Monday, February 25, 2019

Another Handwoven Garment

I may have caught a bit of a sewing fever, so onto another garment.  This is another one of Ngaire’s yardages that she wove in 2010, here is a link to the blog post about it.  It is a brightly striped twill gamp in 2/8 Orlec and 2/10 black Tencel.
My inspiration for this garment is this little vest that Ngaire wore when she was a teen.  It is an open front vest with no back, very simple and colourful.
To get an idea of the timeline for this....think MC Hammer!  Yup, we’re talking the early 90’s!
I had to create my own pattern and I made it in 2 sizes, small and medium (about size 12).  This was my first effort at pattern making and boy, did I learn a lot.
To work with the yardage I first stabilized it with black iron-on knit interfacing.  This step was absolutely necessary because as soon as I cut into the fabric it frayed like crazy.
This is the end result and I was pretty pleased that I got the pattern to match so well.
Now that I had the vest put together the problems started to rear their ugly head.   Hmmmm, young teen patterns don’t have shaping, yup I forgot the lady bumps!
 I have a work around to fix my slight gaping problem in the yoke area and I know it will work, but it won’t be pretty!  I am going to ease stitch some black elastic along the upper yolk and around the neck area and allow the elastic to gently give some shape.
I think it is going to look really good with my black knit jacket and a white shirt!  And the absence of a back will really cut down on the bulk.

Tulips on the table are a sure sign of spring!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Making a Handwoven Garment

In my last blog post I talked about the yardage I wove, but I didn’t tell you what it is going to be . . . a capelette!  The pattern is really pretty and looks fairly straightforward.  The pattern is New Look number 6007.
Cutting out the pattern pieces was a little tricky because the yardage was really quite thick.  So where I could, I cut out a single piece at a time, much easier on the hands.
I wussed out about sewing it (and using Mom's new machine), so Mom is doing the sewing.  Here is the back of the capelette and you can see the circular form of the garment beginning to develop. 
For the interfacing we went with a light pink 100% cotton; it was both cheaper and higher quality than the interfacing that we can get at our local store.  But the pink fabric is so tightly woven that it was seriously hard to push the pins in.  So using a trick that I picked up on The Great British Sewing Bee (did you know that a new season has just started after a four year hiatus?)  I used flat river stones to weight down the pattern pieces; it worked surprisingly well.
I am doing all of the ironing, so I get to iron the seams open flat and also use the new wooden point presser which is great for ironing into corners.  Mom picked up the point presser at the Guild Silent auction in December and it is a godsend on the collar.
The Judy is trying the capelette on at the end of the day.  We still have to add the interfacing pieces and collar, but it is starting to look like the photo on the pattern!
The capelette is a little shorter than expected, but exactly the length on the pattern. So instead of hemming the bottom of the capelette we decided to add satin tape to finish the edge and keep all the length.  It really adds a lot of interest, it is also a labour of love as Mom used the sewing machine to attach the right side but the inside side needs to be hand sewn so that there is no stitching to mar the satin ribbon.
I was surprised about how much of a mess the wool yardage made while sewing.  I had to vacuum every day to keep a handle on the bits of fluff.  The hardwood floors run the entire house so the little bits would end up in every darn room!
Finally finished, well mostly!  It is absolutely lovely and just what I was hoping for!  The belt isn’t quite done yet because it is going to be made from the same fabric as the capelette with the satin ribbon as an accent.  But, of course I ran out of ribbon and today is Family Day in BC so the fabric store is closed.  So just imagine it with a wider belt with a ribbon accent all around the edges.

Final Garden Photo is a lovely shot of the picture perfect snowflakes that we had last week.  These snowflakes came down while it was sunny and in large fluffy clumps that looked just like the fake snow in the movies.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Weaving Mixed Fibre Yardage

In September of last year my weaving guild’s study group, Exploring More, decided to look at sewing a handwoven garment.  We have also decided to have a little fashion show for the guild at the February meeting so I guess that I better get started!

