Simply Sewing - - PINBOARD -

Step into the glo­ri­ously quirky world of Felt Mis­tress, pop­u­lated by a unique cast of colour­ful char­ac­ters stitched by the Felt Mis­tress her­self, Louise Evans.

Be­fore dream­ing up her crafty al­ter ego, Louise trained and then worked as a be­spoke dress­maker and milliner. She be­gan mak­ing felt fig­ures as gifts in her spare time, and then “made a few to sell in a friend’s shop” un­til the fash­ion world came call­ing – namely Brix Smith-start, founder of Lon­don bou­tique Start, who “spotted my work via Twit­ter and asked me to do her shop win­dows for Lon­don Fash­ion Week.” Depart­ment store Sel­fridges soon fol­lowed, with Louise cre­at­ing their Oxford Street Christ­mas win­dow, which led to “more recog­ni­tion and pri­vate com­mis­sions” – and so her trans­for­ma­tion from dress­maker to Felt Mis­tress was com­plete, as “I ended up mak­ing more char­ac­ters than I did dresses.”

Felt Mis­tress’ fan­tas­ti­cal fig­ures each have their own dis­tinct per­son­al­ity thanks to Louise’s love of peo­ple watching. She works with her part­ner Jonathan Ed­wards, who is an il­lus­tra­tor. They “love to travel and are in­spired by peo­ple and sur­round­ings. You never know when you are go­ing to spot some­thing or some­one that may spark an idea. Snip­pets of overheard con­ver­sa­tions in shops, on train jour­neys, and peo­ple talk­ing loudly on their phones (even though some­times an­noy­ing!) are en­ter­tain­ing. If you can’t see the per­son it’s great to imag­ine what they look like.”

Once an idea forms, it doesn’t take long for Louise to make it a re­al­ity in her own inim­itable weird and won­der­ful style. “On av­er­age each of my fig­ures take around a week to make, but ob­vi­ously some big­ger pieces can take longer and sim­pler pieces may take just a few days.”

She’s also in­spir­ing us all to have a go with her book, Make Crea­tures with Felt Mis­tress. Does she have any ad­vice for any­one look­ing to sew their own felt char­ac­ters? “Never give up on a piece, even if you think it’s not go­ing well. I have of­ten nearly binned pieces I’ve been work­ing on, but they can end up be­ing some of the best – and if they’re not you can learn from them and the next one will be bet­ter.”

Louise has “been lucky to work on some great projects with amaz­ing peo­ple” and cites work­ing on the film Amer­i­can In­te­rior with Gruff Rhys and Pete Fowler “up a Welsh moun­tain with a New Or­leans style brass band play­ing” as a mem­o­rable col­lab­o­ra­tion. Next up is “an­other big ex­hi­bi­tion for Oc­to­ber 2017, which is in the plan­ning stages but is very ex­cit­ing. I’m also work­ing with a chil­dren’s book au­thor for an ex­hi­bi­tion in December.”

See more Felt Mis­tress cre­ations at www.felt­mistress.com

Louise’s colour­ful char­ac­ters are in­spired by peo­ple she has seen on her trav­els.

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