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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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
|30 wears: Easily
Fad factor: Low
Expected life: 10 years