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Topic: Feltalong #8 Needle felting over a 3D form - Hat  (Read 36595 times)
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GraceOblivious
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« on: September 01, 2006 07:34:06 AM »

For this feltalong we will use a hat as an example of needle felting over a 3D form.   

The 3D form is a way to build shape into an item during the needle felting process.  The form will be removed leaving a hollow inside.  This technique can be to create items with open interiors such as  bags, mittens, boots, slippers, baskets, bowls.   I am showing hats, because that is what I do.  You may make a hat or any other hollow interior item.   

After the basic needle felting portion is done,  alternative methods for finishing the hat  will be addressed - enchanted wool for example finishes needled felted hats by wet felting over a hat form - she has graciously offered to share information about that in October. 

The steps will be something like this-
1.  Finding a form - buying or making one

2.  Selecting needles - tool choices - buying or making

3.  Selecting fiber - what characteristics do you desire in your hat ; choosing fiber to obtain that character

4.  Punching it out: 
      a.    Creating a base;  managing shape; keeping it an even density

      b.   Smoothing and shaping  the rim/edge

      c.   Adding design elements

5.    Finishing touches:
        a.   By needle only

        b.   Adding wet process felting to needle felted base

        c.    Steaming and shaping

Each concept/technique  will be discussed,  please share your ways, methods, ideas, ask questions, report on experiments on each concept/technique as we go along.  There are many ways to achieve good results.

 Thank you and Enjoy!

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Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
GraceOblivious
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006 07:44:44 AM »

Sept 1  week 1 discussion topic Hat feltalong

1.  Finding a form - buying or making one

One needs to be able to place layers of wool fiber over the form, to needle the fiber easily, and turn the felting inside out to allow needling from both sides.

Characteristics of a friendly form. 

While one can use something rigid such as a wooden or plastic hat form or glass mannequin head -- however rigid forms are hard on the needles and the needles are hard on the forms.  Styrofoam heads can be used - but the needles will makes holes in the styrofoam.


a.  Simple and general in shape.  Does not need to be detailed - many details can be needle and hand shaped once a basic shape has been felted. 

b.  Flexible, squishable in nature.  One needs to be able to peel the inprogress felting off of the shape.  Foam works well because one can slide a hand between the felting and the form and press the form down to release the felting rather than stretch the felting.

c.  A soft surface that does not crumble into the felting.
  Soft is easier on needles and your arm too.  Dense foam crumbles less that porous foam. 

Where to buy forms.  Here are some places found through online search - I have not tried any of these forms - if anyone has experience with these forms or others please share recommendations and experiences. 

Hooked on Felt and Fascinations Fiber Gallery & Studio - Suzanna Higgs Gallery of NF hats - hat instructions and forms.  Suzanna Higgs is generally recognized as the first person to NF a hat and the first one to publish instructions and create specific hat forms for sale.
http://www.hookedonfelt.com/

Bahr Creek Llamas & Fiber Studio, Cedar Grove, WI, USA  - has classes and supplies for Needle felting hats -photo of class members wearing their creations
http://feltingforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=436

Alpacas4sale.com, Terrebonne, OR, USA - has Kit with alpaca fiber and hat instructions, also several sizes of hat forms
http://www.alpacas4sale.com/felting-supplies.php

Marr Haven Wool Farm, Allegan, MI, USA - carry Susanna Higgs hat instructions and a variety of hat and other foam forms (boots, mittens)
http://www.marrhaven.com/fltndl.html

How to make your own form.

While a basic shape is all one needs, my personal preference for a hat form is oval rather than circular.  None of the dense foam hat forms available come as ovals - all are circular.  Thus, I make my own forms using bolster pillow forms. 

Most human heads have an oval shape, not round.  Oval shaped hats fit better and look better on most heads.  By creating the basic felt hat in an oval shape there is less stretching and pulling on the fibers at the finishing stage so the hat retains a more even density when finished.

here is a pic of a bolster pillow and some of the additions and cuts used in making hat forms


That is all my time for this morning.  Will be back later today or tomorrow to tell more about how the foam bolster is cut and adapted. 

In the mean time. Feel free to share information on forms - any forms you have used or how you have made forms.  Do you look for the same things as mentioned or do you use other criteria?  Thanks.
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Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
GraceOblivious
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2006 06:27:49 AM »

Making a hat form from a foam bolster pillow

Supplies:

Foam bolster pillow The bolster foam pillow forms in the sample in previous post came from JoAnn's, pick them up with the 40% off coupon or on sale.  One bolster makes at least two hat forms.  these are 7 inched in circumference

Serrated bread knife or electric knife to cut the foam.

Painter's tape or masking tape and a permenant ink pen are also helpful.

1/2 to 1inch inch foam (pillows, left overs from packing) are used to get the oval shape.

Glue that  holds foam.

Choosing a size and shape for your hat form.

Note:  this is for a basic cloche type, no brim hat.  One can add brims to this basic "crown" but to start am only going to cover basic cloche.

