Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Needlefelting

I haven't had anything to say for a while because the unending succession of triple-digit days has made most of my brain cells sweat out through my skin. There ought to be a medical name for this condition. Dog Days Dumbness? I have a feeling that "dog days" are supposed to be associated with August. Well, so are daily temperatures of 104 and up, and we're getting those now. So.

I've been working....slowly and as you'll see, not very intelligently... on making a handbag from needlefelted fabric. Started with some truly glaring red felt left over from an old project, foiled bits of that and covered some of the foiled bits with synthetic sheers. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not supposed to be possible to needlefelt synthetic sheers to acrylic felt, but you know what? The sheers pucker beautifully and the needling helps to hold them in place for the next step.

At this stage it's still pretty ugly.



Then I collected a basket of silk scraps in pinks (salmon to hot), golds, oranges and greens - some opaque and some sheer - and needlefelted those over the naked felt, the foiled felt, and the edges of the synthetic sheers. Here's a half-and-half picture. The left hand side has been covered with silks, the right hand side is still waiting for its second coat.



After that I couched a couple of yarns in hot summer colors - the variegated yarns that inspired this color scheme in the first place - still using the needlefelter. Which isn't supposed to work to attach synthetic yarn to synthetic felt, but it does...at least temporarily.

I will admit that after all this embellishing, for a final step in the fabric creation I moved over to the sewing machine, put gold thread in the bobbin, and stitched freehand gold circles all over the fabric, just to make absolutely sure that nothing pulled loose. This stitching had a serendipitous side effect; the synthetic yarns had a frizz of fine shiny threads around them, and the stitching held those little shinies down close to the fabric and made the whole thing sort of gleam.



Finally, having made the fabric, it was time to line the two pieces I'd cut for the flap and the strap, assemble everything, and put the magnetic purse snaps in.

Do not try this at home on a day when your brain has melted and run down to your ankles. I tried to get away without measuring, using the eyeball algorithm instead, and as you can see, the purse came out distinctly lopsided!



What the heck - I love it anyway, and I'm going to take it with me to Nova Scotia, where we're headed to escape the Texas summer for ten days. Mmm. Seafood, glacier-carved coastlines, seafood, Cape Breton fiddle music, seafood, whale watching, chances of a close encounter with a moose, the tides in the Bay of Fundy, and did I mention seafood?

1 comment:

  1. Well, the lopsidedness is just a design element, it's still fabulous

    Jealous (1) Nova Scotia

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