Saturday, October 15, 2011


Well, I haven't posted in a while.  Why not?  Mostly because I have too many projects and frankly, I'd rather be working on them them writing about their non-completion.  But, I now have two things off my list.. and I realized very important:  I love felt.

I've always loved sewing-- or at least, the idea of it.  I'm decent enough with a pattern, if I have proper help and instruction from my mom; and I've always been able to make up my own "patterns" to make whatever I wanted (in fact, I'd rather just wing it and make it up myself, rather than confuse myself with others' patterns).  Since moving away from home, however, I lack something very important: a sewing machine.  Our one-bedroom apartment, as spacious as it is, doesn't have much actual storage space, so until I can figure out somewhere to store one (or until we buy a house and have more space!..including my own craft room, hint hint..), I'm sewing machine-less.

Which means everything I sew these days is done by hand.  I've been working on cross-stitch, but that doesn't really count.  Instead, I have been relying on felt!  The fact that edges don't all have to be hemmed, and it's easy to cut and work with, is ideal.  The fact that it's dirt cheap is even better!  Sure, there are no prints (only solid colors), usually only comes in small squares, and you can't do anything too complex, but it's nice enough to work with.

Since it's October, the first order of business was, of course, to make my cat a Halloween costume!  Seeing as it is Xyla's first Halloween (with us; she was busy being abandoned and send to a shelter for her very first Halloween), Allen suggested she be a pumpkin.  A Jack-o-Lantern, to be exact.  Perfect!

First, I assembled her body piece.  Basically, a pumpkin-shaped cape with a tummy strap to keep it in place:

Xyla the Jack-o-Lantern!
Yikes, why can't I get it to rotate?  Anyway, she doesn't mind this part too much.  Stays in place relatively well, and she tolerates it just fine.

Next came the cap.  I figured she needed some sort of a hat with a stem, to really get the "pumpkin" part to come across.  It took some adjusting, and lots of checking it with her head (which she did not appreciate), but finally, I got a good design:

Xyla in her full costume!
Unfortunately I didn't have any orange ribbon handy, and I was too impatient to wait until I could buy some.  Oh well-- it matches her fur..?  Anyway, here she is in her full glory!  I was laughing so hard, I only got one good picture with my phone.  I'll get the nice camera and give her a proper photo-shoot later!  The point is-- felt!  Amazing!

Next up, some fall decorations.  I had this idea in my head and modified and changed it as I went on.  Mostly, I wanted to show the stitching on the felt (rather than try to hide the thread, as I did on Xyla's costume):

Fall leaves, above the washer and dryer closet
Printed off some outlines of leaves, did a blanket stitch around the edges and some big stitches in the middle.  Here's a sort-of close up of a couple:

At first I was unhappy with how the stitching kind of crinkled up the felt, but it actually makes them more leaf-like, and adds some dimensionality.

Both of these projects were fun, relatively quick (I have a short attention span..), completed in many short sessions, and best of all--easy to stuff back into my shoebox of Current Project Supplies which is the only way I can keep the desk/table/coffee table/floor clean and clear of all my stuff!

I have a few more fall things I want to do soon, but I also need to finalize our Christmas cards!  I keep putting it off.  The sketches are all done and I know basically how I'll do them, but I need to put in a little more work to finalize things before I get too busy with other Christmas-y things!