Measure your head if you are making the hat for yourself.  You want the circumference of the hat form to be just a tad smaller than your head circumference.

Measure the bolster pillow circumference. 

Determine what style of top you want on the hat - squared top, rounded top, pointed top, etc.

Determine how long you want your hat/s.  Measure your head from ear to ear over the top of your head -  using the place you want the hat to reach as the end point for each side.

Write down the numers and styles.

Prepare the bolster for shaping/cutting

Note:  If your eye & hand are steady you can free form cut the foam.  If you need a cutting guide to keep cuts even- mark a cutting line with permenant ink.  And for more stability and more precise cut you can place masking tape on one or both sides of the line.

1. Cut the bolster pillow in half  so you have two cylinders, keep the cut straight across.  The bolster pillows I've had have a circular slit in the two ends - use the slit end for the bottom of the hat form - this also makes a nice handle when it is time to do needling.

2.  One can leave the bolster in the circular shape and it will work - especially if your head circumference is the same as the bolster.  If you want a more head shape to the hat with a definate front and back, turning the form into an oval cylinder is helpful.
3.  To make an oval - cut the foam cylinder in half from top to bottom - insert a rctangular slice of foam the same length and  diameter  of the cylinder.  Use what ever width gives you a total circumference to match or is slightly smaller than your head size.  You can see this in the foam head block photo with a slice of green foam inserted in the center of the cylinder.  Glue the insert in place - put rubber bands or tie with fabric strips to push the glued areas together and get a good hold.  Leave it to cure so it won't come appart later or with the cutting to shape the top.

Shape the top.
   
        a. squared top - leave as is.
        b. rounded top - mark a line on  the very top  and another around the top side- from 1/2 inch to 1 inch in and down.  I often just put masking tape from the edge on the top and on the top side - and slice off the triangle shape between the lines/tape.
       c. pointed or conture top - just figure out a general shape that will work and cut the top into that shape.

Marking Depth of hat
    To use one hat form for a variety of hat depths - just mark  lines  in perminent ink around the cylinder at 3", 4", 5"  or whatever depth you want.

    Or if you want you can cut the cylinder off at a chosen length.

Viola, you have a hat form.

Comments, ideas to do this better, easier, questions if not clear all welcome.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2006 07:30:35 AM by GraceOblivious » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
GraceOblivious
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2006 05:20:12 AM »

Anyone working on a form, purchased a form, or come up with other ideas for forms.  Please share where you are at.  As soon as a few people have forms ready to work on, will post the laying out and beginning to needle phase.
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Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
radal16
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2006 07:46:12 AM »

Ooh, I think I'm going to go to Joanne's and buy that bolster pillow foam.  I hope to get around to that this weekend.  Thanks Grace O.!
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chipper
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2006 02:14:21 PM »

I get to go to a fiber fest this weekend and while I am thinking that I will probably go with a bolster pillow, I'm going to look at the fest first.  If I don't find what I need on Saturday, you can bet that I'll be at Jo Ann's (with my 40%off coupon) on Sunday Smiley

Thank you so much for the fantastic directions!!!  I mentioned that this hat felt a long was coming on my blog and about 5 relatives (who knew they were even reading) have asked for hats and/or future tutoring Smiley   And, we spent our holiday weekend watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy (one of my daughter's middle name is Arwen, so it seems kind of manditory to watch it once in a while Wink ) and now I am dying for a Gandalf hat.   Am I reading correctly that a bolster cut into the cone shape would get me there?  I think that for my first, I'll stick with the cloche,  but the possibilities are flashing thru my head Smiley

I should be ready to play next week, but am patient about waiting till all are ready!  (I have to get some leaves crocheted anyway Wink )

Thanks again for the great directions so far!
--chipp
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GraceOblivious
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2006 04:47:19 PM »

Thanks Radal and Chipper, as long as we have a few on the way - one other person will be receiving supplies later this week or early next - will keep going onward. 

And if anyone comes up with a new and creative way to make a form, do tell.  I've been trying to think of something that could be stuffed into sewn up head or hat that would be firm enought to needle into yet soft- squishy enough to pull out easily to turn the hat inside out to felt both sides.
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Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
GraceOblivious
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2006 01:40:18 AM »

Getting back - Chipp, how awesome you get to go to a fiber festival.  Feeling fleece, seeing new tools and equipment, ooooohhhhh heaven.  Have a wonderful time.

The biggest issue with the foam, for me, is cutting it.  The second is making a shape that is symetrycal so the hat can be turned inside out.  In the foam one just needs a general shape, not detailed.  One can build in more detail in shape from a basic felted shape with blocking and needling.  The foam helps get a firm, evenly packed felted base.
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Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
chipper
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2006 06:41:56 AM »

Thank you!  I think I will stick with the cloche for my first hat (since that's the one my sis wants anyway Wink )  but I'm really thinking about that Gandalf wizard hat for down the road Smiley

Thank you so much for all the help
--chipp
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GraceOblivious
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2006 07:51:27 AM »

Chipp, sounds like a good plan of advancement to me.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
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