Mending & Embellishing with Wool Felt

On Wednesday I showed the little guy I made out of felted (aka fulled) wool, and I kind of hinted that maybe I had rather a lot of bits and pieces of the stuff left over from that project. OK, fine: I have two big plastic bins full of wool felt. That wouldn’t be a big deal if, you know, I was a needle felted or someone who made stuff out of the felt itself. But I’m not; I just can’t resist cool fabric and fibers.

For the clothing I work on, I use mostly cotton jersey on either other cotton jersey or on linen: I use it for binding hems and necklines, adding appliqués, mending. Just about anything you can do that involves stitching a piece of fabric onto a garment, that’s what I do with cotton jersey. But when the weather gets chilly and I pull out the coats and sweaters and hats and scarves and want to mend and embellish those, cotton jersey seems a little flimsy, as if it would have a tough time holding its own against the heavier, weighted fabrics. Voilá! Wool felt is *perfect* for this! It’s heavy enough to stand up to jackets and sweaters; it won’t ravel, so you don’t have to worry about turning under the edges; you can dye it, so it can be any color; and it’s easy to work with (as long as you keep the moths away). What’s not to love, right?


Here’s a sweater I altered. It buttoned up the front, and I hated that. But it’s a Pure Brand hand-knit cotton sweater, and I wanted to salvage it.

Freeman-Zachery wool 4I removed the buttons and stitched up the front, and then I needed something to keep it from looking like I’d, you know: removed the buttons and stitched up the front. The wool felt was easy to cut, so I was able to get that whole stegosaur vibe that would have been a lot harder with, say, woven cotton, where I would have had to do needle-turned appliqué.


Emboldened, I went on to embellish another thrifted Pure Brand sweater:

Freeman-Zachery wool 3


Amazing what you can do with wool scraps and some embroidery floss, isn’t it? Cover a hole, hide a stain, perk up an old sweater, like these. On Monday, I’ll show you what I did with a couple of patches and some wool roving when the moths (yes, those guys again) got to my husband’s favorite hat.


Bloom tattered mixed bundleFor more ideas about what you can do with scraps of wool and other types of fabrics, check out the Essentials Series Fabric Artist’s Bundle containing: Creative Bloom, Layered Tattered and Stitched, and Mixed and Stitched.




Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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