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
If you’d like to invent your own shapes and sewing patterns 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.
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 working on songbirds too – made from antique garment scraps. The indigos are Japanese and the earth tones are mostly linings from edwardian dresses.
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 little scraps.
I used the mini size from the little mushroom sewing pattern – just big enough for someone’s pocket.
They’re fun to make in a batch and easy to travel with – just a little bag of scraps and a few supplies. I always use wool stuffing – it gives them a nice sponginess and you can fine tune the shape.
PS -There’s a print version of the sewing pattern too – a 16 page booklet.
I hope you make a batch of sweet mini fungi! Use #annwoodpattern on instagram to share.
Do you get my free weekly-ish newsletter? There are tips and tricks, ideas, stuff to try, all the latest news and blogposts and extra stuff, just for subscribers, delivered mostly on Friday. Pretty much.
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.