Spongy and irregular. That’s what I’m looking for, in mushrooms anyway. Strange specimens, just yanked from the earth. I want you to smell the fungal forest air.
The fabric on the mushroom with the puffy and stripey undercap was made using the bleach printing method we talked about a few weeks ago. I did one thing differently this time and made the bleach marks with a paintbrush after sewing and before stuffing.
A good place to start with sculptural/ 3 dimensional sewing (like toadstools) is by experimenting with sewing spheres. Play with the edges, taper one end, experiment with the number of pattern pieces, cut them in half etc. and see what sorts of shapes you can create.
For a complete guide to mushroom making try the little mushroom sewing pattern.
The free sphere template above will help get you started. This mini seed pod is made from the 3 part sphere template (printed much smaller) and elongated a little at one end.
Tiny fly inspected, tiny fly approved.
I’m getting ready for songbird and botanical workshops in Los Angeles in April. There are two botanical experiment classes, root systems, fungus, and rare exotic species and one songbird class. Come make birds and fungus with me!
What are you making? Have you tried the needle book or the tiny dishes? I’m putting together a post of things made from my patterns and tutorials. You can send photos to me at info at ann wood handmade dot com or tag your photos in instagram with #annwoodpattern.
Meet Mr. Cups! My new helper – I found him upstate in a fabulously junky junk shop – he makes a very cheery pin holder. I love the way his details are painted – I looked him up and found out he was made in Japan in the forties and there is a Mrs. – I’m on the look out. He helped me make lots of mini toadstools – pixie size fungi made from Japaanese garment fragments (from lovely Sri Threads). They are made with the little mushroom sewing pattern – it scales up and down well – I printed the templates at around 75% for these little guys.
the little mushroom sewing pattern
They were fun to make in a batch and easy to travel with – just a little bag of scraps and a few supplies – a good summer project. I also added a little extra height to the top for a couple – tracing the template and adding about another 1/2 inch to the top for a pointier cap.
I’m also working on some larger specimens and creatures, in lovely old indigo cloth.
The toadstool pattern is just about done. I’ve got a few steps to reshoot and then a little more work on the document and it’s ready to go. I’ve taught this class a couple of times and that definitely helped in writing the steps.
It took two years of experimenting to get the shape I wanted in my toadstools. Two years of almost there but not quite. I am pathologically persistent – relentless. The most difficult part was finding a reasonably efficient way of making the concave shape for the underside, reasonably efficient and reproducible. I tried so many things – some with interesting results – like foam padded bra inserts – but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. What I ultimately came up with is simple and has a lot of flexibility – the shape and effect can be varied with little adjustments – it’s fun to play with.
(photo by Andi Schrader)
I loved teaching the class – the steps seem odd until all of a sudden a toadstool appears. I hope one of the takeaways from my botanical experiment classes and this pattern is thinking innovatively about shape building and materials.
So stay tuned and if you would like to be notified by email when new patterns are released you can sign up here.