Do you have bits of fibre stuff hanging around? Some wool, yarn, old curtain material, some other fabrics? Nature is my constant inspiration and some living things just appeal to me! This sweet hand-made fuzzy Fibre Moth made from scraps is hard to resist!
Working with Fibres:
Many of the supplies that I used can be substituted with similar things that you can find around the house. The amounts of yarns & fabric are quite small and will make your little creatures even more unique. I design the wings to be made with free-motion sewing; a sandwich of various fibres to create the swirls. When looking at nature’s moths I see so much detail in their wing ‘fibres’. These cute little fuzzy moths with their big eyes and those amazing lash-like antennas appealed to me for some strange reason. I found all kinds of stuff to use in my stash of leftover-yarn-bag!
Download the printable pattern here
- loose fibre like Wool Roving or untwisted yarn
- variety of Faux Fur (or eye lash) Yarn
- Fabric scraps (small pieces for body & antenna)
- Fibre fill stuffing or fabric scraps
- Fabric Stiffener (‘Stiffy’)
- Sheer fabric (like curtain organza)
- Water Soluable Stabilizer or organza substitute
- Sewing machine for Free-Motion Embroidery (with darning/free motion presser foot)
- Pattern (download my free design here)
The wings are fibres (roving or other fuzzy fibres) sandwiched between either 2 layers of organza or water-soluble stabilizer & organza. The idea is to be able to make some nice swirls of what ever pattern you like; take some clues from nature. The designs are swirls of the pulled fibres of wool roving. Silk (even cocoons) synthetics, acrylics, polyester and even nylon may also be substituted for the roving. The fibres stay in place since they are between the layers.
Place the pattern as a guide under the organza to position the roving or fibre. If you want them stiffer add more or be more transparent with less fibres. Since I need something to hold onto I make sure to keep excess fabric around the outside of the shapes.
Some fibres can be curled into designs like those found in real moth wings. The edge will be cut later so no need to worry about that quite yet. You can even cut pieces of fabrics (garment recycling) with different characteristics to include.
Trace the stitch lines onto the stabilizer to have some reference for the free-motion stitching. If using organza you can use ‘Frixion’ pens as they disappear with heat setting.
Pinning the pieces together will keep the fibre in place during the free-motion sewing.
The ‘Fun’ Part:
Set up your sewing machine for free-motion sewing. I know what you are thinking; it isn’t that difficult to ‘roughly’ follow the direction of the lines with the sewing machine. My intent is to have enough lines of sewing to keep all the fibres in place.
That means that the ‘feed-dogs’ are not guiding the fabric, your hands are. It’s fun since you can just slide the fabric ‘sandwich’ around under the foot and it goes quickly, making everything into one sewn solid sheet.
It goes quickly and makes everything into one sewn solid sheet. Do not worry if it’s not all perfect, mine definitely is not!! The thread colour can accent or match, it’s up to you…
After the sewing, cut out the wing pieces, the sewing have made them quite durable, the wrinkles will dissolve…
The water soluble stabilizer will disappear in warm water…. poof it’s gone!
Dry and press the wings. I wanted the wings to be stiffer so I painted a layer of ‘Stiffy’. Once the stiffener is dry the upper wings and lower wings are ready…
The 2x organza layer version will not have stabilizer so it does not need the washing however it can also still be stiffened.
Making the Legs:
For the six legs I made 2 sections of the front and back legs out of a stiff wire (see pattern) and twist them together well in the middle.
I make the middle legs another piece that is them twisted around the centre section – then they are all stable together.
I made the eyes with about 1″ circles cut from organza and hand-gathered with needle and thread around the edges and filled them with a bit of yarn or cotton, like little stuffed balls.
The main body is made with whatever scraps you have available, hand-sewn or machine sewn at the seam line. Stuff with what ever you have on hand (pillow stuffing, old sock, odd yarn…)
Hot glue those cute bug eyes to the side of the front of the head. I pushed a curly wire piece through the nose end and glued with a touch of hot glue…
The eyes seem quite realistic too since the organza fabric shines and looks like the multi-faceted eyes…
Faux fur yarn (or even eye lash) is great & easy to work with so I wrapped the body with it and tacked it with spots of hot glue.
You could make some stripes by alternating colours. It’s really an easy way to make a furry body!
I wrapped the legs a bit in the centre with the furry yarn and then hot-glued them to the underside.
To give the wings a bit of support I added a loop of fine wire and glued carefully between some of the lines of wrapped furry yarn. Feel free to add any embellishments to the wings with embroidery thread. There really are no rules when making textile sculptures, just creativity. As an illustrator I can even imagine hand-painted fabric being used to make these insects or butterflies – it’s about texture.
Attaching the Wings
The wings should be glued with somewhat overlapping. To make the fibre moth wings look like they are sprouting from the back I parted the fur and attached them with hot glue in the ‘ditch’. Working with fur is great and forgiving if you take some care with it.
Making the Antennas
When I made my fabric birds (with movable wings) I figured out how to make feathers and these have the same but with 2 layers to make sure they stick to the wire.
Use a woven fabric with large weave (similar to denim) and pull the threads off in one direction. The wire antenna is slid under the furry wrapped yarn and glued.
Amazing how easy it is! I used some canvas fabric and an old wool blanket, both worked; one fuzzier than the other.
There’s really no limit to how your’s can look… Any colour, fibre, even size (feel free to enlarge the pattern). You could even add printed fabric or some stitchery… Be creative! It’s so satisfying to make something unique and I personally like the more natural earthy colours, maybe even some wool to dye..
The fibre moth’s eyes seem quite realistic too since the organza fabric shines and looks like the multi-faceted eyes…
The stitch lines of this fibre moth remind me of the way the wings have distinct sections.
It may seem like a silly project but sometimes we just need to feed our soul with what we gravitate to… Sometimes we do not really know why, but this silly Fibre moth makes me smile 😊 Add to you world of imagination… Make your own realism of nature.