Tips about Fabric

Wool Felt Stacks

Choosing a Fabric

If you are not sure about how to Choose Fabrics here is a little information about each type of Fabric and Wool Felt Blends.
 

In most of our Primitive Patterns we usually will work with 4 types of  Fabrics. These are the 4 main fabrics we use but at times we will  incorporate other fabrics or mediums.

  • 100% Cotton Fabrics or Quilting Fabrics
  • Homespun Woven Fabrics
  • Wool Felt
  • Plush Wool Felt or Fleece

Each of these types of fabrics have different weaves, blends, and purpose.

We have found that for our Primitive Patterns each of these types of fabrics work best for a certain purpose.

  • 100% Cotton Fabrics work best for Bodies and Scarves or Bows.
  • Homespun Woven Fabrics work best for just Scarves and Bows.
  • Wool Felt works best for Bodies, Eye Patches, Noses, Hats and Scarves.
  • Plush Wool Felt or Plush Fleece works best for Bodies that you want to look furry or fuzzy.

In  our patterns we give you the list of fabrics that we have used to  finish the item.  This of course is just a suggestion, you are more than  welcome to choose a different fabric to come up with a different look  or feel.  Play with it and have fun!

Felt Blends

There  are several Felt Blends available either in fabric shops or online.  Here are the different types of Felts and what they are best used for.
 

Fiesta Felt  - 100% Acrylic - This felt is found in most big stores that carry  fabric and many small stores. It's the most common type of felt and is  used in a lot of Kid's Crafts and many other types of crafting.


Wool Felt  - Different Blends - This felt is sometimes a little more difficult to  come by but can be found in some Fabric Stores and Online.

  • Wool Felt 20/80  - This wool felt is a blend of 20% wool and 80% rayon. Very easy to cut  and handle. Width is 36" and dry cleanable. Great for my Primitive Doll  Patterns.
  • Wool Felt 35/65  - This wool felt is a blend of 35% wool and 65% rayon. Very easy to cut  and handle. Width is 36" and dry cleanable. Great for our Primitive Doll  Patterns and for Heirloom projects.
  • Wool Felt 70/30  - This wool felt is a blend of 70% wool and 30% rayon. Superior quality  and uniformity. Width is 72" and dry cleanable. Great for Athletic  uniforms, pennants, banners, etc. 
  • Wool Felt 100  - This wool felt is 100% wool. It's considered 'virgin felted wool'.  Excellent uniformity and works well for Hats and other craft projects.  Width is 36" and is dry cleanable.

Xotic Felt  - 100% Natural - Bamboo/Rayon Blend - This felt is soft and strong and  made from sustainable natural fibers. Ideal for creative craft projects.  Width is 40" and dry cleanable.


I  recommend and use either the 20/80 or 35/65 Wool Felt blends. These  tend to be a better quality felt to use when working with my Primitive Doll  Patterns. Plus your handmade items tend to hold up a lot longer and can  become one of those items that you hand down from generation to  generation.

Fabric Size Terms

Here are some common Fabric Size Names and their corresponding Fabric Sizes. 

  • Fat Quarter - 18" x 22"
  • Fat Eighth - 9" x 21"
  • Charm Pack - a set of 5" x 5" pre-cut squares of coordinating fabrics.
  • Mini Charm Pack - a set of 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" pre-cut squares of coordinating fabrics.
  • Jelly Roll - a set of 2-1/2" x 45" pre-cut coordinating strips of fabric all rolled together.
  • Layer Cake - a set of 10" x 10" pre-cut squares of coordinating fabrics.
  • Turnover - a set of 6" pre-cut triangles of coordinating fabrics.
  • Honey Bun - a set of 1-1/2" x 45" pre-cut coordinating strips of fabric all rolled together. Usually 40 strips.
  • Dessert Roll - a set of 5" x 45" pre-cut coordinating strips of fabric all rolled together.  Usually 20 strips.
  • Honeycomb Hexagon - a set of pre-cut coordinating Hexagons that measure 6" from point to point.
  • Yard of Fabric - measures 36" x with of fabric (example: quilting fabric is usually 36" x 45") 

   


Recommended Tools

Disappearing Ink Pens

Pilot Frixion Erasable Ink Pes

These are the Disappearing Ink Pens that I use and refer to in my patterns.  They are Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens.  The ends have an eraser or you can use a warm iron to remove.

Iron-On Transfer Pens

Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pens

These are the Iron-on Transfer Pens that I use and refer to in my patterns.  They are Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pens.  Trace on the reverse side of design, place traced image on fabric and press with warm iron.

Fabric Scissors

Karen Kay Buckley's Micro Serrated Scissor Set

Everyone needs a great pair of fabric scissors.  I love these Karen Kay Buckley's Micro Serrated Scissors Set.  These feature a sharp to the tip design which is great for detailed cutting.

Quick Fabric Turning Tubes

Dritz Quick Fabric Turning Tube Set

Another great tool to have on hand are these Dritz Quick Turn Fabric Tube Turning Set.  These are like having another set of helping hands.  Great for turning small doll pieces in a jiffy.

Stuffing Forks

Stuffing Fork Set by Barbara Willis

Here is one of those tools that is a must if you are creating lots of primitive dolls with small parts.  The Mini Stuffing Fork is great for small projects and pieces.  The Regular Stuffing Fork is a wonderful tool for medium and large projects.  Click on the button below to purchase them here!

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Forceps Set

Stainless Steel Hemostat Forceps

These tools have a dual purpose.  The Stainless Steel Forceps are great for grabbing stuffing and inserting in small openings, as well as helping with turning projects right side out.  Not to mention holding and picking up pieces.

More Tools & Supplies

Embroidery Thread

DMC 6-strand Embroidery Thread

This is the thread that I use and refer to in my patterns when doing the primitive stitching.  This is a sampling of the DMC 6-strand Embroidery Thread/Floss.  There are several manufacturers of this type of thread, but I have found that the DMC brand is a higher quality.  Plus, they offer over 450 different colors.

Pearl Cotton Thread

DMC Perle/Pearl Cotton

Another great product by the DMC company is their DMC Pearl Cotton Embroidery Thread.  This embroidery thread comes on a small spool and in skeins and is available in different thread sizes and colors.  Perfect for using in your primitive dolls.

Long Doll Needles

Dritz Long Doll Needles and assorted supplies

Some basic and essential tools and supplies needed for any type of primitive doll making would be an assortment of doll needles.  Seen here are Dritz Long Doll and Sculpting Needles along with a good Thimble and Needle Gripper.  Doll Needles come in all sizes from about 3" long up to over 12" long.

Stencil Paint Brushes

Clear Choice Stencil Paint Brushes

One of the techniques used in my primitive doll patterns is Dry Brushing.  For this technique it's necessary to have a Stencil Paint Brush Set.  For my doll patterns it is best to use the smaller size brushes such as 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8" and 1/2".  Click on the button below to see the ones available for purchase here. 

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Acrylic Paint

Acrylic Paint Variety

The Dry Brushing Technique that is found in my primitive doll patterns not only requires Stencil Paint Brushes but also Acrylic Paint.  Americana and FolkArt are the 2 brands that I use and prefer.  Small amounts are used in the patterns so these small bottles should last quite a while.  Be sure to shake well before each use.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade for all these Gingerberry Creek primitive doll pattern pieces

Now that you have skimmed through all of these Tips, Tricks & Tools, hop on over to my Tutorials to view my free Video Tutorials.  Check out the Tools of the Trade Video along with all the Techniques mentioned here along with many others.