Friday, December 30, 2011

Nothing Says Festive Like a Felt Jellyfish

This is my first tutorial, and my first real attempt to blog and I'm new to the art of felt critters, so bear with me.

The jellyfish, like all the felt things I make, is created entirely from stuff I got at SCRAP ( They do not label the felt, and I'm just learning to tell the wool blend from the acrylic, though I can usually tell the good pure wool. The felt here is probably wool blend and obviously wrinkly, but, because I wasn't completely sure, I didn't iron it. I also hate ironing.

At this point, I lay out the colors and pretend that I actually keep my embroidery floss remotely neat. It really lives all bunched up in a pouch with a Snickers bar, but perhaps organizing it will be a resolution. I've tried to pin pattern pieces to the felt in order to cut them out, but it seems when they are this small (these are 2 1/2" long by 1" wide) to be easier to trace the pattern directly onto the felt.

Cut out six pieces of the body shape (template), and begin to sew it together.

I am a fan of the blanket stitch. I've tried whip stitch and it's a good stitch, but I'm not good at it. I also sort of remember reading somebody else say that the blanket stitch was a bit "country" which works for me. I could have it completely backwards and she might have said whip stitch is "country", but I'm doing blanket. Somewhere I envision camps of whip stitchers battling it out with blanket stitchers, but this is just fun to imagine while I'm stitching. Both work.

More stitching

At this point it looks a bit like a star fruit or something organic. I think.

Now it is time to stuff it. Yes there is a bit of excess thread I didn't cut off, but the legs will be there and my laziness pays off.

I pull the extra thread through the body to create a bit more of a jellyfish shape.

I tie off the thread at the top. Now the body is sewn.

Here I've decorated the body with a bit of super simple stitching - one straight stitch on either side of a lazy daisy stitch toward the top
center of each panel.

Time to add some legs! This is really a choice thing. The legs can be a single color of floss using all 6 strands about 8 inches long, and separating them at the end for fuller looking legs. I chose to make them 5 strands of different colors. Yes, 5 not 6. I also chose to use silver metallic floss, which is just a nightmare to work with. I love the look, but it never cooperates.

Tie off the legs with a simple slip knot.

I try to make two rings of 6 legs each, which sort of gives it depth. The outer ring (green circle) I place at the seams for no other reason than I like it. The inner ring (red circle) I put towards the middle of each panel.

And there you have it! A jellyfish or something that looks like it would be perfectly at home inside I Dream of Jeanie's bottle.

You can add a nice ribbon or cord tie to hang it, or you can accidentally leave it lying around for the cat and the toddler to argue over.

Sewing Strange Felt Friends Since Christmas 2011

This year, while looking for some projects for the art co-op I help run, I found some little felt seahorses. It was an ornament created by Futuregirl ( and I was in love. These would never work for the pre-preschool crowd that comes to art co-op, but it was my holiday project to make them for everybody I loved. However, her patterns are for more skilled craftsmen than me, with better quality felt. I modified/simplified the pattern and then made the jellyfish. Nothing says festive like a felt jellyfish.

Then I met Ms. Cynthia Treen's adorable reindeer, and so I left the world of sea creature felt for a felt woodland. I could barely get the stuffing down those skinny legs, so I made all my creatures a bit chunkier. If anyone wants to make a felt jellyfish of their own, I'll post the pattern.