Friday, October 16, 2009

Skinning the Wool Skirts + Candle Mat Finished!

Business first and then we can talk about tearing apart wool skirts and jackets.

I finished up the newest design of mine ... haven't thought of a name for it yet though. I'll be Ebay listing this tonight OR Sunday night, depending on whether my dang camera will cooperate. Just click on my EBAY link here to see if I've whipped my camera or my camera has whipped me. If it's whipped me, this candle mat will be listed on Sunday. :)

This is the example showing what I have to deal with just about every time with my camera especially on overcast, dreary days like today (it was actually snowing a little this morning). I'm not going to fight this camera today ... it just takes too much time. I'm going to let you edit these pictures in your head.

The picture above is without the flash and you can see it's too dark.....

And the picture above was taken WITH the flash and it's way too bright. So all you have to do is look at both of these and edit the pictures in your head so that the colors in this wonderful candle mat look not too bright and not too dark , and you'll get the TRUE colors of what this mat looks like. Sheesh...I need a new camera, or a new ME that knows how to properly take pictures.

Ok, now let's get to the main topic here. I had to laugh and laugh at the comment from my previous post when the commenter compared tearing down wool clothing to skinning a squirrel. I've never skinned a squirrel but it is a great comparison with wool being a little less messy ... no blood to deal with.

This is what I have to tear apart today. One skirt and one jacket. I wish I had a video camera because actually showing it would make it a lot easier to understand.

I really don't like breaking down jacket for the wool, because there's actually very little wool that you can get from them and the pieces you do get are small. So, I only buy jackets if the colors or textures are really terrific and different.

This is a close up of the wools. The jacket is a super nice blend of fall colors that will be nice to use for fall leaves or scarecrow clothes or I could overdye it for pumpkins. It has the potential for lots of uses. The black skirt is a wonderful tweed. It's a woven wool though and sometimes the felting doesn't shrink this type of wool enough to used for anything other than backgrounds ... smaller pieces would fray too much. But this wool is so nicely textures with tweeds that I only want to use it for backgrounds anyway. But we'll see once it's washed and felted what it looks like.

Let's start with the skirt. Now keep in mind, this is how I do it. There's lots of different ways and there's no right or wrong way, just easiest/more time consuming ways.

I don't wash and felt the clothing first. I tear it apart first and then wash. Because of that, be sure to vacuume well after you're done because ya never know for sure if there's any vermin in that wool that might hop out and scurry over to your other wool to find shelter and food!

First thing I do is cut off the waistband. Cutting it off will release that inner lining. Long ago, I used to carefully tear apart the seams on the waistband so that I could save every scrap of the wool. That takes too long for me now ... so .......

Yes, I trash the waistband. Yes, it's wasting good wool but it's also wasting my time. If YOU want to take the time to tear apart that tight stitching, rip out the innerfacing just to get a 2"wide piece of wool, I'll happily mail you all my waistbands instead of throwing them out.

Once the waistband is off, cut around the zipper ... this one didn't have a zipper, just a clasp at the side opening. Zippers get thrown out too. If you collect zippers, save it for your collection.

That inner lining is released from the top now so I turn the skirt inside out and pull out the remaining lining. It gets thrown out too.

Most times, the hem is loosely stitched, so snip a few threads and then using the strength of 10 men, rip that hem right out. If there's seam binding on the edge, cut or rip that out too.

Snip a few threads that join all the seams and rip apart all the seams creating your panels of wool. This skirt was nice in that it only had two panels of wool .. the front and back. Most times, the skirt has three panels with two in the back with a zipper and the one big panel in the front.

There! I'm done with the skirt! Ready to wash now!

Ohhh ... darn, I have that jacket to do. I really REALLY dislike skinning jackets, but it must be done and I'll do it as quickly as possible......

First, I cut off all the buttons. I collect buttons, so I save them.

Chop off those sleeves. Long ago, I used to carefull tear apart all the seams so that no wool was wasted. No more! I chop. I waste wool, yes, but for jackets, it just takes waaaay too much time to tear apart seams.

Turn the sleeves inside out and CHOP off the end of the sleeve where the lining is joined.

Snip a few stitches of the sleeve seams and then rip them apart. Sometimes those seams cant be easily ripped so scissors might be necesarry to help it along.

You don't get much wool from sleeves, but since this is exceptionally nice wool, it's worth the effort.

Now let's attack the main part of the jacket.

Tear out the lining. Chop it out with scissors. I don't mess with ripping it out at the seams, I just chop it out close to the seam.

Rip out the hem, cutting any seam binding off. Then rip out the seams that connect the front jacket panel to the back jacket panels.

Now, since the back of the jacket has such small panels, I won't rip these apart at the seams. I'll just leave the seams intact and wash it this way so that it doesn't fray too much.

The worst part now is the front panels. They always have that interfacing that has to be torn out and they always have pockets and button holes ... ugh, it's hateful to rip apart the fronts so I just quickly chop out the pocket linings and try to get off as much as the interfacing that I can.

Luckily, this interfacing peels off fairly easily. Sometimes the interfacing is so tight that it has to be left on. Also, sometime washing helps loosen the interfacing . In this case though, it's off.

I'll wash this panel just as it is here. The other panel with the button holes is chopped up more than this because I have to cut around all the button holed to get the lining out.

All that is left now is the collar and the front jacket lapels. That's getting trashed though because it takes waaaay too much time to rip open the seams and remove the interfacing. I know, it's wasted wool, but my time is more valuable.

So that's it! Here's my pile of wool that needs to get into the washer. I'll have to give my washing/felting instructions next time though, because hubby is off today and he's very impatiently waiting to go out to the hot dog shoppe to get some yummy breakfast. No, not hot dogs ... they have really good breakfasts there that don't contain hot dogs!

Oh yes, one more thing ... Again, let me stress how important it is to vacuum the area where you've worked. Wash your hands well and if you can't wash this wool right away, make sure to put it somewhere away from your other good wool.... this is going down in the basement beside my washer or put it outside or anywhere that it won't contaminate your good wool.

Happy day everyone!
**EDIT NOTE*** It took me a while to write about how I felt/wash the recycled wool but those instructions can be found HERE !


Shakerwood Primitives said...

I've skinned a jacket before and you are right, it's almost not worth the effort. I've done skirts before, too. I just haven't visited my local GW since we got our two new labs that I have to go home and walk almost everday during my lunch hour. Thanks for the tutorial, though. It's great! And I love the new finished mat.

WoolenSails said...

I love how your penny rug came out and the design, it is a wonderful piece.

I buy a lot of thrift and I just cut off the sleeves and back. I get mine on dollar day, so for at least a half a yard, it is a deal. I love jackets, a lot of good textures and the wool/nylon mix works well in applique.


ohiofarmgirl said...

Yes...I do the same thing...our GW has 1/2 off every wednesday so that is when I try to pick some up. Thanks for sharing. Dianntha

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

Thanks for the tutorial...I didn't know about keeping it away from other wool!
Love the one you did, so very neat!

Lisa said...

Your pics are great sorry your camera is being hard to get along with! I love the mat!
Hugs, Lisa

gail said...

I am new to this but I have learned a good trick. I could not get the interfacing off of a jacket front. My husband suggested we wet the fabric and put it in the microwave. I was a little scared to do this but tried it with a piece. I started out doing 30 seconds, but a minute did a much better job. Warning, it will be hot when you take it out. I let it set on the counter for a few seconds. You can see the interfacing start to bubble off. I pulled the interfacing off in one piece. Woohoo.

Caths Pennies said...

Gail, I'll have to give that a try! Thanks!