A Wet Felted Cloche Hat

So, I wet felted a beret, now it was time to make another hat.  I had purchased Complete Feltmaking by Gillian Harris and thought I would try making the cloche hat in her book.  As is my usual thing, I did not make the hat according to her direct instructions.   I had some small samples of Merino wool that I purchased from World of Wool.  You can buy bags in color groups.  I thought that would be useful for making paintings, and it is, but not so useful when making hats as you don’t get enough of one color to make a hat.

One of the ladies at my Guild showed me how to hand lay out wool for making art bats.  Usually, one would use a drum carder or a blending board for this, but having neither, she kindly showed me the next best thing.  This technique is usually used for those who want to spin wool.  I just wanted to try it to use up wool in colors I wouldn’t normally use and to stretch out my supply.  Unfortunately I don’t have any to show, but you can see the effect it made on my hat.


I mixed up some vibrant and calm pink together for the inside and then used purples for the outside.  I then made up the template for the hat.  There is one you can enlarge in the book.  Did you know that you need maths for making hats?  So you better do well in maths if you want to bake, sew, knit, or make pretty much anything.  Making the hat was like making a vessel, except the template shape is different.  I made my hat the way I made my vessels and not according to the instructions in the book.  I am learning that there are many ways to wet felt things and that some instructors have very specific ideas about how to felt.  This is why I read a lot and watch a lot of videos about how to do things.  I then pick and choose the aspects that I think will work for me.  People even felt items in the washing machine and tumble dryer.  I think there could be some merit in that, but while I still have use of my hands, I will work old school.

I am not 100% satisfied with the outcome of my hat.  It is still a bit fuzzy on the outside where the wool didn’t stick as well as I would have liked.  I probably could have fulled it more, but I didn’t want it to shrink too much.  Every make is a learning experience.  The upside is that the hat is reversible!  Here is a tip:  Sometimes laying out the decoration first will give a better result as you won’t get a seam and it tends to felt really well and smoothly.   I will most likely take a razor to it to get rid of some of the fuzzies.  Gillian Harris has a shop in Dorking and an online store.  I purchased a small hat form from her.  I used this form to make the hat.  The hat form is actually quite a bit deeper than my head so I had enough to fold up the brim.  This hat fits over my ears, is very warm and fits me perfectly.  It is also super light.  I was going to make a pin for my hat, but I didn’t have time.  Though I did buy a pretty one from one of the ladies at the Guild exhibition last weekend.  She had a stall.  The colors match perfectly. 🙂

Gillian Harris also does workshops and I’ve signed up for her hat making class in November.  Thankfully, Dorking is not too far from where I live.  I’m looking forward to actually taking a class with real people for a change and learning something new!

Wet Felted Vase Makeover

Sometimes things don’t always turn out the way you imagine they would.  Every time I wet felt something, I hope for the best.  Everything I make at the moment is an experiment, as it is still new to me.  I am learning the language of wool.  The example below is not one of my finest efforts.


I used  natural Merino batt with skeleton leaves.  It took ages to get the shape correct.  Although the vase is well felted, it is a bit blah!  Actually, it is more than a bit blah.  So, I looked at it for weeks and before I was ready to throw it out, I had an idea.  You know how I hate to waste anything.  I had to find a way to make the vase better or find another use for it.


I used my embellisher to make some fabric with leftover wool and cut out leaf shapes.  I hand stitched the leaves onto the vase and viola!  I have a new vase for my fake plant.   It isn’t perfect, but at least it is no longer blah!

Wet Felted Milk Bottle Vases. Why?

IMG_5593These are leftover bits of wool that I saved from various projects that I have worked on since I first started felting in March.  Just like I hate wasting paint, I hate wasting wool, and string and fabric, etc.  I gathered the wool into color groups and carded them.  Carding the wool blended all of the different shades into a new shade.  I was going to use the bits as a bit of core wool for a project, but then I found a couple of bottles of milk left precariously on my neighbors’ dustbin.  The neighbors weren’t home, so I brought them home so the milk wouldn’t spoil.  Turns out the milk didn’t belong to them and they just sat in my fridge as I already had milk.  And that is the story of how I ended up with two milk bottles.

I had seen videos of people felting on old glass vases or jam jars etc.   You see, you can’t put flowers in felted vases unless they are contained in glass, so some people upcycle glass and turn them into vases.  It’s a nice idea.  I have to say that felting glass is not one of my favorite things to do, but I guess it has to be done at least once and rather than putting the milk bottles in the recycle bin, I thought I would wet felt them instead.

IMG_5596I split the colors into warm and cool and these are the result – two wet felted milk bottle vases.  They are not as pretty as the vessels I usually make, but they didn’t turn out too badly.