5: Sewing dress & felting Fungi.

Felting is physical… two days of vigorous rubbing, rolling, throwing, stretching, pulling & rinsing…….Hooray all the woolly fluffiness is now a solid tough shape!! Let the form shaping begin.

With the wool still wet & shrinkage matching my pattern shape I tack around the pattern to show all the stitching lines & balance points. These seams will be lapped so not too bulky.

pattern tacking 3 pattern tacking pattern taking 2


 

The darts on the back were cut around any surface detail & lapped, to keep them hidden. The top edge folded down to expose the green under felt as a boarder & highlight.

dart 1 dart 2 dart back


 

With the tacking stitch as a guide, all the seams (except the Centre Back) are stitched by machine. All the seams are lapped to the left as the spiral of life in the SouthernHemisphere turns. The Heart Chakra added to the neckline, the halter straps twisted to expose the green under felt.

 

lap seam lap seam 2 lap seam dress


 

When ever I see Fungi in the bush….I visualise skirts, sleeves & frills. Bush walks reveal these treasures to me, plus friends who admire & study them too, like Laura Bowen , her pic from Instagram inspired my yellow fungi.  The colours & shapes are magical.

As you’ve noticed I use Oracle & Reading cards to guide & seek knowledge during the making of my textile creations. I’m using the Dream Time Cards for this particular creation as it’s a journey of connecting to place & native Spirits. Make sure you meet Laura through her website, FB & Insta …..she’s very beautiful, an insightful writer & nature loving, drawing on the ancient wisdom & Spirit of her ancestors the Worimi/Biripai people,indigenous to the Manning River area of New South Wales, Australia.

fungi Laura fungi bushorange fungi


 

Orange Fungi : Cutting the pre-felt out to allow for shrinkage……just done by eye, no patterns. Some fungi shapes have a flap that sits over the wood so I’m making those with plastic resists to form an opening to attached to the trunk dress. I”ve used lots of surface mediums here to achieve the texture & colours……chunky hemp thread, cotton crochet thread, torn strips of georgette, Wool Nepps (lumpy bits), & silk hankies (white & dyed yellow)

fungi resistfungi detailfungi outline


 

Wet down, rub fibres into place & mould shapes…..roll, roll, roll, roll ……then hot water fulling, throwing & wash board fulling to shrink & create gathers for texture. Once dried the wool remembers it’s position, love natures design with this versatile fibre. It’s SO tough as well when it’s felted, it could last outside in all the elements for a very long time. Mmmmm there will be some garden magic happening soon. :)
fungi rub fungi roll fungi fulling


 

The yellow fungi ………this colour looks fabulous contrast against the dark tree trunk dress. I dyed the georgette to match the wool, bit of gold yellow, bit of yellow….it’s a match. Once you start using dyes you get a feel for how much of each will mix to get your desired colours. I use cold water fibre reactive dyes. A fixative of Soda Ash & Bi Carb is added to the dye bath.

dye powderdye dye salts


 

Stir for 10mins, soak for an hour. Cut strips, this will be the frill bit of the top of the fungi for some textural interest.

dye bath colour match 2colour cut


 

Nuno felted the fabric at the top, as it shrinks it creates a frill……then pressed into the felt with a massage tool (will need one of those rubbed on my back after this…)  while it was still wet to create shape & form. Then dried in the afternoon sunshine, using wooden pegs to hold the shape.

yellow fungi 2 yellow fungi 1 yellow fungi dry


 

 Time to stitch them on & into position. I want them both to stand out from the dress, the orange fungi is under stitched, & the yellow ones are inserted through a small cut in the felt as they have a little butterfly stand at the base. This makes the yellow ones look like they are growing out of the tree bark…..imitating real fungi………

fungi dry stitch fungi under machine


dress front stitch yellow 2 stitch yellow


 

Blood red Swarovski Crystals are hand stitched onto bodice craters.

Round shape into the craters & droplet shaped as dripping sap from the tree. These will glisten in the stage light, & also twinkle with the LED nano spot lights.

I use LED Crystals for shimmer & colour therapy only, as they are man made, only 88% Silicon Dioxide, so do not have the same crystalline structure as natural crystal & do not hold the same healing vibration……..

 

crystal dripsap crystals sap crystal 1


 

 

 

 

 

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