Warming Trend: Felt Projects
When it comes to humble wool felt, two layers can be lovelier, and sturdier, than one. And with a few stitches or a piece of wire, the two-dimensional fabric soon takes on three. Before you know it, you've transformed flat pieces of felt into decorative objects and everyday items: teatime dishes and trivets, a wreath for a mantel, a pair of slippers. These fabric pieces, which borrow shapes from nature, including those of leaves, pinecones, and butterflies, make pretty handmade presents, offering gift givers a jump start on their holiday lists.
Easy to work with and rich in possibilities, felt can be the basis for many home accessories and gifts. Bowls in the shape of a leaf, along with trivets and a coaster that resemble tree stumps, form a clever tabletop set. The bowls can also be used as catchalls for keys, change, and desk items.
Tools, Materials, Tips
Most projects call for 100-percent-wool felt. Use fabric shears to cut the felt. For designs that require precise cuts, switch to a craft knife (used with a cutting mat) or small scissors. In some projects, the felt will be fused with a second piece of felt or wool tweed. To do this, you'll need fusible webbing, available at crafts stores. Insert it between layers (paper backing removed), and press with an iron to bind.
1. Download stocking and stocking-cuff templates, and print. Using a photocopier, enlarge templates to 330 percent. Cut out templates.
2. Lay templates on a piece of linen; trace with a disappearing-ink pen. Cut out each shape. Repeat, so you have 2 stocking-body pieces and 2 cuff pieces.
3. Pin stocking-body pieces together, right sides facing. Using a sewing machine, stitch along the perimeter, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance; leave the top open. Carefully notch along the curves as needed to allow the fabric to bend. Pin cuff pieces together, right sides facing. Stitch along short edges, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
4. Turn stocking body and cuff right side out. To attach cuff, tuck it inside the top of stocking body so the top edges and side seams of both are flush. Sew along top edge; turn cuff upward. Steam the seams open. Fold the top edge of cuff down, and stitch hem. Fold cuff down.
5. Cut a 6-inch-long piece of twill tape, and fold in half to make a loop. Sew it to the interior of the stocking.