Thursday, 5 December 2013

Muff and Bonnet + Mirabilia Update!

Got crafting again! Look what I came up with:

It's by no means perfect, but it was definitely fun to do, and that's what I was looking for anyway. It's all made of felt, black and red, with two types of green ribbon, and quilt batting. As per usual, no patterns were used, so there were lots of mistakes and things that could be done better. I have no idea how to join the ends of a muff together seamlessly, so I just got a strip of felt and stitched it along the bottom. About 50% at least of the muff is actually held together by fusible web. It's not truly Lolita, but it was inspired by that style to do so. I was actually going to make a maid's cap first, even had the white lace to go with it when I realized what else I could do with the lovely felt!

What I did:

For the Bonnet, I actually have a bonnet that was made by a lovely lady in a shop in Tombstone, Arizona. Yep. It's brown with little red stars and a strip of soft lace around the hood. I used the hood part to outline what I would cut for the bonnet I made. It's not truly a bonnet since it's only the hood and no back to it, but I'm unaware of the proper title for it. It's just the one layer, with green ribbon fused on with two thin strips of fusible web. I've not come up with a closure for it yet - I need to put on a snap or button or attach the ribbon in some way (hence why I'm holding it in the photos).

For the Muff, I cut a width of black felt that I thought would be wide enough to comfortably contain both my hands. Then I cut four layers of everyday quilt batting the same width and length (on a fold, so only one 'seam'), as well as another, smaller sized rectangle of red felt (since I didn't have quite enough black felt to do the inside as well). Considering again, I should probably have sized down each layer of the batting so it would bend in a circle easier - five layers of the same size fabrics bent over causes lumps, rather than going smoothly. I let the ends lay uneven to compensate, and went with what I had. On the ends, I quickly stitched all six layers together with the widest setting on the sewing machine, just really quick stitching. I fused the ribbon on next - the wide solid ribbon in the middle, with a very narrow (just as wide as the fusible web was actually) ribbon to either side. Mine has little loops on each side of the ribbon but they aren't very noticeable.

Next I have a lot of bare edges I needed to cover. To do that, I fused on strips of black felt over all the edges but the bottom ends. To use what I had, I had to use small strips rather than one long one, so I did that as artfully as possible, laying a longer piece in the middle overlapping two smaller pieces at the ends. Then at the bottom, I grabbed another piece of felt and fused that on the front sides of both ends to hold the muff in a circle like it's supposed to be. The ends I sewed down with whipstitch. And that was it! One note about using the fusing method is that with all the steam I used on the iron, it soaked through the felt and batting. I used a hair blow dryer on the inside of the muff after I was finished so that it would be completely dry and not cause any problems later. It would be interesting to add some fur to the outside edges like most muffs, but maybe some day. I'm definitely thinking of another one with lighter fabrics to try it out again, see if I can work out a better way of doing it on my own.

Mirabilia Update!

My Mirabilia looks so nice! There has been so much stitching going on here, I'm sure my family doesn't know what to do! XD I have reached the very bottom and since getting the two last missing colours have finished the sleeves apart from two remaining medallions at the tassel at the far right (the strips of dark colour at the edge). The bottom of it however, is finally finished, not a stitch left there - it's mostly just final stitches here and there. Yay!! The hood is nearly finished, all but a few stitches in one more colour. I just finished her gloves apart from outlining and have the bird left. After that is the outline of the entire piece and the 'header' where all the lovely bare branches go. The below her will be 'Winter.' Can't wait!!

I've complained and fussed and had a lot of problems with this piece, but I'm very glad to see it coming to a close. I've been weeding out the thread colours that I no longer need in the project from the ones I do still need, and the 'don't need' pile is outweighing the 'still need' pile at last! I also have quite the jar full of thread ends, though unfortunately it seems impossible to find a clear ornament ball for them. The thread shop in town has told my Mother that it's hard to get any in the shop - they had trouble last year, and this year they have none at all. Other people have stopped by trying to find some, without luck anywhere else. I might try at Walmart for a clear plastic ornament.

In three more days it'll be a full year since I started this project! I've nearly completed one Maiden in that time, as well as half another, and plenty of time off (too much, but hey). I doubt I'll have it fully completed on Winter's side by the 8th, but I'll try my hardest to get there. Then another year for another Maiden. . . . hopefully it won't take that long though!

Time to get cracking. See if I can or can't get it done in time!