Thursday, 12 April 2012

Book Review: Zodiac Felties

I loved astrology when I was a teenager (I'm a Gemini, how about you?) so I was quite intrigued when I was a sent a copy of Zodiac Felties by Nicola Tedman & Sarah Skeate.

This is a cute little book that shows you how to sew 15 "astrological characters" - 12 characters based on the signs of the zodiac, plus 4 "planetary felties": the Sun, the Moon, Mars and Venus.

It probably goes without saying that if you think astrology is a load of old nonsense or you've got no idea what star sign you are, then this is probably not the book for you! If all your friends and family are similarly minded, you're probably also not going to have much need for this book as primarily I think you'd use it to make little star sign "mascots" as birthday gifts for other people.

The book actually includes a special page at the back that you can scan  or colour copy to use as a background when making a card to present your felties as gifts, and the small size of the characters mean they could easily be turned into fridge magnets or brooches for gift-giving.

The designs are cute and quirky. Some of the star signs are interpreted quite literally - a lion for Leo, for example...

... and others are a bit more more abstract, like this sweet little lady that represents the moon:

There's a few pages at the start of the book explaining how to do all the different stitches, how to stuff the felties and how to use the different types of glue needed for the projects (rubber cement and superglue). The felties are all rated by difficulty (1-4 stars) and each project includes full size templates, a bit of information about the star sign, a detailed materials list...

... a page of step by step instructions and a  page of step by step illustrations.

As the templates are full size it's quite easy to trace them, but if you prefer to scan or photocopy your pattern pieces you'll end up needing to copy 16 pages as the pattern pieces are scattered through the book (appearing on the relevant project page) rather than all together at the end of the book.

The designs are all embellished with things like sequins, mini pearl beads, pearl droplet beads, seed beads, bugle beads, etc. I have quite a reasonable stash of sequins and small beads but there's a lot of stuff required to make these felties which I don't have in my stash including things like "gold metal eye pins" and "brass craft wire" and really specific things like "2 gold leaf-shaped pendant beads, 10mm long" and "1 bronze metallic ring from a toggle fastening, 15mm in diameter". You'll also need jewellery-making tools like round needle-nosed pliers, eyelet pliers and metal snips. Maybe all these things are essential parts of a jewellery-maker's craft stash? I don't know.

Some of the beads and sequins could be substituted for similar things, but many of the other embellishments are pretty central to the design/construction of the felties. They do look lovely, but you may find that you have to do quite a bit of shopping to find all the necessary bits and pieces - this is not a book you can just sit down and craft from with a pile of felt and thread.

Zodiac Felties is published by Ivy Press. RRP £8.99. It's available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, The Book Depository and many other bookshops. 

Like the look of this book? I'm giving away my copy of Zodiac Felties to one lucky crafter... Check back tomorrow for your chance to enter the giveaway :)

[Disclaimer: Ivy Press sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links which means if you click on them and then make a purchase I get a very small % as a referral fee.]


Fleur Cotton said...

Perfect little designs to put on Birthday cards?

Fleur xx

Lacer said...

I have the zombie felties book, which looks like it's from the same publisher. As with what it looks like for zodiac felties, it can be hard finding / substituting the various beads needed but other than that, it's a cool book, makes me want to explore more the felties books.

Unknown said...

I will be checking bak tomorrow lol as this book is on my wishlist! I too have the zombie felties book and have had great fun with that. Sue x

Jenny said...

Very cute. I too have the Zombie felties book and was thinking that some of the designs looked familiar.

Tumus said...

very cute!

Anonymous said...

Those are just adorable! Thanks for sharing!

Jeanette said...

Your felt designs are so adorable and I love your blog!

RetroSandie said...

I just got this book myself and think it's awesome!!

Stacey said...

I haven't seen any like this before. Love felt myself - great make.

Bugs and Fishes said...

I've not seen the Zombie Felties book myself, but I expect it's just as cute as this one! Interesting to know it's the same re: finding the exact beads... but I guess with both books, once you've got the supplies you can then make lots of little felties as gifts for people :)

Jeanette - thankyou!

LiL Lacueva said...

I love this post! I'm an enthusiast of zodiacs, and I did a collection myself
I hope you like it.
Just so you know, I follow your blog from a while ago, and I share a lot of your posts in my fb page. Thank you for your tips!!!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Oh, how nice! :)

Thanks for sharing my posts on your Facebook page xx