Thursday, 2 November 2017

Lots of sewing, not much weaving

As the title says there’s been quite a lot of sewing but not a lot of weaving round here

I’ve made 3 shirts for my cousin’s son in the US.  He’s very tall for his age and while he wants the cute shirts the other kids are wearing, they are just not long enough for him.  So I’ve come to the rescue with some custom made shirts.  We had a trip to Joann’s while I was visiting to choose fabric –thought he needed to know that shirts don’t come complete but start as flat fabric – and that it would be nice for him to select what he wanted.  He was watching the 2006 movie ‘Cars’ while I was there and that was the only thing he wanted on his shirt.  The fabric gods must have known I was coming, as I found the right fabric and there was just enough to make one small shirt.  I even found little red car buttons to match. 

The other 2 were Dr Seuss fabric

and another fabric with assorted superheroes

– I hope he likes them and that they fit.  I posted them a week ago but Australia Post are not co-operating and their tracking service tells me the parcel has not left Australia yet.  I wonder how many flights there are to the US every day, if not every week.

I had a family wedding over weekend.  It was on a farm and the dress code was ‘black tie and sensible shoes’.  I guessed that meant black tie from the waist up, and choose the shoes on the day depending on how wet it’s been.  A friend brought me a piece of silk brocade from China a few years ago and I’ve been keeping it for a special occasion.  I decided that this was the occasion and that there was almost enough fabric to make another ‘Rosa’ jacket – the one I made for the recent Sheep Show.
There really wasn’t quite enough fabric,

those big pleats on the shoulders take a lot of fabric.  I tried several ideas – contrast fabric under the pleats, perhaps for the sleeves – but eventually reason set in.  There was enough fabric for the body of the jacket except for a small wedge under the arms and enough left over to add the extra width.  I managed to find a remnant of silver silk dupion which was a good match and used it for the facings and as I’d made it before, even the sewing wasn’t too much of a trial. Here's a little more detail of the fabric and the covered and beaded button

The jacket was finished in good time, I knew what to wear under it – the top that fell off its hanger the other morning as I was getting dressed, almost shouting ‘Pick Me. Pick Me!’ and its matching pants. 

The day of the wedding was cold – very cold – but vanity overrode commonsense, and of course I wore the silk jacket.  I realised after observing one of the few comfortable guests, the man who wore his overcoat over his dinner suit all night, that there was nothing wrong with my plan to make the silk jacket as it can be very hot at this time of the year.  My mistake was in the reasoning that I’d made the silk jacket and it fitted better with the dress code so I should wear it.  I could have worn the nice warm woollen one and still looked much the same if not quite as dressy.  Apart from that it was a lovely wedding, the bride looked beautiful and a good, if slightly chilly time was had by all.

There hasn’t been a lot of progress on the weaving front.  I had noticed that my right arm was sore when I was weaving and immediately jumped to the conclusion that ‘I’ve been weaving too much’.  When I thought about it for a while, I realised that while I was weaving the fabric for the jacket for the Sheep Show, I was definitely doing a lot of weaving but had no problems at all and  after I finished it, I went away and haven’t done a lot since I’ve been back.  Whatever the cause, I suspect lifting the top off the shredder at work as we had a major clean up, it’s unlikely to be too much weaving, although I haven’t woven a lot because it hurts a bit when I do and I’ve been careful to take lots of breaks.

The Bumberet tea towels are finally finished, in time for the Hawthorn Craft Market on Sunday.  I did 3 with black weft,

2 light grey

one red

and then started to wonder ‘what if?’.  The 6/2 cotton in the warp and weft was a bit thick but the hem area where I’d used 20/2 cotton doubled felt pretty good so the next one was plain weave in 20/2 doubled with a Bumberet border at each end

and the remainder, big enough for a breadcloth, was done on the Bumberet threading but with a point treadling which has produced rows of small flowers and a nice texture which might be very good for drying. Carefully folded and looking good here in its photo, unfortunately it won't be going anywhere near the market on Sunday because there are quite a few mistakes and I think it has be be one for me.

All this has given me another case of ‘What if?’ and I suspect there might be a batch of tea towels in the future with coloured stripes of little flowers on a black background.

I realised that the Bumberet warp has been a bit of a dog on the loom and I’m glad to have finished it.  I wove off the last of it last night and woke up early enough this morning to get a new warp wound on and ready to thread when I get home tonight.  

And finally to prove that it's Spring in Melbourne, here's my clematis flowering on the back deck



  1. Your blog was absolutely fantastic! Great deal of great information and this can be useful some or maybe the other way. Keep updating your blog, anticipating to get more detailed contents

    Kids Clothes

  2. Good morning, I have an old Liisa loom and haven't been able to figure out how to hook up the harnesses to the top of the loom. Would you have any pictures? thank you so much, Belinda