Making a flower out of felted wool fiber is a simple art process that I learned during a workshop with Jessica de Haas, Canadian clothing designer, at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca. No one else wanted to cut into their handmade felt cloth, but I took scissors in hand and cut away. Here was my reward!
Felted Fashion Workshop: Making Wearable Art Oaxaca Style, Feb. 4-11, 2013
1. First, I made a paper pattern. I cut four circles. Circle 1 is 6″ in diameter. Circle 2 is 5″ in diameter. Circle 3 is 4″ in diameter. Circle 4 is 3″ in diameter.
2. Then, I pinned each circle to the felt and cut.
3. Starting with the largest circle, fold it in half and cut into the fold about 1/2″ on both sides. Fold it in half the other way and make another cut about 1/2″ on both sides. Keep doing this until you end up with 16 “petals.” Trim each of the petals so that they look like a petal!
4. Continue the same process with each of the remaining circles.
5. Stack the circles on top of each other, largest one on the bottom, smallest one on top.
6. With needle and thread, sew the layers together in the center.
7. Cut a 1″ to 1-1/2″ circle and place it in the center of the flower and sew it on, leaving an opening big enough to stuff tiny wool scraps into the center to look like a button. (Did you know the center of a flower is called a stigma and in Spanish it’s Corolla?)
8. Squeeze the flower from bottom so that the petals form a distinctive shape.
I made my flower when it was damp, so when I squeezed, it crunched up and took a 3-dimensional shape instead of a flat pancake (as shown above). If you like, you can wet it completely in hot water, squeeze the water out gently with two hands, and then squeeze to shape. Let air dry in the sun or on top of a clothes dryer.
9. Sew to a hat or pin on a jacket or make a choker necklace out of it.
- A few sheets of paper (can be recycled printer paper)
- A good, sharp scissors
- Straight pins
- Needle and thread
- Scrap wool for button center (or use a button)
- Optional: embellish with sequins or seed beads or random embroidery design
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