Friday, January 8, 2010


SNOW's number 5 so far......unfortunately, it's combined with wind chill factors of below zero....almost unheard of in this area.......we are getting cabin fever.

But....on the bright side, that's allowed time to get into the studio and begin some projects. Normally I like to post the entire process from start to finish when I share my projects, but due to other upcoming commitments I may not get this completed here's what I have so far.

The Xotic Felt jacket I created last summer was so well received....sadly, this new bamboo/rayon fabric wasn't color fast and it pilled too much. National NonWovens has fixed that problem, so I'll try again later with their updated fabric. Right now I've decided to see what kind of results I can achieve working with their 100% wool felt.

As a precaution to prevent distortion or shrinkage during the construction process, I use squares (for the back) and rectangles (fronts and sleeves) of fabric, marked with the shape of the pattern piece. Then, I do all my designing and sewing on this section of fabric.

The margins are a great place to experiment with ideas. Such as....I was considering simple stitching to add background texture and interest. Here's a detail of some stitching I did near the arm hole area.

In another area (outside of the marked pattern line) I tried a different look. The overall idea was that I'd add the applique motifs after the background was sewn. I learned long ago to test my ideas on the cutaway areas of the fabric, rather than jumping in and being sorry with the results on the actual garment. It paid off here again.....because in the end, I decided the grid and line stitching reduced the drape of the fabric far more than I could accept. So instead, I'm going to add some individual machine embroidered units after the main design motifs are attached.

I prefer to design the fronts, side by side on my design wall. Sadly, my dress form didn't make the trip here from WI.....the moving van was I had to say goodbye to my old friend! But, this works fine and takes up less space.

The next step will be to applique the motifs to the wool felt, add some machine embroidery....and when satisfied, I'll remark the pattern pieces to assure accuracy in case of shrinkage. The sections will be cut out and assembled. The woolfelt jacket may require a lining......I'll probably baste the pieces together first, try the garment on and see how it wears without one before deciding.

Happy sewing to all of you who are also freezing in this cold snap......which seems to be affecting not only most of the US but Europe as well......

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