Monday, 26 September 2011

How to make a brooch

Technical ability
Handmade felt.
Hand dyed silk velvet
Machine threads
Liberty cotton lawn
Fabric glue
brooch pin


  • For the technical ability

Spend five years studying C&G creative studies and learning skills. Join Felt group and learn technical skills of feltmaking. Join International Feltmakers asscociation and Embroiderers guild.
  • For the inspiration
Study, draw, visit exhibitions, read books, look at pattern and colour...for years.
  • For the felt:
First drive 60 miles to Wingham wool works and buy merino wool tops. Drive home.
Spend a while on the internet choosing colours and ordering.

Then spend a few days laying out the fibres, wetting, soaping rubbing and rolling the wool tops until you have felt.
Next spend a day letting it dry. If its winter and central heating is on, or if its a sunny summer day, but if its a grey damp humid summers day it will probably take 2 or 3 days to dry.

  • For the velvet:

Buy three metres of silk viscose velvet from Whaleys Bradford at  minimum £18 a metre plus P&P.
Buy a selection of Kemtex cold water dyes plus soda ash, urea and syringes. Mix up several pots of dye mix. Prepare plastic bags for dyed fabric.
Spend a day tearing the velvet into small pieces and space dyeing them. Leave them  overnight and next day rinse several times until the water runs clear. Dry then finish  in tumble dryer to preserve the pile.

  • For the threads:
Order Natesh threads from Silken Strands , pay and wait for the delivery next day.
  • Bondaweb: phone Freudenberg non-wovens and order a 25 m roll of bondaweb .
  • Find Bfnt online and choose the three hole brooch backs . Order and wait for delivery.
  • Liberty cotton lawn: Find a market stall, friend with offcuts and buy or beg.
  • Make a room in your house to sew in.
  • Fabric glue:find some on ebay and order.

Prepare the room for sewing. (Electricity, sewing machine, lights, chair, iron,ironing board) and have a lot of fun for about 10 minutes applique-ing velvet to felt and drawing with the needle to produce a little patterned piece of art.

Repeat ad nauseum  infinitum or until creativity dries up.

Trim .
Glue the brooch back to the back of each piece. 
Cover back
Trim the excess fabric away.
Finish with a coating of dilute PVA to prevent fuzzing of the surface, and leave to dry.

To sell:
Photograph from all sides and upload photos.
Compose description and add tags on Etsy. 
Promote shop by twitter, blog, Flickr and Facebook.
Wait for a lovely person to buy. 
Leave feedback.
Print card labels.
Wrap in cello bag, tissue, jiffy bag.
Print address labels and 'thank you' label.
Walk down to the post office and pay for postage. If its a Wednesday (half day closing)drive to the next village 
Keep proof of posting for accountant. 
Pay Etsy fee. Pay paypal fee.

Apply to several craft fairs and accept rejection from some and ensuing depression. Pa fee.
Drag yourself along to one with all your stock, set it out and stand there for two days or so selling or not.

If you are very lucky send items to lovely Galleries who have asked you for goods usually at a reduced rate. Not always!

Submit accounts to accountant.
Pay accountant.

How much do they cost? 

Is it really too much?

UPDATE: several commenters have asked if this is in response to something that has happened. No it isn't in particular but its something I've been thinking about for some time. 

Post a Comment

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.