Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Mother Daughter Project Part 3 of 3

Sarah and I have been working on a special garment -- a dressy jacket -- for her wardrobe.  She graduates from high school this year and will be beginning college and work and a dressy, one of a kind jacket seemed like an essential wardrobe edition.
The Mother-Daughter project Jacket

Part 1 of the Mother Daughter project.
Part 2 of the Mother Daughter project.

This jacket also showcases Sarah's talents and skill in spinning, weaving and creativity -- a masterwork for her high school graduation.  Although the sewing and garment design were Mom's effort, much input came from Sarah.

The jacket took 1200 grams of handspun yarn, although we spun
1 kg. of the green -- Ashford's "Peppercorn" -- we have 1 - 200 gram skein left over for another project.
400 grams of the red -- Ashford's "Pomegranate"
200 grams of the lilac -- Ashford's "Juniper".
The yarn was washed and wet finished in alternating hot and cold water and air dried before weaving.

Total hand spinning time:  50 hours

We wove the jacket on two Ashford Knitter's Looms -- 50 cm (20 inch) and 30 cm (12 inch).  Two panels were woven at 7.5 ends per inch, and 75 inch warp, -- 20 inches in the reed.  And one panel was woven at 7.5 ends per inch and an 85 inch warp at 20 inches in the reed.  One panel was woven at 7.5 ends per inch and 85 inch warp at 12 inches in the reed.

The first and last rows of each panel were finished on the loom with hand stitching before the panel was cut from the loom.   The warp threads were trimmed to 3 inches in length on each end of the hand woven panels.

Total warping and weaving time:  24 hrs

The fabric was wet finished by putting in a top loading washing machine with warm water and dishwashing detergent and agitating on the delicate cycle.  The fabric was checked every 5 minutes.  10 minutes was enough to produce a nicely fulled yardage.  The cycle was stopped and the fabric spun out and removed from the machine.  Cold water was added and the fabric reintroduced without agitation.  After 5 minutes of soaking in cold water the fabric was again spun out and hung to dry.

After drying the fabric was steam pressed before draping and sewing.

Wet finishing and Pressing time: 2 hours.

The garment was created without a pattern by draping the pieces on Sarah and then sewing by machine.  Since the fabric was narrow no cutting was necessary for the body of the jacket.  Selvedges were used to the best advantage and seams were overlapped and sewn with two lines of stitching.  Folds, darts and tucks were used to create smooth lines and a flattering fit.

The sleeves were cut from the longest pieces of fabric, and the seams were finished with a serger stitch, without cutting the fabric edges.  Since the wool/silk fabric was fulled before cutting, there were no loose, unravelling edges to worry about, so I didn't stitch the individual pieces before sewing to secure the cut edges.

A pocket and sash were cut from the remaining fabric.  There was very little waste fabric and very little thrums left fom the weaving, once the jacket was complete.  Nice, because handspun yarn is precious and cutting off yards of thrums is very disheartening.  Our longest thrums were a mere 8 inches in length and will be saved for other weaving projects.
Very little waste of fabric and thrums from this project.

Sarah is a collector of unusual buttons and she has a fabulous wooden button, huge with an interlaced knot motif,  in her collection that became the sole closure for her jacket.  The loop cord for the closure was created from handspun, multidyed tussah silk, made into a firm cord on a wooden lucet and secured at the pocket edge.  Two other metal buttons from her collection accent the back sash piece.

Total designing, sewing and hand finishing time: 14 hours.

Total time for this special jacket, our "Magnus Opus":  90 hours.

Much of the spinning and weaving time for this project was "family" time in the evenings and we listened to a story, read aloud by Robin, while we worked.  Our current story is  "Beric the Britain" by G.A. Henty on Kindle.  Only the machine sewing was a solitary occupation.

Sleeve detail


  1. What a great accomplishment for a mom and daughter to create together! Gorgeous!

  2. Oh, it's G L OR I O U S!!!!!!
    Congratulations on creating such a beautiful heirloom! This is a garment that Sarah will treasure and wear forever! Bravo!
    big hugs

  3. Beautiful work. I love the cut and the details. I can't believe that Sarah is graduating... how time flies :)

  4. Thank you for your kind and generous comments.

  5. beautiful! and you created memories forever