Sewing and textiles with Ann
Buying at source is such a trendy thing to do, but CAN COST A LOT OF MONEY. Finally, i have a coat made from Trefriw Woollen Mill tweed. It’s highly likely that the coat is unique, as the bolts are woven in quite short, never to be repeated dye combinations, and the chances of someone choosing the same pattern for a short run of fabric are, well, pretty slim.
It’s uniqueness and expense, made it pretty scary to cut out. I think i have a rule of thumb here though; for expensive fabric, use simple patterns. You would like to think that there is less likelihood of anything going wrong.
I bought the fabric at Easter 2019, on my way home from a walking holiday in North Wales. But my visit was planned, and if i remember rightly, i had already decided what pattern i was going to use, if i bought some tweed. I chose Kwik Sew 3732. Hardly a rule of thumb – just plain common sense – make up the pattern in cheaper fabric before you make the expensive version. I did this here, using Irish Avoco wool from FabWorks Mill in Dewsbury. Coincidentally, the coat lining was also bought at FabWorks. Its obviously a good shop, as it is about 100 miles from where i live! The buttons are from Abakhan in Mostyn, so maintaining the Welsh connection, bought without any point of reference apart from my memory.
As discussed in the previous blog post, making the shorter woollen jacket told me several things:
Planning this took much longer than the sewing. The wool is quite easy to sew. I mainly used the walking foot, especially when sewing the wool to the lining. Although something is making me sneeze a little bit, and i think it is the wool fibre……
I decided not to top stitch, which is a pattern ‘option’. Whilst it would have held the seams flat and in place, the wool appears to have creased ok using steam and a pressing cloth, and top stitching would have been one more thing to go wrong on expensive fabric.
The larger coat panels are interlined, hoping that this will add extra strength and longevity to the garment. The fact that i had some suitable interfacing is a bit of an accident really. I seem to have acquired some woven cotton iron on interfacing from an online order placed early in lockdown. I didn’t really want woven cotton, but as it happens, there was just about the right amount to use under the top and bottom panels. I didn’t iron it in place. It’s just stitched with the garment seams. Any adhesion is simply as a result of pressing. I think it probably makes a positive difference, although i wait to see what happens when i have been sat down in the coat for a long time.
I could have a long wait. Whilst now is definitely a good time to make a smart coat, there are very few opportunities to wear a smart coat. So i mustn’t take any actions that might change my size and shape between now and next winter, and beyond, so that i can be sure of a lot of wear another winter.
Oh, and of course there is some left over fabric – about £25 worth, so not a lot! The mill sells scarves for £23. I have the measurements. Maybe there will be some wool scarves for Christmas this year.