Sunday, October 4, 2015

You Tube of Eco Print Workshop

When I created Eco Print Workshop video, I also made a clip for You Tube.  It just made sense to help folks to understand if this is something that interest them.  So here is the link to You Tube!

Enjoy watching because your streamed video class will look just the same!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Eco Print Workshop

I have created a streamed video workshop about Eco Printing.  I have taught Eco Print workshops numerous times but felt that a video would have greater reach.  Every region has different plants and different water, so I feel it is best that a person learns the fundamentals from the materials in their own backyard!

I chose a streamed video format, so that download would never be a problem.  Video files are huge!  If someone has limited internet connectivity, they can purchase this product and view on a public computer such as a library or wifi zone.

This video workshop has no expiration!  Once you purchase the video workshop you can watch again and again and again. Actually I think this format is able to reinforce skills, because you can watch the video numerous times.

Here is what you learn:  Equipment, plants, fabrics, tools, solutions,  5 techniques for bundling and 2 means of processing.  I provide a resource sheet and a troubleshooting guide.  In the video I show you numerous samples and many from my students.  I do explain how to harvest and keep your leaves for winter use.  This a complete and comprehensive video presentation.

This is an affordable means of taking a workshop.  No travel or lodging expense.

Perhaps you are new to Eco Print, or want to learn more about it.  Maybe you want to step up your existing skills.  Either way, this video will take your Eco Print skills to the next level.  

Check out my You Tube   click HERE  to learn more!

For a limited time I include a bonus video.  This video segment is for making of a swing vest. I show how to create the fabrics, then create this smart vest.  But don't wait to purchase!  Offer is good only until Aug 15.
So where can you sign up for the workshop?

Here are some images of Eco Print techniques that are presented in this video workshop.




Monday, March 9, 2015

Wear your sheep!

Wearing a fleece vest made from raw fleece is really a treat.  They are warm, fuzzy and all around comfortable.  This past winter I made a few raw fleece vest from different sheep breeds.  I want to share those photos with you.

Close up 
Longer open front vest

 The linings used are made from hand dyed silk. The trim is leather.  However you don't have to line them.  The compliments are many when I wear these.

I like to use Border Leicester and Lincoln lamb for these vest, however other fleece types with curls can be used.  With sheep festivals coming this spring, it might be a good time to pick up a fleece and make a great vest! Wear your sheep!

If you are interested in learning how to make a fleece vest, gather a small group of felting friends and invite me to teach!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Patterns for Felted Garments - Part 2

Finally, and I do mean finally I am able to write part 2.  When I look back and see that is was Jan since I last posted, I wonder where time has gone.  I did not mean to take so long to write part 2, it just happened that way.

To recap, I was discussing how purchasing a 'pattern' to make a seamless felt garment was risky.  Understanding how garments are made is a big factor and also understanding shrinkage.  To follow up about shrinkage I have several examples to share.  Each began as a 20" x 20" square, but all result in different sizes.  This could be due to the type of wool I used, the micron count, the fabric or surface decoration and single layer layout or multiple layers.  All of those things effect how a pattern needs to be made.  You simply can't use one pattern, then use different techniques and expect the garment to fit every time.
In the above example 3mm habotai silk was used with a thin one way layout (A), a thin two way layout (B) and a thin layer of wool sandwiched between two layers of 3mm habotai (C)

In the above examples each is made with two layers of wool and same micron.  In (A) only wool is used.  In (B) the same wool was laid out two ways but surface decoration such as yarn and silk habotai for nuno felting.  In sample (C) still the same wool laid out two ways but with silk hankies on the surface.

As you can see each sample is a different size!  If there are different sizes on a small sample, imagine the differences on a full size seamless garment.  Making samples prior to making a full size garment is essential.

Next, not every felter is a perfect figure type that can wear the shapely dresses, plunge necklines or cinched waist.  Consideration should be given to the actual style of garment that a person makes for themselves.  Yes, there are many nice seamless garments that look wonderful on a shapely figure model, but for the most part a simpler design line is most flattering to all figure types.

Finally the use of multiple techniques.  While all feltmakers enjoy different techniques, caution should be exercised when incorporating them into a garment.  All too often textures, colors and techniques are combined into a garment without harmony.  Basically a train wreck!  Simple design lines with good use of color and a single technique create a sophisticated garment.  All one needs to do is look at the major fashion houses/designers and you will see simple lines with good use of color and texture. Felt is a beautiful textile and should be showcased with its color and textures.

To conclude there are two ways to make felt garments.  One way is seamless or to make felt yardage.  I have done it both ways.  I like both methods.  Each method has its pros and cons.  If you purchase a pattern there is a risk in that  you don't know who much ease was applied to that pattern and you don't know what shrinkage was used.  If you are experienced with sewing, pattern drafting and felting you might be successful, but for the most part feltmakers are not. Using the methods that I teach in my e-books works best for those without a lot of garment making skills.

Best to all your making of felt garments with a method that works for you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Patterns for felted garments, are they really that simple? Part 1 of 2

Over the past several months I have noted online posting asking about purchasing patterns to make seamless felt garments.  Very good question, but it is like nails on a chalkboard for me.  Here is why: 1) Patterns for felt garments need to consider shrinkage.  2) The majority of feltmakers who want to make a felt garment know little about garment construction.  3) Not everyone on the face of the earth is a perfect model size.  4) most feltmakers want to incorporate way too many techniques in a single garment.  Because this is a two part blog post, I will write today only about 1 & 2.

Every feltmaker lays out wool a bit differently.  Each feltmaker will have a different amount of shrinkage depending on how the wool is laid layout, the wool that is chosen, and the micron count of the fiber.  So the bottom line is that if you use the SAME pattern as your friend, and you both used a similar layout, but different wool or embellishments, the end garment will be a different size!  Yes, this is very true.  The micron count and wool breed makes a difference when making clothing.  Now if you and your friend used the same wool but different wool layouts, the resulting garment will also be different!

