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.