Have you got some sweaters or woollens that you don’t want to part with? don’t wear because they have a hole ? love but are worn out ? or maybe just outdated ?
I highly recommend doing something with them before giving them up.
Have a go at machine felting !
Below are some tips to get you started.
1 Check the content of your item, 100% wool gives the best results, also check to make sure it isn’t machine washable, as it won’t felt.
2 Place your item(s) with similar colours into a washing machine using regular mild detergent and set to the longest, hottest cycle available. The heat and agitation in the machine will do all the lovely felting work for you !
3 Remove your items promptly from the machine, flatten out as much as possible and place on a drying rack. Once dry, iron on a hot setting with steam if needed.
4 Start thinking about what you want to make - mittens, eye glass cases, pot holders, trivets, decorations…have fun!
Below is one of my tea cosies, made from a lovely electric blue wool sweater, embroidered with a Delft inspired heart.
Need more help, get in touch…
I often get asked about the tools I use. Many presume I must have some fancy programmable machine, but I don’t. I use straight stitch, a regular domestic sewing machine, literally drawing with it.
I do have the Volvo of sewing machines, a Bernina. Its Swiss made, metal body and built to sew through anything and everything. My main workhorse is a 1090 which I’ve had since 1995. It was an investment piece, but having tried various brands, and burnt through a few already, I knew I needed a Bernina.
If you are thinking of investing in a sewing machine, test a variety of brands, and see what suits your needs and budget. Second hand machines, especially Bernina’s are hard to find, but totally worth searching out !
A few years ago, I realized that my original Bernina will need to retire at some point. Thanks to my brilliant repair technician, Larry Shackleton, I now have backup, a solid old Record (serious tank) and a second 1090 that has not been used nearly as much as mine. Both he had as trade in’s, lucky for me !
Alternatively, if you are in Toronto, the Workroom is a Bernina agent, and you can test/rent the machines there in this lovely local textile shop.
I have a life long love of working with textiles. Early on my mum taught me how to use her antique Singer sewing machine so that I could sew clothes and accessories for my toys. By 10 years old I was making my own clothes and bags, mostly from my own patterns created out of newspaper.
I bought fabrics from the local market in Leicester which had lots of textile stalls. I would also rummage through the local jumble sales for clothing to alter to my own styling…
Now I still gather as much as I can to repurpose from charity shops, especially woollen sweaters. There are no fabric stalls in the markets here in Toronto. Instead I search out the independent fabric shops for my materials. When I travel, I love to find fabric shops, adding to my stash of textiles.
Silk is still my favourite fabric, its lustre and vibrant rich colours are so wonderful to work with. I am however, searching for a sustainable silk or an alternative fabric before my collection of silks runs out.
The cotton, rayon and woollen threads I use all have good sustainability policies (Madeira, Guterman and Aurifil) as well as being great colourful quality products to create with.
Read more on the materials I use here.
I thought I would share an old picture of myself at 19 years old, sporting a pair of my then custom order-able shorts from 100% Saskia Designs.
Get in touch with any suggestions or queries https://www.saskiadesigns.com/4834223-connect