Monday, March 17, 2014

DIY: What Does the Fox Say? Sweater Stole

So if you've been hangin' around this blog for a while (seriously? don't you have, like, laundry to do?) then you know I have a super serious felting addiction (by the way, this is slightly off topic, but if you are "addicted" to something, do you ever refer to that thing as "addicting"? Because my mom does. Example: {actual quote} I can't eat just one Red Vine because they are addicting! Really? Why am I surprised. This is the same person who started saying "Chew That!" while the rest of the world was saying, "True Dat!" Eh, you say tomato, I say you're addicting to crazy.)

Er, where was I? Ah, yes. My addictamacation to needle felting and the fact that every other blog post features something I've stabbed (with a felting needle, people!). Don't believe me? Well, if I've counted correctly, I do believe this here is my 11th felted creation. It's all that stabbing, kids. It's such a stress reliever. 

In case you'd like a peak at those Felted Creations of the Past, here you go:

It all started with this holey sweater in my closet that I thought was the perfect canvas to give felting a go. That was followed by my Put a Bird on It number and my attempt at copying an Anthro sweater...twice. After that, I ventured away from sweater felting and stabbed a wool beret and a skirt thus creating The World's Tackiest Art Teacher Outfit. I then felted my cat, a dog and an owl. I took a summer hiatus (working with wool isn't real fun in the summer heat) but then this winter I was back at it, stabbing a Starry Night dress and a van Gogh's Sunflowers sweater.

I told you! It's totes addicting! I mean, I'm addicted because it's addictive. Oh, whatever.
So when an art teacher buddy of mine suggested we felt a fox stole sweater, the stabbing commenced. Our inspiration came from the super presh etsy shop dandyrions. These adorable sweaters and shirts have faux fox and raccoon stoles that are actually made of felt fabric and appliqued on. Insane cuteness. We decided to go the felt roving route for our foxy stole.

Now, I don't think I've ever done a super fabulous job of explaining the process of felting to you. To remedy that, about a year ago, I made a series of short clips where I chat about the supplies needed and the process of felting. I'm hoping these videos prove to answer any felting questions you might have...even if they are terribly goofy.
This sweater DIY really does date this video! By the way, after seeing some ridiculous prices on needle felting supplies at my local big box craft store that shall go unnamed (rhymes with "Fichael's"), I did a wee bit of homework and found most of the supplies available here. Dudes! This website even has little finger-protecting sheathes that look like finger condoms (go here and look, I ain't makin this up). So gonna order me some of those!

My apologies for the lack of zoom in. I didn't think you'd wanna get to close to my wrinkly grandma hands.

Honestly, I learned needle felting by watching far better how-to videos on youtube than this. I just wanted you to see how stinkin' easy it is. What I was doing was pretty small and detailed...a big ole foxy stole? Much easier.
When attempting a sweater, I usually make a paper template, pin that to the sweater and create a felt outline, usually in 100% wool yarn (see the cat sweater). For this sweater, I was feelin' frisky so I just sketched it on in yellow chalk. With my cushion underneath, I placed the roving on top (in mass wads like I talked about in the video because it tends to "shrink" as you stab) and started punching. How do you know when you've punched enough? Take a peak at the back of the sweater. You should see a lot of roving. That's your sign that it's locked into place with the fibers of the sweater.
Adding the white for the muzzle.
Working on the details. One of the reasons I love this process so much is that it goes quickly unlike my other fashion-altering love, embroidery.
After the details of the face were complete, the rest came together easily. Even if it meant staying up a good three hours beyond my bedtime on a school night.
The following day, I happened to have one kindergarten class that is waaay ahead of the rest (how does that always happen?!). Since we'd been learning about drawing shapes...and I was wearing my foxy sweater...we read a sweet little book called Fox and Fluff and got our foxy drawing skills on!
For this activity, kindergartenland and I used black construction paper and drew with black oil pastels. Color was then added with oil pastels. I used the guided drawing directions from Art Projects for Kids. Most of the kids were able to finish off their foxes by the end of their 45 minute art time and they were so excited by their foxiness.
Oh, and my art teacher buddy who suggested we go on this fox-felting adventure? She finished off her sweater too -- and this was her first felting attempt. Now guess who's the newest member of the Addicting to Felt Club?

Okay, in all seriousness, I gotta know:

Were those clips helpful to you? Do you have any suggestions? (don't worry about hurting my feelings. I was told I have a mustache by a 4th grade boy. Pretty sure it doesn't get worse than that.)

Would you be interested in more video? (you know, for DIY's, demos and such. I promise I won't torture you with my standup comedy routine or my American Idol audition recordings.)

Are you now more inclined to give felting a try and would you like it I stopped writing in bold and italics? (fine, I'll stop.)

