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Minnesota, United States

11.4.17

Sheep in the woods vest

Yesterday was a good day to sew.  I finally decided to cut into the twill fabric and make a vest.  I'd found a pattern on eBay that I'd used in the early '90s.  I still have the bolero I made and thought the pattern was still filed away.  It was a good find and one that will be used over and over.  Rather than cutting out the pieces, I bought some pattern yardage (lightweight interfacing) and drafted the two pieces from view 2 in the S/M size.  Plan A was to add a seam allowance on the back pieces, but I didn't like the thought of seaming the fabric.  I visited my closet of good intentions (thank you, putzycrafter, for that saying) and shopped my small linen stash.  I had lightweight brown (intended for a summer dress) and neutral (intended for another summer dress), but figured I could do better.  Off to Joann, ETC.  Sigh, I found the linen and didn't like the linen/rayon blends.  After a bit more searching, I thought denim or corduroy would be good options.  Most denim now has spandex and the corduroy was too light or too stiff.  Back to the linen section, and since it was on sale, a yard of natural color was the choice.

There be sheep in the woods!
 Home again, I washed the linen and hung it to dry in the basement.  In the meantime, itching to get to work, I went back to the closet of good intentions and pulled out a yard of printed linen purchased some years ago at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul.  Treadle is a small shop that carries lovely fabrics, patterns, buttons (oh, the buttons!), so much more, and a knowledgeable staff.  Suffice it to say, it's worth the drive from here!  Anyway, when the twill met the printed linen it was a match made in heaven.  Taking the time to think about it and then consulting Mary I knew I had to go ahead and begin the project.

Cutting into the fabric was not easy.  Handweaving gives one a particular appreciation for fabric and because the twill has a diagonal design, I took my time placing lining up the second piece after cutting the first piece since I cut them out one at a time.  Speaking of cutting out the first piece...after pinning the pattern to the fabric I took a deep breath and made the first cut on the side, put down the scissors, took a deep breath, snapped a photo, and then proceeded to finish cutting.  Before sewing, the machine needed a new needle and threading was a bit of a challenge with dark thread and a bit more farsightedness.  Stay-stitching around the handwoven pieces with straight stitches stabilizes the fabric.  Dampening and ironing the prewashed linen smooths out any large wrinkles.  
Cut, breathe, cut, breathe...
The construction of the vest is quite simple--sew shoulder seams on right side pieces and lining, sew lining to the outside pieces leaving the side seams open, clip curves, turn inside out and press.  (Between each step I steam press, keeping the seams tidy.)  The reveal was exciting with only two more seams to sew.  The right sides of the back and front pieces got machine-stitched and then the lining seam allowances are whip-stitched by hand after pressing.  Whoa, I was so excited after giving the finished vest a good pressing and trying it on.  Now I'm excited to plan my next yardage using Harrisville Shetland for the warp and weft in a broken twill for an allover surface design.  

Finished!

I love the curve detail at the center back.

It's worth mentioning that the vest fits better on me than on the dress form.  I am so happy and cannot wait to weave more yardage for sewing projects!


1 comment:

Joanne said...

Beautiful! I love reading your story of cutting the woven fabric. Remember how we used to listen to the weavers and wonder??? :) Now I get it, after your explanation! I love the piece of linen that you used, too. I used a piece of linen/rayon, from JoAnn's, to make a jumper last summer. After feeling the fabric, I figured the rayon is actually bamboo. Laws have been put in place to label bamboo fabric as rayon. So, I tried it. It is very soft, you are right, it wouldn't have been good for your vest. I love it in my jumper though.