Saturday 9 March 2019

How to cut the mustard

Yesterday I was thrilled to find this fabulous piece of woven cotton cloth in my local Vinnies. This 1.8m long piece of mustard and black fringed fabric cost $3. Hard to tell how old it may be and there was no label attached to identify where it was made. Usually these lengths are made in India but this one had such a distinctly tribal look I wondered if it might have been South American or African. However old it is, it's in perfect condition; unfaded, no stains or holes and probably never washed because the cotton is still has a stiff hand.

me in the retail area of my studio with the Vinnies $3 woven cotton cloth
The new pattern I'm working on is going to be called the Jorja Coat. I've just finished a knit sample and this lovely mustard cloth seemed to have great potential for the next sample which needed to be in a woven fabric. I could see the potential to incorporate the lovely fringed edge along the back and fronts of the Jorja Coat.

Jorja pattern pieces laid out on the woven cloth prior to cutting to incorporate the fringed edge

this is my knit sample for the Jorja Coat
After cutting the fronts and back in the mustard cloth I needed to choose a contrast fabric for the sleeve and front seemed the logical usual. Because it seemed such a predictable choice I decided to take a risk to try something different and pulled out a selection of pieces from my collection of vintage upholstery fabrics. I picked out the tapestry at the top of the picture below that has the small circular motifs to cut as bands.

the 4 fabrics on the right are pieces of salvaged cloth from thrift shops
Below are pictures of the finished Jorja Coat in the woven fabric. I was really pleased with how cutting the natural fringed edge of the original fabric made a wonderful feature on the finished garment. I was also pretty happy with the bands. 

Just a reminder!...the cloth and bands that the coat is made from are both thrift shop salvaged fabrics that cost less than $4 in total. The result is a unique art to wear garment that is durable enough to be worn for decades.

front of the Jorja Coat

back of the Jorja Coat

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