I tested it when my tiny Tessa was just a brand new baby. When Jenn came out with the dress expansion, I knew I needed to be involved in the testing. (Note: this post is about 10 months overdue Actually, I have several overdue testing posts. I will try to get caught up soon.)
The dress has the same adorable back and A-line shape as the top.
It has optional pockets. It’s a color-blocking dream, which really makes Tessa happy.
For testing, I usually use fabric from my stash, which also necessitates color-blocking. Tessa’s little pink dress is, literally, her favorite piece of clothing right now.
She would wear it every single day if I let her… even now, in the freezing cold temperatures! She wears it to school, to church, and to play. I should probably make her another few versions for this summer.
My sister had just had her brand new baby, so I decided to make a little dress for her, too. I love it on a tiny baby!
While it is a perfect pattern as is, I decided to use wool yarn and try my hand at felting it, since, you know… it’s important to felt all the things! I absolutely LOVE the result and wanted to share my process with you, at Briana’s recommendation.
First off, gather your supplies! Make sure you have purchased the pattern from Briana’s ravelry or Etsy shop. You will notice that you need worsted weight yarn and a size G crochet hook. Because felting shrinks the work just a bit, I used a bulkier yarn and size H crochet hook. I feel like the finished size is just right after felting.
Also, your yarn MUST be 100% wool (or other fibers that are prone to felting). I actually made one clutch in a yarn with a high content of wool, but additionally nylon or something and it did not felt, like, at all!
Additionally, for felting, you will need water (both super hot and super cold), soap (any kind will work), and quite a bit of elbow grease.
Complete the Crocheted Clutch
Finish the project as written in the pattern, except for blocking before seaming. There’s no need to block your piece before completing the felting, so just carefully seam the clutch.
Felting is the process of matting fibers together to create a non-woven fabric. This is accomplished using heat, moisture, and/or extreme pressure. We will be using the method of wet-felting, which uses a combination of all three. Another type of felting, called needle felting, uses a very sharp, barbed needle to entangle the fibers. See this post for more on needle felting.
Begin Wet Felting
Start with hot, soapy water– as hot as you can stand it. Wet the entire piece.
Rub and massage the clutch, building up a good lather.
Continue rubbing and massaging, introducing a lot of friction. I like to roll the piece in a tube and then roll it very quickly between my hands.
Just keep rubbing and beating up the clutch. Occasionally, focus on the cabled design. Try to pull the cables up and felt the inside of the design.
Rinse in COLD water and check the progress. You may want to repeat all steps to help the stitches to “disappear” more completely. The longer you rub, the more times you rinse and repeat, the sturdier the fabric will become. I felted this one for about 40 minutes, rinsing and repeating probably 3 times during that time, and then another probably 25 minutes the next day.
When you are happy with the shape, size, and thickness, rinse in COLD water again, making certain you get out all the soap. Shape the clutch and allow to air dry. You can also machine dry the piece, but be careful as it may continue to shrink. If I use the machine dryer, I will usually only dry it for 30 minutes or so, leaving it still lightly damp. Then, I will allow it to air dry completely.
Add any embellishments you desire.
For this one, I added a fabric lining.
Bonus: Experiment with different shapes
For this blue one, I used the same pattern, with a few modifications. I added a few rows to make it a little longer, folded it in half instead of thirds, and added a strap.
I also sewed the corners to give it a bit of a bottom.
I believe I will also add a fabric lining as well as a zippered closure.
I may also felt this one a bit more. I really want the stitches to be even more invisible, so I’ve got some more work to do. What do you think? Do you like the felted versions? Have you made your own Aisling Clutch yet?
Today’s tutorial is very easy, versatile, and super fun for the kiddos!
Tis the season for pastel colors, so pull them out and get ready to make some cute felted Easter eggs. They are reusable, unbreakable, and don’t stink (when cooking or dyeing)! They’re great for holiday decoration or games. The best part is that they’re fun to make!
poly-fil or core wool
pastel colored outer wool
warm soapy water
cold tap water
So, let’s get started.
First, shape a small ball of poly-fil using the felting needle.
Just keep stabbing until it’s close to the right shape. This doesn’t have to be perfect.
Wrap the egg in pastel colored outer wool and use the felting needle to secure the fibers.
You can spend as much or as little time as you’d like felting the egg. We will be wet felting this, but you could just needle felt it. If you choose to only needle felt, you’d want to spend more time making sure all the fibers are entangled well.
Add some embellishments with another pastel color. My son wanted stripes. On other eggs, we did polka dots, zig zags, multiple colors. Get creative!
Secure the fibers using the felting needle. Again, no need to spend too much time or be too perfect with this.
Dunk the whole egg into the warm soapy water.
The heat and the soap further secure the fibers.
Roll the egg between your hands. The more you play with it, the more harder the felted shell will become. This is where the felting magic really happens. The friction and pressure of playing with the egg cause the fibers to entangle. They get matted and entangled enough that the whole egg begins to shrink and become more compacted.
This is a great activity to do outside, if it’s warm enough. It can be a little messy.
When you’ve played with the egg enough, rinse it in cold tap water to remove all the suds. Allow the egg to dry outside or even in the dryer. (It will likely continue shrinking in the dryer- so just be aware)
After your egg is dry, you can add more needle felted embellishments or leave it as is.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this fun and simple felting idea. I’d love to see if you try this craft- let me know!
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I had the opportunity to be a part of the tester group, so I got to see other fabulous versions. Some of my favorites included a Star Wars theme– with Leia and Luke, and a Native American theme. I think there may be a tester tour soon, so I will update those links if they become available.
As you can see, there are so many options for these fun patterns. Here is my version. I used fabric that was leftover from other projects, so it was a great stash buster!
She was made out of canvas that I had leftover from a large painting I created. Her body is made from seersucker and cotton. Her hair is made from some of my handmade felt. Tessa chose the hair color. I was secretly hoping she’d choose pink, but she wanted it to match her own hair. I also needle felted the eyes onto the canvas.
The day that I was working on the majority of this project, I was babysitting my nephew. After he left, my sweet little Tessa asked if we could make Kash a boy doll. So, I whipped this boy version up lickety split.
Sorry about the blurry photo. I was in a hurry to get this little guy to his new owner. 🙂
The clothes pack comes with 2 hat styles, a blouse or dress, some jogger pants, a skirt, and some knee socks. The one piece that I feel this pattern pack is missing is a boy’s shirt. The blouse is definitely girly. But, I just cut out a sweatshirt shape with the fleece I used for the jogger pants for Kash’s boy. For Tessa’s girl, I cut the blouse pattern piece down the middle front to make a cardigan/ jacket sort of shirt.
I had also made a dress, using the same panda print fabric, but it looked more like pajamas. I liked the skirt much more in that print.
This pattern actually comes with a backpack version or a messenger bag version- both with the front pocket for the doll.
I think this may be Tessa’s favorite part. She loves that she gets to wear her dolly and store other toys and things in her backpack. It’s just the right size for her little body.
All in all, this is such a fun and versatile pattern. I think it may become my new go-to for little toddler gifts!
Right now, you can get the pattern bundle for a special price of $11.50! Go here to snag that deal!
Today, I thought I’d give you a quick checklist of needle felting supplies and a little bit about the basics of needle felting.
Wool or other fiber
The list of tools is short, but there’s a lot of available variation.
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.
Felting 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?