To start, I’ll talk about the yardage that I am using which I wove it in 2012; and looking back at the blog, it seems that I have never shared anything about it.  So I am going to piece together its story from the photos and my memory.
The warp is based around this large cone of variegated cotton.  The cotton is white, rusty brown and green, and is surprisingly pretty.  I added stripes in brown chenille and a shiny rose boucle rayon.
Going by the pictures, it looks like Mom and I had found the sewing pattern before weaving the yardage.  We then used the pieces to find out how wide and long that I would need to weave the yardage.  Pretty smart if I do say so myself!
The stripes are narrow and the overall warp looked quite brown.  The weft is a pretty pink 2/20 merino wool and once it was added the fabric really lightens up.  The pattern I chose to weave is basket weave.
I remember that I had trouble with the tension for the chenille stripes.  I used a tightly folded towel across the warp beam to try to even out the tension.  The towel allows the tighter threads to bite into the towel to give some ease of tension.  It seems that I still had to add individual weights on the chenille stripes.  Horrors!
A pretty shot of the yardage on the cloth beam.  I carefully washed it in the bathtub and let it dry flat and then ironed it.   Then it sat in the closet waiting, and waiting, and well you get the picture.
I have periodically taken the yardage out and looked at it and put it back into the closet.  So when my weaving study group started a topic about sewing handwoven garments I was excited to finally have a reason to start on the sewing of this yardage.  Mom and I talked about it and we decided that the yardage was too loose and open.  So this time I put the yardage into the washing machine and then for a brief stint into the drier to get the cloth to be firmer.  It is definitely firmer but still has a lovely drape.
I have finally started cutting out the pattern.
Final Garden Photo is of all the snow we are getting, the local schools and library are closed due to the snow.  Also all the ferries have been cancelled for tonight.  Just last week I was working in the garden weeding!  The picture looks like it is black and white but just a very grey day but the red of the stop sign is popping out.

Monday, February 4, 2019

12 Shaft Fancy Snowflake Twill

I am a little behind on my blog posts; I wove these scarves in October.  But they are so pretty that I still think that they are worth a blog post.

The first scarf is a hand painted silk warp, it is actually the last one from a dye day in 2016.  The bottom two warps have already been woven and blogged about here.  The warp is a really pretty blue and soft green.
I thought that a weft for this warp would be really hard to find, but I really lucked out.  I only had to try two wefts, a dark teal and a light teal.  Right away I could tell that the dark teal was the winner.
The pattern is a 12 Shaft fancy snowflake twill; the pointy jagged diamonds in the dark teal really highlight the shifting colours, especially the green.
The finished scarf is really spectacular.  The pattern definitely highlights the painted silk warp and it is one that I will use again.  It has sold.

The second scarf is from the same dye day but it is a Tencel warp.  We had two large cones of buttercup yellow (I don’t know why) so we pulled yellow Tencel warps to over dye.  This warp was split into five stripes, and then two of the stripes were flipped before dyeing.  After the warp was dyed the two stripes were flipped back and that creates the striped effect.
I like to get out all the bins of Tencel so I can see every colour that we have.  The bins have been separated into colour families.  There is a neutral/yellow bin, a red/orange bin and not shown are the blue/green and purple bins.
This warp was dyed in autumnal colours of brown, orange and gold with some of the original yellow showing through.  The brown dye has broken a little and there is some green too.  There is a lot of brown in the warp so picking a weft colour was a little tricky.  I tried straw, gold, taupe and orange.
I went with the orange, I know that a lot of people hate orange but it was the best choice for the scarf.  The pattern is the same tie up and treadling as the first scarf, but I changed the threading.  I like to change up the threading or treadling and reuse the tie up especially when the tie up is for twelve shafts!
The scarf is very bright and autumnal.  It has also already been sold, but this time at my weaving guilds Christmas Sale.

Final Garden Shot is the two hummingbirds that have staked out our humming bird feeder.  We have two feeders and we switch them out every hour so the hummingbirds can have unfrozen food all during the daylight hours.  We also bring them in at night.  This week is the first cold weather we have had this winter, it is our version of the polar vortex, it is going down to -8 C but feeling like -15 C.