Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DIY: A Paint-Splattery Needle-Felted Winter Coat!

Let's get deep for a second shall we (I'm of kiddie-pool depth, it truly will only take a sec). Can we talk about what rattles around in your head, what keeps you up at night, what has you biting your nails, twisting your hairs and wringing your hands? For me, it's pretty much a slew of first world probs that can best be summed up in a series of memes: 
First bite is always a lava-hot fiery inferno whilst the middle is freaking Antarctica. WE CAN PUT A MAN ON THE MOON BUT WE CAN'T FIGURE OUT THE SCIENCE OF A HOT POCKET?!
Been known to use the following milk substitutes: ice cream, yogurt, apple sauce (not recommended) and water. Desperate times, y'all. Don't nobody wanna see their Fruity Peebles go to waste!
Or a dress because, let's be real, I ain't got no pants!
Honestly, what had me up in a panic the other night was realizing that this year's NAEA (that'd be a big fat art teacherin' convention for those of y'all outta the loop) in Chicago was more than likely gonna be a cold one. Chi-town? In March? I know I'll be wrapped in a coat 99% of the time which is when I realized, OMG, MY COAT MUST BE CUTE! Because, priorities. 
So a week ago, I popped by the thrift store and picked up a couple of wintery coats that I thought would be fun to artsi-fy. This here little black belted number and a white one (which, if you follow me here, you already know the plan for that coat!). Dontcha know I was all kinds of thrilled to receive the gift of a snow day yesterday so I could work on this bad boy! 
It was a super easy make and went together surprisingly quickly! 
Even if it looks like I got into a paint ball fight and my bum was the target. 

 Now y'all know that I have a lurve for needle felting. In fact, my last two DIY's have been needle felted (I always over do it in the winter, it's such a cozy craft). Folks always ask how to needle felt, if it's hard to do. Y'all. I'm not gonna lie...this is the EASIEST craft you'll ever do! For starters, you'll need a needle felting tool and a bristle brush cushion. I recommend the above by Clover which can be found cheapest on Amazon. While you are there filling up your cart, be sure to pick up a pack of wool roving too. A variety pack of colors is the best place to start. Unlike wet felting, needle felting does not require a bunch of roving. These packs are sold by the ounce so don't be surprised when it comes in the mail and is no bigger than a ping pong ball. 

A coupla of years ago, I made some demo videos. I def need to update but in the meantime, here you go...

Keep in mind, you can needle felting on pretty much anything. ANY.THING. I once thought you could only needle felt on wool but that isn't true. I know my coat isn't wool and it worked just fine. I've needle felted on jersey, wool, knit, cotton, you get the idea. Fabrics like denim and twill would probably bust some needles.

I love that little tool because I can control the design. However, they do make a tool which holds many needles that would be grand for doing big stuff...like paint blobs!
Now, I must confess, one reason this coat came together so quickly is because the hubs bought me a needle felting MACHINE. So for the paint blobs, I just lightly tacked them down with my tool as you see above. 
And then ran it under my machine! The machine was also picked up from Amazon. It's made by Simplicity and called 12 Needle Deluxe Felting Machine tho I don't know what's deluxe about it. It's the simplest machine I've ever used. You simply put your fabric underneath and hit the petal to commence needle stabbing. There are no feed dogs so you do have to maneuver the fabric yourself. I just take it nice and easy so as to not bust any needles.
And, viola! From there, I clean it up a bit, add more roving to the translucent areas and refine edges with my little tool. 
 And that was pretty much how I spent the majority of my snow day. Stabbing and watching Mad Men because, you know. Don Draper and vintage clothing. I could handle that scandal all day long. 
Meanwhile, in CatTown...
 Now just in case you wanna see what a Tennessee Snow Day looks like, I thought I'd bring you outside. A good couple of inches is all it takes. Growing up in Illinois and Indiana, we very rarely missed a day for snow. I mean, we'd have it up to our eyeballs, slipping and sliding off roads, pulling each other outta ditches and strapping chains to our tires before they'd even think about it. So this kind of snow day I can handle!
 And I'm super excited to wear this in Chicago, back in my old stomping grounds-ish (I grew up in Joliet so not too far!). If you happen to be signed up in my hands-on class at NAEA, hurray! This is what we'll be up to! It is sold out...so sorry, friends. If you see me at NAEA and wanna talk needle felting shop, just holla at yer girl!
Until then, stay warm, dry and happy, y'all. And for heavens sake, PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON BEFORE THE PIZZA IS DELIVERED!
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19 comments:

