Metamorphoses

 

The natural beauty and nature's wonders were always a source of inspiration for artists. For example, take the amazing process of turning a caterpillar into a butterfly – the caterpillar's body completely dissolves inside the chrysalis, and the butterfly's body is formed anew. This process is called metamorphosis, but the creative human can also make a perfect creation from a shapeless heap of fibers.

 

In this lesson, we will mix bright motifs with shades of deep autumn in a straight, voluminous textured dress called "Metamorphoses".

Before starting the wool layout, we should thoroughly prepare. The central décor element will be a dense “caterpillar” braid. Divide the roving into four parts, twist a little between palms, connect three ends in a nodule and braid a pigtail. Prepare several ones of different color combinations.

As the auxiliary accent, we will prepare a twisted yarn of variable thickness from fibers of three different colors. You can even use a simple pencil instead of a spindle. Wash a yarn in a skein so it becomes more stable, and then leave it to dry.

This time we take about 350 gram (12 oz) of merino wool roving, three meters of dyed silk gauze (about 90 cm wide) and prepared thin prefelt for decoration.

As in the previous lesson, we will use a simplified template based on a rectangle measuring 130 x 70 cm (approx. 50 x 28 in for M size).

Build the template using a bright polyethylene film or any other suitable waterproof material.

 

The pattern is available for download in 1:5 scale for A4 printing. Please choose "Actual Size" in your printer settings.

Begin the wool layout with an additional strengthening layer along the neckline, armhole and bottom.

We will use a diagonal (crossing) wool layout. Spread the first row at a 45° degree angle, next row spread perpendicularly, covering 2/3 of first and so on. Do not forget about a 1/2 to 3/4" (1.5 to 2 cm) overlay allowance for bending.

Moisten the wool with warm soapy water and gently rub through the mesh until the fibers begin to connect with each other. Remove the mesh and lightly rub around armhole, neck and bottom of a dress in a circular motion forming a smooth edge. Remove excess water with a towel. Try not to touch the allowances.

Turn over the template, bend the allowances and continue wool layout according to scheme. Moisten the wool and rub through the mesh. Take a good look at the surface and cover the openings with thin wool strands. Fold the allowances to the back.

Now, the dress basis is ready for decoration.

Proceed the layout of decor elements, starting with the largest details. Put the braid on the center of a dress, stretching it by the sides, to give an extra volume.

According to the plan, the next is vertical lines of textured yarn and the alternating elements carved from prefelt.

Additionally, highlight the raglan line.

Cover everything with silk; in our case, the 90 cm width is enough for covering the entire template with allowances. For larger size templates, there is a silk fabric of 114 and 140 cm width.

Fold the small allowances (3-4 cm) inside out to form a straight edge of a garment.

Moisten the template and rub through the mesh until the first wool fibers appear on the silk fabric. Turn the template and continue decorating the back of the dress.

Here we tried not to complicate the composition with unnecessary elements, leaving the dress flexible and lightweight.

Cover the back with a silk, and then accurately spread the fabric over the entire surface of the template. Take a small scissors and cut the neck, leaving a little for the hem. Bend silk allowances so that they overlapped each over for a 0.5 in (1–1.5 cm) – this will be enough. If necessary, make small cuttings.

Cover the back with a silk, and then accurately spread the fabric over the entire surface of the template. Take a small scissors and cut the neck, leaving a little for the hem. Bend silk allowances so that they overlapped each over for a 0.5 in (1–1.5 cm) – this will be enough. If necessary, make small cuttings.

It is possible to use a sander with great accuracy.

Now, take off the template and continue the intensive felting process as shown in many previous classes. Roll the garment in different directions, toss up and knead it like dough. Rinse out in warm water then continue adding fresh soap. Continue until the dress becomes suitable for the first fitting.

Eliminate the defects revealed by first fitting, round the shoulders, enlarge the breast and finally shape the dress.

Felt is perfectly keeps the shape. Leave the dress to dry on hangers or mannequin.

The first walk in the autumn park with a camera.

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