Thanks for your input, ya'll! Chat soon!










19 comments:

  1. Oh oh! I see an international fox felting addictacation phenomenon on the horizon. I want to try this NOW! And what's so good is the look of surprise on the foxs' faces!

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    1. YES, let's start a Foxy Revolution!

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  2. How do you fix your felting so that it doesn't move after your project is done. I recently did a felting project (http://k4artroom.blogspot.com/2014/02/diy-and-some-art-projects.html) but every time I take it out to wear it, I feel like the pieces I have laid down aren't staying in place well. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen if I washed it. Any tips? I've tried ironing but that doesn't seem to help as much as I'd like.

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    1. Hmmm. I looked at your blog (love the felting and those drawings, gah!!) and your felted sweater. It looks fine...but I wonder if you need to punch the felting through some more to get it to stay in place? Try looking at the back of your sweater. Do you see the same image but very fuzzy? If not, then you should probably needle punch it some more, otherwise the roving is simply sitting on the surface. Are you using 100% wool? I'm guessing so but if not, that might be part of the problem. I also flip my sweaters inside out and give them a hit with a super hot iron. That steam helps to lock those wool fibers into place. As far as washing goes, I have only been spot cleaning so far. I'm thinking I'll probably either take my stuff to the cleaners or hand wash.

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  3. Oh, Ms. Stephens! Your blog is so fun to read! I love your felt fox stole--I was just thinking the other day (as I was cruising in the minivan singing "What Does the Fox Say" with the 3-year-old and changing it to include other animals, that that song is quite possibly the "Old MacDonald" for this generation--so weird! Love the way you write--it's like chatting with a girlfriend! Thanks for sharing--Mrs. P @ createartwithme.blogspot.com

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    1. Aw, thank you for your kind words! I love your blog, those minions are AWESOME!

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  4. This is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing your skills…now I have to find the right tools, so I can also make one!

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    1. Go for it! It's seriously the easiest thing ever...and a fun way to personalize your clothing :)

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  5. First, after seeing the video I SO want to try felting!!! it looked so fun! Only problem is I am super clutzy so I will probably stab myself many times! (Last week I cut a piece of the tip of my thumb off snipping paper pieces too quickly while talking to kiddos at the same time! Lol) Second, the video tutorial was great! Keep doing them! Funny how what you imagine a person sounding like is never like what they really do sound like! :)

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    1. Oh no!! does this mean I sound like a dude?! ;) If you get some of those finger condom thingies, I think you'll be set ;)

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  6. First of all, you do NOT have a man voice. Second of all, your so-called grandma hands? Give me a break! You have long elegant fingers (mine are short and stubby, just like my fingers and legs, and heck, like my whole body).

    Now for my biggie question - can you do this with anything OTHER than wool? Sadly, I'm allergic. But this process looks so much easier than I expected, and it gives me so many ideas....

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    1. Phyl - try reading this artists descriptions. It does not sound like she uses wool. wool has barbs in it, so that is why it meshes together so easily.
      https://www.etsy.com/listing/119612397/silk-fusion-fibre-art-turquoise-and?utm_campaign=Share&share_id=7594762&utm_medium=PageTools&hmac=7bb5b9e48209cdff750a2ed71e17140e00dcc64d&utm_source=Pinterest

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    2. I think our friend above answered your question!!

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  7. That is so fantastic! You're seriously a needle felting queen. Now if you lived closer or if it was colder in Tennessee, I'd lend you the fox hat I just posted on my blog to wear with your sweater! ;)

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    1. Ha, wouldn't that be fun!? I may be the felting queen but I envy your INSANE knitting skillz!

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  8. Hi Cassie,

    First of all you are funny. Nice videos. I think you need some close ups of what you are doing. I know that takes more time to set that up. Also, you don't sound like I imagined you to... Funny, not that your voice is funny, just that it was not what I was expecting. Nice job on the fox felting too. Don't think this would work for Kindergarten though? The felting that is.

    Good Luck on the tutorials.

    Doug

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    1. Ha! My hubs said I used my "teacher voice" which I guess means I attempted to sound coherent and intelligent (which is usually lacking on this blog!). Thank you for your kind words and suggestions. I'm planning on making more clips soonish!

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  9. Wow! You make needle felting look so zen. I think it might be a great thing to try this summer while watching TV:) I am always looking for good ways to relaxxxxxxx. Thanks for the links! I love doing animal drawings using shapes with my little ones as well. It is always successful. Last class we did a lion and they read the story to me The Mouse and the Lion (there are no words just beautiful illustrations.) You would be proud of me. I got the book at a thrift store. . . I actually get most of my classroom books at thrift stores! Can't beat the titles and prices.

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)