Hi Creative Mamas! Welcome to this super fun tutorial. In this post I will teach you how to sew embroidery on felt to embellish a piece of felted wool fabric in order to make a glasses pouch.
Hand embroidery on felted wool is super satisfying and it’s the next creative step after making a piece of felted wool fabric using the wet felting technique.
A lot of my students have asked me :
- Can you embroider on felt?
- How do I embroider on felt?
- What felt is best for embroidery?
So, you can totally embroider on felt. You can use hand felted wool such as the one I am using in this tutorial or you can buy felted wool sheets in the craft stores.
Embroidering on felt is super easy. You only need to know a few basic embroidery stitches such as backstitch, whipstitch and french knots.
Some people love embroidering on hand felted fabric and some people love working on a more industrial looking felt. I guess the main difference will be that the hand felted wool will provide you with a more rustic look and the machine felted wool will deliver a more polished finish.
Both options can look absolutely beautiful! I like to get my hands dirty with felting and natural dyeing so I have chosen to use hand felted fabric for this tutorial.
How to make a pouch for glasses tutorial
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Materials and equipment
- Felted wool (I am using the wool I felted by hand) or wool felted sheets
- Embroidery threads and hand sewing needles
- Fabric scissors
Step 1: Wool felt
Place the felted wool on your working surface.
I am using a hand wet felted wool fabric so the edges are uneven. This piece of fabric was created by my daughter and her inspiration came from balloons, hence the little colored circles all around the piece.
So the first step is to make a perfect rectangle by trimming the edges to a rectangle shape.
After trimming it, my rectangle measures 4 inches by 7 inches.
Step 2: Embroidering on felt
The first step to start embroidering on felt is to choose the right embroidery thread. For this project I decided to use a six strand second hand bought thread.
Make sure that the embroidery thread you use is thick because otherwise it won’t show in the felted wool. Felt is thick and spongy and you need the thread to stand out once its been sewn in.
To start embroidering without the thread knot showing follow these steps:
1- Insert the thread from the right side of the felted wool.
2- Pull the thread until you can’t see the end any more.
3- Once the end is hidden inside the felted wool fabric you can start embroidering.
For this glasses pouch I sewed a back stitch all around the edges.
How to embroider details onto felt
After decorating the edges I started embroidering details around my little balloons. Embroidery can give the felted details a totally new enhanced effect.
I am choosing contrasting threads to decorate the balloons. Also there is no need for a hoop because its easier to embroider with the felt on a working surface.
I am also using a whipstitch around the balloons in the photo below.
And I am using a backstitch to decorate the other balloons as shown in this photo.
When using a backstitch on the middle of the felted piece you can create a bubble effect because the stitch seems to pull the wool in the middle upwards as shown in the photo below.
I am also making little French knots to embellish even further.
You can keep embroidering as much as you would like. There are no rules 🙂
At this stage the embroidered fabric is ready to be transformed into a useful glasses pouch. There is no need for a pattern because we will be using the rectangle as it is.
Step 3: Sewing the glasses pouch
Once you are happy with your embroidery you need to fold the rectangle in half.
Pin the edges.
Hand sew around the pouch using a whipstitch in a matching color so that it’s invisible.
Make sure to leave the top edge open. This will be the top of the glasses pouch 🙂
Felted wool glasses pouch
Voila! Here it’s your hand made felted glasses pouch. Since it’s all made from natural wool it’s a pleasure to handle and so soft that it will never scratch or damage your glasses.
The best thing about this wool felted pouch is that I can now keep my glasses in my handbag and because they are so protected with the wool they don’t get scratched with my keys!
This wool felted pouch is also super light so I prefer using it rather than the heavy pouch that came with the glasses.
How do you transfer an embroidery pattern to felt?
If you have a plain piece of felt fabric and you want to embroider a particular design I suggest that you choose a machine felted fabric. Also a light color would make things easier 🙂
You can place the felt on a window or on top of a light table and trace the design using a water soluble fabric pen. You can then go ahead and embroider with your favorite embroidery stitch.
4 Helpful Tips for Machine Embroidering on Felt
If you would like to try machine embroidery on felt make sure you follow these tips:
- Make sure the felt is easy to use, has a soft texture and a strong base for machine embroidery stitches.
- Set your embroidery machine to the appropriate stitches for felt
- Make sure the tension is the right one on the machine
- Free motion quilting works great on felt. You would need to use a darning foot for this.
Keep these tips in mind to ensure your next embroidered felt project is a smashing success.