My Handwoven Top …. done!

Hurray!!! My handwoven top is finished! I think I have a few more grey hairs but I’m relieved to say that my weaving is off the loom, cut and sewn!

close-up of neckline

One of the things I love about the lace weaves is watching the change in the fabric when it is cut off the loom and again after it is washed. It’s just amazing!

on the loom

off the loom at last

Here is the fabric after handwashing and laid out to dry. The brolly is there to stop the cormorant and herons landing on the bridge before the fabric dries. The birds have a habit of sitting on the edge of the bridge in the afternoons after a feed of tadpoles from the dam – can be messy.

drying

The texture of the lattice pattern became a lot more obvious. The warp is a silk/cotton which gives the raised pattern an extra sheen. It doesn’t really show up on the photos, but it has a lovely texture and catches the light very nicely.

after washing (still wet)

This is the third time that I’ve attempted to make a garment from fabric I’ve woven. The first two attempts failed – the first because my weaving wasn’t even enough, and the second because a friend caught her rings in the weft floats of the fabric and I didn’t have enough yarn left to replace the damaged fabric.  This one almost didn’t get off the ground because of the problems I had warping up, but it was fun when I actually got to do the weaving.   After so much effort put into weaving this fabric, I was really nervous about making any sewing mistakes.

The initial plan was to use New Look 6216 for the pattern and have the transition to the huck lace section just above the bust line on the front and back.  The pattern is for a knit, but I’ve made it before using a low-stretch jersey and knew it would be OK.   I’d woven enough fabric to have the option of making a T-shirt style top with lace sleeves and lattice body in case I changed my mind.  The left-overs will be used in other projects ( I have a ‘cunning plan’ for them)

My concern was how to deal with the open weave structure at the neckline and sleeve hems. They needed to be stable and stop the weave coming apart, but I also wanted a minimalist binding to keep the lacy look. Facings, Hong Kong binding, visible or turned bindings????

I thread traced the pattern onto the fabric and then used nude tricot to stabilise the edges of the lace weave. The tricot sits between the fabric and the turned seam allowance. From the outside, the seam allowances don’t show through and the tricot doesn’t stand out when it is worn.

tricot binding – 1st line of stitching

This photo shows my ‘doodle’ of how I wanted it to look along with photos of the finished outfit. Casual, slouchy and cool for summer wear. Not a show stopper by any means, but considering it started from a cone of thread, it’s a big personal achievement. At this point, I’m breathing a big sigh of relief. Third time lucky, I’ve finally woven something I can wear.

handwoven top – concept and finished outfit


Pattern: New Look 6216
Yarn: 5,500m merc cotton (8,800m inc the failed warp)
Weave: Huck lace and lattice weave
Rating: 5/5 – Good basic pattern
Difficulty: 5/5 – high panic factor.  Pattern itself is easy-peasy
Cost: ~$60
30 wears: Easily
Quality: High
Durability: High
Fad factor: Low
Flexibility: High
Expected life: 10 years

19 thoughts on “My Handwoven Top …. done!

  1. OMG you have surpassed your achievements with this gorgeous top, so happy to see the finished top, however with its delicate nature I hope you are going to get a lot of enjoyment wearing it.

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  2. I think this is show stopping, simply because you made it totally by hand. What an achievement! And it is gorgeous. Congratulations on achieving your goal, and I hope you enjoy wearing it for a long time.

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  3. Hullo treefrog! This is a beautiful top, and I think you are wrong giving it a low fad facttor. The fabric is beautiful and it is so wearable. Congratulations!

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    • Thanks Lynne. Maybe I’m choosing my words wrong – I have a habit of that :-). By the fad factor, I’m trying to gauge how long it would be before it goes out of style. So a low fad factor, to me, mean that I’ll be able to wear it for a long time. Does that make sense?

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  4. What a beautiful, beautiful top. Sad I’m not a weaver, or I’d make something similar.
    Super impressed that you can make your own fabric and make it into garment too. Especially love the more dense weave at the bottom part and the loose weave of the top. Elegant solution on the neckline construction. A winner in every way!

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