Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Project!

Since I've been in this new mode of weaving and sewing clothing from the cloth I've woven, I was poking around the basement and found some cloth I'd woven a few years ago, on one of my "other" looms.  I think it was the newer Baby Wolf 4 shaft.  I did NOT get along with that loom at all.....I had so much trouble with it, all the time.  Previous looms I owned were: an older model Baby Wolf, a 45" Leclerc 4 shaft loom, and a 24" Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom.  I loved the Leclerc, but it was HUGE and took up too much room.

I have to say,  I LOVE my little Saori loom. It's SO easy to do everything with. It's easy to thread, slaying the heddles and the reed; it's easy to flip around if I need to get to the back.  It's got the little shelf built in on the top, as well as the bobbin winder built in.  It's quiet, and easy to play with.  It fits in perfectly in my little office/studio.

©Martha Manigross
You see the purple cloth hanging over the back of the chair in the photo above?  It is the fabric I spoke of above, the fabric I'd woven on the Baby Wolf.  I wound the warp and used the same yarn for the weft.  There were lots of long floats where the threads didn't catch when I was weaving.  It's okay though, I'm good with that.  It's got great drape and I love the colors.  I decided to make a shirt out of it.

I did what I always do with my hand woven cloth ~ I sewed it together in rectangles.  That makes for a very basic, boxy top.  Not exactly flattering.  Like this one:
©Martha Manigross
This is fun, but it has NO shape to it and on my body its quiet unflattering, but it's my creation and I love it.  I'm thinking of re-working this one to make it a bit nicer for me to wear.

So the adventure began when I decided I was going to be brave, and try to make the new one look more fitted, more like a real shirt, one I'll be happy to wear.  Once I got the center front and back sewn, by overlapping the selvaged edges, I decided to sew up the sides.  It was really HUGE on me as this cloth was wider than the cloth I'd recently woven.

I put it back on the dress form, and I let it sit there overnight.  I had to take my time and decide what I wanted to do with it.  Sleeping on it, and seeing it sit on the dress form, helped me not rush through the process just to get it done.  Yeah, I do that.

The next day, I got up and I decided I was going to be brave.  I pinned the sides of the shirt, making it more fitted.  I tried it on - carefully - and took it off and decided to sew the sides up along the pinned lines.  I tried it on again, just to be sure, and I liked it!  I actually ended up sewing the sleeves to look like real sleeves - I sewed up the sides, then did an upside down L across the sleeve.  It fits SO much better!

Of course, then I had to cut all the excess cloth - and that hurts!   It's really hard to cut the cloth you worked so hard to make.  Once I did it, it was SO freeing!  The shirt actually fits me so nicely. It's not REAL fitted.  It fits loosely and it is airy and comfortable.

©Martha Manigross
Ta Da!  This is the shirt.  It's a pull over.  The next is boat shaped with a bit of a V in the center. It's difficult to tell in this photos because I have my arms up and it's not ironed.

I did learn a few things from this project.  I had to sew all the cut seams down, or they'll come totally unraveled.  I hemmed it by rolling the hem up and sewing, but ended up taking out the stitches, and using a lace hem tape.  The hem lays much flatter.  My dress form is invaluable for hemming straight.  I would never have been able to get the hem straight without the dress form. I think this is one of the best investments I've made!   Too bad I waited so long to do it.

I'm very happy with this shirt. I'll be making more with future hand woven fabric.

I bought some Valentine's day fabric on clearance at Wal Mart.  I am going to cut out a fabric pattern based on the above shirt.  Then I can just cut my hand woven fabric and sew it together without it causing me so much stress.

I've put a new pre-wound warp on the Saori loom, and I've started weaving. I will get some weaving done today, since the weather is making this a stay-in type of day.  I over-did it a bit yesterday anyway, so I'm glad I get to lay low today.

Thanks for letting me share.  Take care.
Always,
Martha



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