Welcome Moomin lovers! Or in fact anyone who wants to know how to needle felt ANY character onto a garment, thus producing the most awesome clothing range known to cuteness!
Now before we begin these are the things you will need;
- An item of clothing. This must be made with a naturally animal derived fibre! So wool or cashmere are both great. Basically anything that would shrink if you put it in the washing machine on a normal setting will work here. Don't worry! that's not what were going to do!
- Felt. This must be in the base colour of the character that you would like to create. You will also need the colours of any of the accents (hair, clothing etc). I have used synthetic wool here because I find it easier to work with, but feel free to use 100% wool felt, both work fine.
- Felting needle. I have used a 40 gauge needle for this project.
- Felting pad or brush. You can buy specialist felting brushes to felt on to but a lump of polystyrene works well too.
- Air erasable pen. Not strictly necessary but it makes adding the details much easier.
- Embroidery needle and thread. These will be used to add details to your character.
And there you have it. lets get started……
Pre wash your garment.
If your garment shrinks after you have embellished it then the felt will go lumpy. Wash it before hand to ensure that it has shrunk as much as it is going to due to your washing method.
(N.B I got this cardigan from a charity shop and had worn and washed it many times on a wool cycle before I felted onto it so I know it isnt going to shrink any further)
Draw your character
The simpler the character is to draw, the easier it will be to felt onto the garment.
Cut out your character and pin it onto your garment to see how it will look.
Cut out your base colour in felt
This is the colour that the majority of your character is made out of. Include areas that will be covered in subsequent layers of felt, like hair and clothing.
Pin this back onto your garment to check it's in the right place before moving on.
Felting the character onto the garment.
Lay your garment with the character pinned to it onto your felting pad or brush. Use the felting needle to push through the base felt onto the garment. Start with the edges first and ensure these are securely attached before moving onto the centre to ensure the shape does not become distorted.
Once the base colour is secure you can add the next layers of colour. Use your original picture as a reference.
Adding the detail.
Use the air erasable pen to draw where you would like to sew definition onto the picture. (This may not be necessary depending on the design you have chosen.)
Use fine sewing or embroidery thread to define these areas if necessary.
Once you are happy with the way your character looks you can add embellishment. Here I have simply added some grass and flowers using embroidery thread.
In the future I may add a matching border around the collar. The possibilities are endless!
Wear your garment with pride! Enjoy its epic cuteness!