A piercing silence and tranquility, sparks of snowflakes and a light frost, frosty patterns on a window and fluffy snowcaps - all these winter charms inspire us to create new unusual felt garments. To achieve an extraordinary result, in some cases, it is necessary not to complicate, but simplify all the process from pattern construction to decoration and wool shrinkage. You will see the results of our experiments in this detailed tutorial on felting a light cape jacket, created with elements of “crazy-wool” technique, where we shall use a thin wool layer instead of glue or non-woven fabric.
At the initial stage it is very important not to rush into a job, but try different combinations, felt small samples from different types of yarn, evaluate the result and choose the most suitable variant. We want to obtain a very thin, airy, soft, easily draped felt, gleaming in the sun with bright sparks of sequins.
We need about 200 grams (7 oz) of extrafine Australian merino wool, and one skein (100 gram/3.5 oz) of yarn of following composition: 67% acrylic, 11% polyester, 9% wool, 8% mohair, 5% sequins.
Our new idea is a short light seamless cape (jacket) with a flared silhouette, wide sleeves and folds. This universal style is suitable for different women's figures.
The pattern is as simple as possible, but takes up a lot of space, so if you have less, try laying down the wool sequentially. Visually, it is inscribed in an oval with a size of 220x160 cm; the main parameters remain unchanged. We adjust the size range only by changing the AL parameter: the length of the armhole along the raglan line. If necessary, you can extend the pattern, based on the calculation of 1.5 * GL (length of a garment). The front line is drawn at 10 cm from the center line, other parameters: NW (width of the neck) is 20-25 cm; SW (sleeve width) - 30 cm.
Transfer pattern to a polyethylene film, cut the template and free the space for the wool layout.
After thorough preparation, the work goes quick and fun. Start with wool layout over the back detail. The plan is the crossing layout with additional strengthening layer along the open edges – bottom, sleeves and neckline. Very thin wool strands are laid out not in rows, but crosswise. Felt is just the basis for fixing the threads.
Do not be afraid of openings in a woolen cloth, you should avoid only the obvious holes. Adhere to the wool consumption table at the end of this tutorial.
Bending allowances overlaid the template by 2-3 cm (about 1 in). After finishing the layout, cover with mesh and moisten the wool with warm soapy water and manually rub through the mesh. Even you do not have a special ball brause sprinkler, you can use a simply PET bottle and drill the smallest holes in a cap or just simply splash the water with your hands.
Remove the mesh and rub around armhole, neck and bottom in a circular motion forming a smooth edge. Spread the yarns on the wool surface in a chaotic manner, but not too densely: do not forget that the wool shrinks during the felting process. For convenience, pull the thread from the middle of the skein.
Thoroughly rub through the mesh until the threads are strongly connected with the surface, turn over the template and bend the allowances to the front.
Continue layout according to scheme: strengthening layer + wool layer + yarn décor, moisten and gently rub through the mesh.
Continue rubbing the flap detail so that it can be safely unfolded. Mirror the template and continue laying out the second front detail in the same manner.
Continue to carefully rub the jacket until it becomes tight in the template. Pay close attention to the side parts – they should not have any ripples.
Now, take off the template (it can be used many times, in other projects; it also takes up very little space when stored in a folded form); then continue intensive felting process by rubbing on a ribbed surface, rolling in different directions, tossing up and knead it like dough.
Rinse out in warm water then continue adding fresh soap. The jacket shrinks very fast, so no need to hurry – check the size from time to time. Make sure that the sleeves are the same length.
Take the thread and the needle and pull the garment along the neckline. The felt keeps the shape after drying. This is free form jacket, so it is not necessary to fit it on the mannequin; just align the edges and pull up the folds.
Roll out the sleeves if it is necessary to pull them along the length. Leave the jacket to dry at the mannequin (or on hangers, if you do not have a mannequin).
Finish the job – iron and sew the tape along the neckline. We used velvet tape to avoid slipping.
Of cause, it is chilly to walk in the winter forest in a light cape; but as in a fairytale – our beauty met the Frost, who covered her with a warm coat.
It was a Christmas class from the “Crows Nest”. We congratulate all our friends and subscribers, wishing them peace and happiness, love and prosperity, health and inspiration for creativity.
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