its long opening hole and bias tape button hole.

DSC_0322 (2)The skirt is fully gathered, offering lots of swing and flow.  I would imagine that little 3-5 year old princesses would love twirling in this dress.  🙂

DSC_0307 (4)e

Holli put a lot of work into this pattern.  It is well written and easy to understand.  She’s included awesome illustrations.

DSC_0311 (4)e

The pattern features a wide range of sizes: 12 m-14y, so it will be one of your go-to patterns for years to come.

Check out the other stops on the tester tour here.

And snag your copy of the Blue Ridge Dress pattern here. You can use the code BLUERIDGELAUNCH through Friday, July 3rd for 20% off the price of the pattern.

Also, if you hurry, you could try to win a copy of the pattern here!

DSC_0316 (3)e(The length has been edited since finishing this dress.  The skirt is supposed to hit right at the knee, so it’s obviously too long on my tiny lady.  That’s one thing that’s nice about the pattern, though… you can customize it to be really any length.)