This is one of the first pieces I wove on my rigid heddle loom, using handdyed sock yarn. Originally intended as a summer top (for cool days) or vest, I never got past the sewing stage although I’d tried it on once. And to be honest, it was a bit too narrow even 18 months ago when I was slimmer (seems like it was years and years ago that I started weaving!). As you can see I’d even cut a bit off the length to add to the sides, but nah! I took it apart and let it simmer.
I still like the colours a lot, though, so I thought I’d take another stab at it. This week was deemed “death of the UFOs”, because it’s nice to clear the clutter once in a while, and because the kittens keep climbing and clawing my shelves of sewing piles.
First I needed to steam up the iron and hope those wrinkles weren’t permanent. I don’t usually leave my handwoven fabric scrunched up like that, but I’m sure you know what can happen to a repair pile over the years as you dig through it to find the least boring project or one needed urgently.
You shouldn’t iron your handwovens, at least not prior to sewing a garment. You press the fabric, lift, move, press, repeat. Otherwise your threads are getting skewed and when you think you’re cutting straight you’re actually not cutting along the grain. And then when you wear it, your shirt will hang crooked. If you are in doubt, pull out a thread, cut along the gap and wet stretch your fabric until it is straight again, then sew. Or for shaped patterns, mark a grain line and sort it before cutting.
I was in luck, sock yarn doesn’t retain wrinkles. Out came scissors and sewing machine for stay stitching, as I had an idea for widening the fabric using knitted strips.
This means I’m actually losing some width because you can’t pick up stitches in a zigzagged edge, it needs to be folded and hemmed or a woven selvedge. But I felt that it would look better and less obvious in more sections rather than adding a new material just on the sides. And I probably should get a walking foot for my machine to avoid stretching the sides of my fabric – although it came with 10 different pressure feet, that was not one of them. Costs an arm and a leg too…
Then I found a selection of matching yarns. I also had some of that scarf material left which incidentally matched as it was dyed at the same time! Time to ponder. Matching stripes or contrasty? Seam thickness? Straight or shaped garment? The yarns are silk/cotton, not wool, and I don’t usually blend.
But now a vest really is underway. This time it will get finished. Just not within my one day deadline imposed this week especially. 😉
And with this I conclude my week of revelations. 😉 Have a great weekend all!