Felt vest

Scraps are sometimes the leftovers of abandoned projects. Or the odds and ends of felt pants that somehow just weren’t meant to be…

In any case, good quality materials are meant to be used/reused/upcycled. I am advocating for natural materials here, with a preference for those:

  • organic
  • naturally colored
  • plant dyed
  • native fibers
  • locally grown
  • compostable/biodegradable
  • edibly non-toxic
  • minimally processed

Quite a challenge you say? Not if you start with ecological fibers to begin with. They are not only better for your health, but when your clothes start to make a positive impact on the environment and the way that agriculture is carried out, then you can feel a oneness with the land, with your vernacular landscape.

Important? Well it is entirely up to you. Cotton may be grown in Turkey, shipped to China for processing and sewing, then hauled further to your favorite store for you to buy at a subsidized price for your convenience. What do you know about that shirt other than the size and color? If it matters to you to know the origin of your food, why not extend that consciousness to your clothing too?

It is a free world, but you don’t have to buy into it.

The very concept of consumerism is to buy, more and more, until perhaps we feel guilty about overbuying. The conscientious consumer stops to make ethical choices and ask questions along the way.

Which brings us all the way to felt. Scraps of felt. From merino sheep living in Hungary, where we also happen to reside at the moment. The wool is washed by hand, then carded by machine and sent in large 500 gram batts to the purchaser – that’s us. The wool was intended to be a pair of winter pants. They were most of the way done when life happened – shoes needed to be sewn, felt curtains needed to be made and someone needed a felt vest, otherwise the abandoned project might have made it all the way to the compost pile.

The wool was felted by hand and I didn’t want to lose all that pounding, slapping and hard work.

So from a pile of scraps and dissecting the pants that were mostly sewn, a felt vest was reborn. Quality materials saved!

merino felt scraps

With a stitch here, more stitches there (with flax weaving thread) and a couple afternoons worth of work the pile of scraps became a felt vest. The rest will become a new camera bag for my baby.

felt vest finishing the details felt vest back

Going with the flow of the pliable felt I pieced together an amorphous shell for outside work as well as warmth in the colder months. The decoration is where the felt didn’t felt so well. Lesson – turn your mistakes into your advantage by twisting and wrapping where necessary. You are bound to come out with something you like, perhaps even subconsciously inspired by nature.

felt vest details inspired by nature merino felt vest handsewn from scraps

Find some scraps, make some felt and give it a try. Embrace the puzzle of your body and create a garment that is uniquely you!

felt vest vest made from felt scraps

Felt is a forgiving and kind texturous material to work with. If you are on the road to starting your own handcrafted wardrobe making a felt vest is a great way to debut!

Where does your ecological wardrobe begin?


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  1. says

    I am slowly replacing what needs to be replaced and using more natural fibers in my clothes along with a few pieces for my now 5 year old. Thanks for the post and great vest.

    • Cheryl says

      That is the great beauty of it all, it can be done slowly, stitch by stitch, when you can find the time, materials and inspiration. Thank you for following our clothing journey!

  2. says

    Great post! I have almost completed my first compostable dress. I choose to make it out of alpaca because I like the way the fiber drapes. I have been working on it for several months and can’t wait to start wearing it. I believe I got the name of my blog from a post you wrote. I had written “tossing consumerism” down in my sketchbook several months ago and then found the words again when I was looking for a name that best fits the projects I am working on. Thank you again for sharing your journey!

    • Cheryl says

      Thank you for finding inspiration in our words, it is quite the compliment! I would love to see your compostable dress when it is complete, alpaca is a wonderful fiber to work with. We wish you continued success in your eco-endeavours!