Most patterns that are sold for making a felt garment use a 30% shrinkage, that is a concern to me.  What if I don't shrink my wool to 30%?  Or what if I have a 48% shrinkage? What fiber did the pattern maker use?  What if I want to add different embellishments or use fabrics?  How do I know my shrinkage and how do I calculate it?  Before I layout the first wisp of wool, I am already off to a poor start because my shrinkage is different than the pattern I purchased. 

Second point...The majority of feltmakers do not understand garment sizing and construction.   The human body is not a round cylinder that a piece of fabric is wrapped around.  It has numerous curves. In the world of sewing those curves are accommodated via darts, tucks, and shaped seams. 
 The body shapes are very different from person to person to person.  A person who is average shape but is 5'10 says they wear a large because they are tall.   But the 5'5" person with a very rounded body shape says she is a large because she needs girth.  So  who does the large fit?  If the same large pattern is used on both of these people, it will fit neither!  It will be too short in length on the 5'10" and it will probably close fine in the front if a vest or jacket.  However if out 5'5" round person tries on the same garment, it will be too long, and probably not close in the front.

Do you get the picture?  Purchasing a 'pattern' for making a felt garment is a gamble. There is nothing worse than making an entire garment that in the end does not fit!  You have invested a significant amount of time making the felt and purchased a good amount of materials.  Then again, maybe fit is not important. Unless you are familiar with garment construction and pattern grading, it is risky to purchase a generic pattern.

I am not blogging this information for the sole purpose of selling my eBooks. ( but sales of my eBooks are welcome)  We all have choices about the felt clothing we make.  I have a point of view of taking the time to make samples, measure your shrinkage and THEN make a pattern is the best way to insure a proper fit.

More next week when I will show you my actual samples that I use before making a garment.  I will also show you the different patterns that are made from the same set of body measurements.  You will see that I do not use the same pattern to make different garments.  Everything is based on personal measurements, personal shrinkage, and techniques used in construction.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanking You and Holiday Sale

I want to take a moment and thank the many many folks who have purchased my eBooks this past year.  It was a long process in writing them, but I can be proud of this accomplishment.  I wanted to share my knowledge of garment making and feltmaking to help others create a felt garment that would fit once they completed their work.  There are no real patterns for felt garments, just generic shapes.  Everyone felts a bit differently, everyone uses different fibers and different fabrics.  These factors all effect the final fit.

The holidays are approaching and the shopping season is underway.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving small business shopping day.  It is a day in which you can support your local and online small businesses.  With that concept in mind, I am putting my two eBooks (Seamless Felt Garment 1 -2) on sale for 10% off when you purchase both.

Here is a description of the eBooks:

Make your own seamless felted garment patterns!  In these two eBooks you will learn the process for creating seamless felt clothing.  No more guess work. No more ill fitting garments.  No more wasted materials. 

The intermediate feltmaker will find each eBook contains more than 50 pages of text, graphics and photos. The instructions are clear, step by step and will guide you through the process. These eBooks are like a personal workshop experience while sitting at your work table!  Work at your own pace and in the comfort of your own studio.  No need to travel to workshop locations.  

Make garments for yourself, friends, family or clients that will fit properly.  Worksheets are included to record and perform correct calculations.

Here is the Table of Contents from eBook 1 - Template Pattern and Resist.
PictureTable of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction__________________________ 7
Chapter 2 Materials____________________________ 9
Chapter 3 Sample Making ______________________ 10
Chapter 4 Shrinkage __________________________ 14
Chapter 5 How to take Measurements _____________19
Chapter 6 Determining Ease_____________________33
Chapter 7 Making the Template__________________ 35
Chapter 8 Making the Pattern and Resist for A-Line Top or Dress  46
Chapter 9 Conclusion__________________________ 52
About the Author______________________________ 53
Appendix____________________________________ 54

Here is the Table of Contents of eBook2  Making the Garment
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction_________________________________4
Chapter 2 Making the Garment using Standard Layout_______ 5
Chapter 3 The Reverse Layout _________________________ 21
Chapter 4 Making the Vest_____________________________ 34 

Chapter 5 Finishing the Felt Garment_____________________46
Chapter 6 Additional Garments__________________________47
Chapter 7 Conclusion_________________________________58

You will find clear images that show detail of applying wool and fabrics, a thorough explanation of how to take measurements, a sound explanation of shrinkage and its effects on your garment, and worksheets to help with calculations.  

If you would like to purchase my eBooks at the reduced rate, please visit my site at    I will keep the 10% discount until Nov 30.  So give yourself a gift this holiday season!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's Fall in Florida

There is something about Fall in Florida that makes you feel alive.  Could it be the temperature is 63 degrees at night and 75 during the day?  Or is it the Gulf breeze that is actually cool instead of hot air.  It is delightful and a great time to get outdoors.

I have been doing some dyeing now that the weather has cooled.  I need small batches of color to inlay into some works.  I also have been Eco printing. This fun activity is getting crazy at times.  A week or so ago I found a different species of Euc in a yard.  I really wanted some of that tree.  I took my business card to the door and offered to trim his tree.  Luckily for me he said 'help yourself''  So I took my nippers and pruned away.  I am so very lucky that all my print materials are less than a mile radius from my house!

I also have been working with some raw fleece.  I am plucking locks from a few fleeces to be used in some garments and accessories.  This is a tedious job, but I don't mind that I can sit at the work table, look out at the lake and enjoy the fresh Fall air.

Even Barney is enjoying the cool breeze, the warm sun and fresh air.