Sunday, January 27, 2008


Well, it took a bit longer than I'd hoped (probably because I was working on other things, bad me!), but I did this evening put together two pincushions using the wool I felted earlier in the week. I'd come across Betz White's website a few weeks ago, and she makes and sells these really cupcake pincushions using recycled felted wool.

How did the felting go? Well, it did seem to work okay in my front-loader... once I actually got it ready to go in the washer! It takes more time that you'd think to deconstruct clothing. Of course this was my fault - I should have just totally cut off the seams rather than ripping them apart, but I was trying to be conservative and save as much of the wool as possible. (By the way - French seams are twice the work when you're using the seam ripper! How do I know? The hard way!)

In the end, I only felted the sleeves out of the jackets and sweaters because it sounded like that was the portion that the designer recommended. I ran it through three times on the hot/cold cycle with as long of a cycle as possible and I don't really know if it was finished or right, but I'd had enough and it seemed reasonably right by feel. [Random aside: this being the first time that I've felted, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Tam had told me that I might want to run some towels in the washer afterwards to take care of some of the extra fuzz. Well, Ben did that and then asked me whether she'd mentioned anything about color bleeding because the towels were all pink... Hmm, I'm thinking. I wouldn't have expected that. Well, in checking the dryer, I discovered the likely culprit: he'd washed a red dry-clean only Christmas table runner with the towels! Fortunately, the runner is fine. And fortunately the towels were mostly those that we simply take to the gym and not our good ones!]

I'm not convinced that I can actually use these in the guild's pincushion sale. I can't figure out how to get them to sit flat, despite my best efforts. I will admit that I did not buy the designer's book to make the pincushion, but I did watch a Martha Stewart video segment where Betz made one of her other designs (using some of the same techniques, I'm certain), so I somewhat winged it in terms of figuring out how to put this together.

The one is ridiculously huge (or so it seems), and that's one where I used a combination of a sweater sleeve and jacket on the inside with a sweater sleeve on the outside. The smaller one was made with two jacket pieces on the inside and a sweater on the outside. It seems more reasonably sized, but I still don't think they look all that great.

What do you all think - do they look too lame? Please be honest. I'm really not in the mood to find another pattern to make some other kind of pincushion, especially as I'm not even a pincushion-user to begin with. But at the same time, the whole point is to make something that would sell. Would you buy one of these? I'll have to see how motivated I'm feeling (and how much other time I have). The other downside is that I spent a fair amount buying all of these pieces at Goodwill; if I scrap this idea, I now have a bunch of cut-up garments with which I have no idea what I will do.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

I think they are cute... I am wondering if the cupcake "papers" aren't felted in the originals... they still have pretty well defined stitch definition. If you want, bring one along tomorrow and we can look at it. And next time you felt, we can have a party in my basement... It is one thing our washer does really well! P.S. Some times the color does bleed when I'm felting things (I had sea blue water once), but I haven't ever noticed in clothes afterward.