Monday, June 12, 2006

Working with Handwovens

It's taken me a long time to get the nerve to cut into my handwoven fabric and make a garment. Finally I took the plunge began to cut.

The fabric didn't fall apart when I cut and it held up well as I serged the raw edges. The flat band didn't lay correctly around the neck and I started to take it off. Unfortunately, I attacked with my usual vengance and found that I pulled the fabric apart.

Oops! It wasn't really a problem because the fabric was wider than it should have been. So I just serged off the old band and applied a new piece.

That looks much better, but the jacket is still too big. There's too much fabric under the sleeves and the raw silk doesn't have much drape. I'll probably only wear it around the house, but I still consider it a success. It was the first thing I made from handwoven fabric and I've overcome my fear of slicing into it.

After looking at Carolyn's pattern suggestions, I started thinking about patterns that would work with handwoven fabric. I think the Cathay vest would be appropriate. View C of another Lois Erickson pattern is a possibility. Linda Kubik's Elements Jacket 001 certainly fits the bill. As do two patterns from Cutting Line Designs: Butterflies and Bees and Less is More. Loes Hinse's new pattern, The Garbo Jacket that might be good too.

Sounds like a good time for a Weave-along to me!


  1. It's beautiful! I love the way the blue fabric sets off the multicolored band.

  2. Your garment is beautiful--well done! I'll have to go check out all those pattern links.

  3. Marie9:58 PM

    Nice job, Charleen! Bring it up with you this summer.
    I bought the Cathay pattern last year to use on a piece I had woven. Oops, didn't weave enough fabric. I'll have to check the closet for some yardage I've since woven. Thanks for the reminder.
    Love your selection of patterns.

  4. Lovely!
    The weave-along sounds like fun! Maybe just what I need to get a jump start.

  5. Excellent! You were SO brave, and the narrow band IS much better.

  6. Oh. That's beautiful. I look forward to more posts about weaving for garments.

  7. My first thought was, "I could re-weave that little bit!" BTDT...
    I like it, and the drape should improve with wear, shouldn't it?

  8. alfred2:28 PM

    Charleen, it's gorgeous!!!

  9. Very nice! Congratulations on having seen the project all the way through! Love the colors and the fabric. Interesting about the stiff drape; I always thought the big issue with handwoven fabrics was the ravelling, never thought about how those thicker threads would affect drape.
    Sounds like you have a busy and productive summer ahead!

  10. Katherine1:41 PM

    Check this one out. I think it's simple enough and I love the style.
    I'm thinking of joining in. Although I might use some handwoven I finished years ago but never got the courage to actually sew up.

  11. That is Beautiful! I know what you mean about cutting into handwoven fabric. Take a deep breath and just do it! And all that I was cutting was fabric for purses!
    The more you wash noil, the softer it gets. And adding a bit of fabric softener to the final rince will work wonders.

  12. The jacket turned out beautifully! It is nearvewracking to cut into your handwovens and feels so wrong somehow. But it is worth it to get an end product like this!

  13. OOooh oooh ooooh! Sewing with your own handwoven fabric!!! VERY exciting. I may get there someday, since I am thinking of reviving my sewing skills and ancient sewing machine. No serger though. And a question -- why are certain patterns better than others for handwoven yardage?

  14. I love it! The colors, the ikat, the pattern.. wear it anywhere.