Saturday 23 February 2019

Dressing up part 2

Part 2

The doona cover was cut apart to separate the front and back. I had to cut the seams because they were overlocked. Sometimes they aren't and then the bag can be torn apart very quickly.

Only 1.2m of the length of the doona fabric was needed to cut the Back, Fronts and sleeves of the jacket. That meant there is enough fabric left over to potentially make 2 more jackets!

Back, Front and sides of jacket cut from the doona cover

The pattern I'm using for my jacket is the Wiksten Haori Jacket by Jenny Gordy in the largest size. There has been so much buzz about this jacket for a couple of years and I've seen so many great examples of it that I wanted to try it. I buy PDF patterns from other independent designers because I want to support the industry and sometimes I want to research how others are presenting their product and critique how the instructions are presented. However I've decided to draw an ethical line at publicly rating and writing up my opinions on how good I think the pattern is. My position as a competitor in the industry makes any opinion I express too fraught with the possibility of bias. So I'll just make some very broad observations that its a simple pattern that went together very easily. I chose not to line my version of the jacket. I did slightly alter the pattern by making the sleevehead 10cm wider. The maximum circumference of the bicep allowed for in the original pattern sleeve was 44cm. That was going to be a bit tight for me, especially with another sleeve underneath so I added 10cm to the width.

There is a lovely interview with Jenny Gordy in Seamwork magazine and I must say I was very impressed that she works in one of those huge airy white walled studios where there is not a thread on the floor or a scissor not hanging on its nominated peg on the wall.

Here's a picture of my studio workroom today...

I've cut the Jacket Back, Side Fronts and Sleeves but not the front bands or patch pockets as I want to get the surface created on those main pieces before deciding on the finishing touches of the bands and pockets.

When I make an "art" garment there are several techniques I like to incorporate. For the jacket in this series of blogs I don't want to add too much complexity. My object is to finish this garment in 2 days and not get engrossed in the more labour intensive finishes I often apply. Stenciling is one of the things I love to do the surface and it's quick and easy so I select the most plain of the upholstery brocades on hand to put some paint on.

beginning to stencil

finished piece of stenciled brocade fabric

The piece of stenciled textile will be cut into strips and patches and mixed up with the other fabrics.

I decide to start with appliquing a large, wide strip of tapestry sewed horizontally along the hem of the Back. It was a cotton table runner with a traditional floral design. The ends of the runner were pointed so I cut off an end to square it off. The pointy piece is later sewed on in the middle of the "runner" pointing downwards.

All of the surface embellishment will be sewed to the wrong side of the lining pieces. I'm using a wide 3-step zigzag stitch (commonly used a stretch stitch for lingerie) and sewing the patches close to the raw edges. There will be no turned under hemmed edges, I like to have some fraying.

The next piece appliqued is the square top of a cushion cover. It has been made in India and hand embroidered with shisha mirror. The top is separated from the back of the original cushion cover.

Around the sides of this large central piece I sew wide strips in a sort of crude "log cabin" format. You can see a patch of the stenciled fabric on the lower left side and a long piece along the shoulders.

back of the coat

When the Back was done to the stage shown in the picture above I started on the side fronts. The left front was covered entirely with the length of another table runner. The fringe was left along the bottom edge. On the right side I attached the other end of the table runner with the fringe on it. Above that a big square of the stenciled textile.

side fronts

I started embellishing one of the sleeves. Then it was about 5.30pm so I called it a day and went home. I took the jacket and did some sashiko stitching over various areas while watching TV last night.

1 sleeve almost finished

So this is where I was up to after about 5 hours work. I expect to have the jacket finished tomorrow and will show you how it was completed.

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