Just before Easter a attended a Felt workshop at Glyndwr hosted by Louise Evans aka the ‘Felt Mistress’. Louise did tell us how she gained the name of felt mistress, and other than the fact that she adores creating things out of felt i can’t remember now what she said – i think it was one of those things someone said when passing and it just stuck!!

Louise started her career in the world of fashion design, and spent 15 to 20 years (can’t remember which now – message to self – blog straight away after the event, not 2 weeks later!!) designing and making wedding dresses.She was involved from the pattern cutting right through to the finished piece,and it was during this time that she learned all her seamstress skills that she now uses to make the most wonderful soft fabric characters.

She describes herself as a UK based ‘stitcher and prolific tea drinker” and her work can be seen on her website http://www.feltmistress.com

" As well as original Felt Mistress characters Louise has also collaborated with a variety of other artists including Jon Burgerman, Jon Knox
 (Hello, Brute)and Pete Fowler. Her work has been exhibited in the UK and internationally. She states her main interests as sewing, Japan, 
buttons, creatures, cake and Mr Edwards. When not sewing she likes to dream she'll live to see the day when you can download French Fancies 
"off of the Internet".(www.feltmistress.com)

She also did wonderful window displays at Selfridges in London last year, and these images can be seen on her website.

In an interview at the Royal/T Couture competition Louise won first prize with her doll creation 'Momiji' - here is an excerpt from the
 interview:- taken from website -http://lovemomiji.com/momiji-blog/8Your doll’s name 
Choux Choux
Your home town 
What was the inspiration for the design of your doll?
Besides the obvious nod to 18th Century  corseted bodices, panniered skirts, Marie Antoinette and big powdered wigs 
(I would so like to wear my hair like that for a day) I loved the opportunity to combine the two sides of my "sewing life" 1) 
The making of bespoke wedding dresses and 2) Soft plush character sculptures and plush toys. I have received a lot of strange comments 
 over the years from people who can't understand how I can enjoy both things, they always assume I prefer one to the other but it would
 be strange for me to give up either as sometimes I'm in a dress mood and sometimes I want to work on a smaller scale and produce a character
 plush. It's all sewing, which I love! So the Momiji competition was the ideal project for me. I kept getting emails from friends saying 
"this is so you" with a link to the Momiji website. Not only was I making a character plush but she was wearing a corseted silk dress!

What materials and techniques did you use to make your doll?
She was made using silk, felt, fleece, ribbon, rickrack braiding, buttons and beads (some of which came from my  Nana's button box which
 I used to play with as a child ) The hair was made of rouleau looping made from grey fleece and arranged on the felt doll shape in curls 
and then hand sewn  in place. The skirt and bodice was made in dupion silk (remnants from a wedding dress I had made a few years ago) and 
decorated with ribbon, braid and beads. The felt and fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles. I like to use found or recycled things 
as much as possible it's nice to give them a second "life".

What do you do for a living?
I make bespoke wedding dresses.
 Where is your favourite place?
Can't pick one place so I've narrowed it down to three :
On the Yurikamome line going over Rainbow bridge in Tokyo (after dark).
The studio that I share with Jonathan Edwards. Door shut, music on, surrounded with fabric and normally an organised mess!
Natural History Museum New York.
Tell us an interesting fact (or secret!) about yourself
A sewing machine needle broke and went into my eyeball and I still have a red dot on the white of my eye marking the spot!

Louise Evans - the Felt Mistress

and here is her creation –

Louises Momiji doll

In the 2 hour workshop Louise did with us she showed us lots of patterns, and then guided us through cutting out and sewing our own creations, and i have to say i was quite pleased with my McTavish – the scottish dude!! I have only just started sewing and have found that i really do quite like it, but more than anything i liked being in the company of someone who is such an expert in their field. Thank you Louise for an enjoaybale time.

Here is my creation:-

McTavish - my Scottish dude!!