The autumn colours are really good here in Suffolk this year so I decided to make an autumnal jacket with a piece of handwoven fabric that I felt matched the mood.
The fabric was woven on my 16″ (40cm) rigid heddle loom using the 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed, threading every hole and slot. I had intended for the warp to be all green but found that I was running out of yarn with still a quarter of the reed to thread. Using some hand spun yarn in a contrasting colour I finished the threading making sure I had just enough green left to make the selvedge. (Always use the same yarns for each selvedge so that when the loom is tensioned it will pull evenly). The weft was a soft, variegated singles, bought in a charity shop! The softer colours of the bought wool muted the bright green of the warp, making a more subtle colour way.
Having woven 200″ (508cms) of this fabric I could not think how to use it. The stripe down one side just did not appeal. Then I thought, why not cut the length in half, width wise, join the green edges together, then I would have a piece of fabric approximately 100″ (254cms) long by 28″ (72cms) wide. I could then lay my jacket pattern (# JA003) onto the fabric so that the hem of the garment and the sleeves were on the selvedge (so no need for hems) and the contrasting stripe (in the warp) would run across the shoulders and sleeves and around the hems!
Woven with wool using the 7.5dpi (30/10cm) this fabric has a lovely soft feel and is easy to sew. The pattern design makes it feel more like a cardigan to wear than a jacket with a warmth and lightness for these autumnal days. It certainly does have a join that runs across the entire jacket but it is so evenly placed that it seems to work.
To finish the front seams I used a satin binding which I then topstitched to give a crisp outline to the otherwise uncluttered front edge (look, no buttons!). The skirt (pattern # SK002) was made sometime ago and has the same weft but a different warp. It is always interesting to see how changing the warp or the weft can give you so many different results . Both these garments were made using the GET WEAVING sewing patterns available from etsy.com/uk/shop/GetWeaving. We hope you have some fun playing about with your hand weaving and enjoying the freedom of the rigid heddle looms.
Happy weaving from Sarah and Elisabeth