Basics for Sewing with Felt
This will cover the very basics of what you will need and the process for sewing projects.
1. Needles and Pins
: It is a good idea to have well cared for needles and pins. I don’t often use pins myself but I keep some on hand just in case I need them. I also make sure to keep them either in their containers or a good pin cousin to keep them in peek shape.
: It’s important to have a good pair of scissors that you use only on fabrics and thread. Often scissors that are used on paper will dull quickly. Keeping them sharp helps prevent damaging the felt as you cut.
3. Pens and Markers
: You will want pens and markers that will mark easily. If you have to press too hard on a fabric it will catch and drag the fibers. Also consider using fabric pens and a white fabric marker for darker materials.
: If you intend to stuff an item you will want to stick to poly-fil or other materials used for stuffed toys. You can also use scrap felts but be sure to cut them into small pieces to prevent the project from looking lumpy.
: You will want a good quality felt. Wool felt is good but so are synthetics. I use mostly synthetics but I make sure they are a good thickness. If you hold them up to the light and they are super easy to see through they will often fall apart when sewing.
: A good quality thread is vital to making sure your stitches are sturdy. I suggest using threads that are marked for multipurpose or hand sewing use. Try to stay away from things like floss because they often don’t work well for seam sewing.
Other Helpful Tools
: If you are just getting started this can help make your stitches look more uniform. You can mark dots on the inside of the felt after measuring out the correct distance between stitches. You can also just eyeball it. Trust in your skills.
2. Stitch Guide
: You can find many stitch guides online and I also have put together one for basic work. It will include the stitches I most often use in my projects and tutorials. It will also give suggestions on what stitches are good for seams or detail work. A link will be included in the description.
Starting a Project
There are a few things to consider when starting any project. So let’s start with the very basics of working from a pattern.
1. Have all your materials ready in advance
: It is always a good idea to plan ahead and get everything you need together so you won’t have to stop often. This will save time and allow you to focus on it 100%. You will want to print any patterns, gather materials, and (if you are following a tutorial) have the tutorial on hand.
2. Work in a comfortable and clean space
: I suggest working at a table in a comfortable chair with good lighting. It can be a pain to have to keep shifting to get comfortable. Having good lighting will help you make a cleaner looking item and not put as much strain on your eyes.
3. Know if it will be a gift or something just for you
: Hand sewing any project can take time and if it is a gift you will want to start the project as soon as possible. This just allows you the time you may need to fix any problems with it or to redo it all together if something goes wrong. I always suggest testing a pattern at least once to see if anything needs to be adjusted and how long it takes. This also relieves the amount of pressure to finish it and lets you have fun making it.
Helpful Hints for Sewing from a Pattern
If you want that picture perfect project that looks like you bought it here are some helpful tips.
1. Take your time and enjoy yourself
: Often a project can look very messy if you rush it. Just enjoy making it and take your time.
2. Practice stitching
: If you aren’t confident in your sewing skills then take a piece of scrap and practice the stitches. Just doing this a couple of times can really help steady your hand and get used to the different types.
3. Don’t be afraid to ‘fail’
: When you are just starting it’s easy to become discouraged. If a piece doesn’t turn out well then just smile and remind yourself that you are still learning. No one is perfect and it took me time to get to a point where I feel confident in my work. If it doesn’t turn out well then just give it another try. You will get better as you go. Don’t give up on yourself!
4. Make sure to clean up your edges before you start sewing
: Have clean cuts and removing any pen marks helps a lot. Something that may help is making the pattern slightly larger than what you want and cut on the inside of your pen marks.
Helpful Hints for Sewing without a Pattern
If you are free handing it or creating a pattern yourself these are a few tips I can offer.
1. Stylize your image
: If you are working from a sketch really stylize it to help reduce the number of pieces needed. Consider how many layers and colors will be needed. The more detail it has the more work it will require. Stylizing the image is also a great way to put your own stamp on things.
2. Have an original copy separate from the template
: It’s easier to do this if you are able to work on a pattern digitally. If you can sketch it traditionally I recommend try to scan it first. If anything in the pattern doesn’t turn out well you can always redo it but it is easier to work off a copy of the original.
3. Test it a few times and make adjustments
: It can be a process when it comes to making a template. It can take a few runs of the pattern to decide what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to test it out and make changes. It may take a few runs to get it exactly the way you want it.
These are just some of the basics but they can go a long way to help with making cute fun items. I hope this helped answer some of the questions people had and feel free to ask anything you still are a bit foggy on. As always I greatly appreciate you all and I look forward to see what cute crafts you come up with.