Sunday, August 16, 2015

An Interesting Challenge to Say the Least

It has been quite awhile since I wrote on my blog. I can't say I haven't been busy but not really worth writing about. Now this challenge is different.
A year or so ago I got a Cricket Ridged Heddle loom. It I so easy to use that I've almost deserted my spinning wheel. I founds this great Facebook group for Ridged Heddle weavers. The owner of the list put out a challenge to all the members which was to weave fabric that could be made into something. In other words something other then scarves, shawls, or place mates to name a few.
I took on the challenge and decided I would weave fabric for an 1830's vest for my husband. Deciding on the colors was a challenge. But after searching for photos of original period vest, I concluded on purple, cobalt blue and yellow. The Victorians loved color and combined it in ways we may not enjoy today. Next was a pattern to weave. I decided a plaid. Equal blue and purple blocks and a narrow strip of yellow. The yarns are cotton and linen.
The wrapping wasn't very difficult but the weaving was not as pleasant as I could have been. The loom I used wasn't my Cricket but an old child's loom that really needs a lot more tweeking. The tension was difficult to keep. But a pushed through and got it done and wet finished.
Yesterday I held my breath and cut into this priceless price of fabric. First I had to draft the vest pattern, so I went to my favorite book for men's clothing of the 19th C.

If any of you are into sewing period clothing for men this is a great book.


So I got out my trusty newsprint and started drafting.  I made a front and
back pattern but I am only showing the front pieces.

After the pattern pieces were done I then took a deep breath and started cutting.  Since the fabric was a bit limp I decided it needed an underlining. I cut out the underlining and sewed it to the fabric.  I felt much more comfortable doing that and then cutting it out.  I was so afraid it was going to come undone.  Remember this was my first fabric I ever wove.  Big learning curve to say the least.

The following photos are of construction.

It is now all sewn together awaiting buttonholes and buttons.  It will be ready for the county fair next week.  Hopefully I will win a prize.

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