Sunday, September 26, 2010

How I Feel about Felting

Kwik Sew 3096

At a sewing retreat several years ago I watched a creative friend of mine use her new embellishing machine to felt trims and yarns onto fabrics and create exciting new designs.  I wanted one immediatley but realized that I had recently become a FL snowbird so had limited use for more woolens and embellished sweaters in my wardrobe.  But then last summer, two things happened to change my mind.  First of all, Threads published a wonderful article in Issue 144, Needle Felting Without Wool.  It dazzled my eye and mind with ideas.  Threads article  Then a month later I learned from another friend that Viking ER10 embellishing machines were on clearance for $129.  OK, that means it's a sign from the universe.  I'm supposed to be a new ER10 machine owner.  Not wishing to incur any karmic chaos I purchased the machine, tucked it behind my sewing machine table and didn't open it for a year.
Speeding ahead to 2010 and time to pack projects for the August mini-retreat held by the terrific Northern VA ASG chapter.  I pulled an unfinished felted wool jersey jacket from my "muslin closet" (aka the guest room), packed the yet-to-be-opened ER10 machine and left town.  On the third day, Sunday, of the retreat, I decided to finally unpack the machine and see what it could do.  I'm in love!  It does what any hand needle embellisher can do with the Clover hand felting tools....but it does it faster and with more power.  The felted wool jersey jacket that I wanted to embellish went from crafty looking to chic, with tone on tone details, in minutes.  I laid yarn pieces in place, some roving pulled in lightwight bunches, pressed it onto the fabric surface then ran the machine over it to bond those fibers together.  Here's a great youtube explanation.  youtube ER10 demo

Here are my jacket results.  It's Kwik Sew 3096, a very simple jacket pattern that I was hoping would resemble an Eileen Fisher jacket but with Sigrid Olsen colors on me.  I like the colors, the fabric, which was wool jersey from Fabric Mart which I washed and dried 2X. 

 But I really enjoy the embellishment.  I was having so much fun playing with the machine at the retreat that I used a wool jersey scrap and some unused pom pom wool to creat fabric which has become my reading glass case.  I can see some great possibilities in the future for this ER10 machine.

Eyeglass case with wool embellished onto jersey
OK, next learning might be to understand how pics get included in my posting.  No computer background to help me on this one so please be patient as I experiment.


  1. Great job on the embellishing. I didn't even know such machines existed. I am sure you are going to have lots of fun with this!

  2. Wow! Your jacket is beautiful. The ER10 is a really neat machine. I haven't seen the machine type before, only have heard of them. :) What a great deal for 129!

    I'm glad you started a blog. After you visited my site, I looked all over for you, but only could find one post you've written on the Chanel blog. :) I'm going to learn so much here. Woohoo!!!

  3. fabulous jacket. u look great. love the embellishment too.


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."