  1. I didn't know you were from Illinois. So am I, but much farther south near St. Louis. :) Love the coat and wish I was joining you all at NAEA conference. Super jealous. Maybe next year in NYC!

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  2. Oh what a bummer! Start saving up/begging the admins for NYC, it is always a blast!!

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  3. Beautiful job, Cassie! I've gone through creative spurts of needle-felting, but never knew there was a MACHINE to help me out. I was blown away at the idea that you accomplished so much in such a short period of time…happy to hear there's a way to cheat a little to get projects moving! So looking into that helper-jobber. Thank you for passing along the scoop, and always sharing your fun stuff with us. - Dina Marie

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    1. Yes, the machine is the best thing ever! It really helps me fill in large spaces that would otherwise take forever! And for about $150, the price wasn't too terribly steep. At least Santa didn't think so when he brought it to me for Christmas ;)

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  4. Love this coat! The bright colors on the black are so cheerful!

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  5. Seriously! This is adorable! I love reading your posts. I feel like if we lived near each other we'd be BFF's. Weird? Nah! Seriously, I love reading about your projects and hope for a snow day myself. But, alas, I live in Michigan and they do not exist. Wish I was going to the NAEA conference. Sounds great! Have fun and good luck with your talk!

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    1. YAZ, we'd totes be BFF's! I wish you were going to NAEA as well...maybe in the future when they have it in a warmer place. My fave was in San Diego...sun, surf and sea food, it was divine! Chicago in March just has me thinking of coats! Ha!

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  6. Dear Cassie,
    The coat is fantastic. And although I loooooove your artsy outfits, most of them are not very me - ish and I could never see myself in them. But this coat - I could definitely wear this coat!!!! And having watched your little videos I WANT TO NEEDLE FELT! There will be an end to our hot weather eventually (hurry up please) and I can just see myself curled up on the couch in front of the telly needle felting myself silly! And I have tons of wool roving (we call it wool tops, don't ask me why) that I can use. Now, off to look at Amazon for the machine thingy - yay!
    Shell

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    1. Hey Shell! Yes, I seem to ONLY needle felt in the winter...I have no desire in the heat! Just wait for those cooler temps, I know you will love it!

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  7. For a moment,nevermind the fantastic and dreamlike fashion images,which are,as always,mind-blowingly genius,but the sleeping cat,WOW that punched my brain in the best possible way!! I immediately thought of a Japanese Netsuke,such perfect form,perfectly contained in,well,perfect 'ovalness'. Cats are remarkable that way,I guess. Does anyone have a tagua nut? I wanna carve this little sleeping sweetheart!

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  8. All I can say is Oh my G** that is fabulous is oh so many ways.

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  10. I am curious are you felting through all the layers of the coat so that the lining is pierced too?

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    1. For this coat, I did not. The lining was not attached at the bottom so I could simply pull it out of the way when felting. My other coat, the Mondrian coat, had the lining attached. So I just needle felted thru everything and it worked fine :)

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  11. Cassie, I have just stumbled upon your blog, and I am so freakin excited! You are awesome, I LOVE your ideas and I cannot wait to dive in and try a few. Thanks for all the fun!

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  12. Amazing blog post. I would like to appreciate this useful blog. Find the best low dead space hub needle here: low dead space hub needle

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  13. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

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  14. LOVE this! It's so creative. What a fun idea!

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