Sewing Moto Jackets

Finally, after sampling for my fabric (and getting a cool scarf in the process),

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warping 280 inches of 432 ends,

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and weaving the actual fabric

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it was time to sew jackets!

The first step was to interface all of my handwoven fabric. I got enough lightweight fusible interfacing for all my yardage. The reason for doing this is so that when I cut into the fabric for my pattern pieces, it will prevent the edges from coming unwoven.

Two jackets-worth of pattern pieces and lining is a LOT of cutting!

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Every bit of fabric is precious since I wove it, so a certain strategy is involved when laying out those pattern pieces.

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With the interfacing on the back of my fabric, it made it easy to make pattern markings and actually be able to see them.

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I used a special foot on my sewing machine called a “walking foot” for some of the bulky seams. It helps to manage bulky layers of fabric so that they feed evenly through the machine.

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Sewing moto jackets requires a lot of coffee.

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Since this is a weaving column, I’m taking it easy on sharing every single detail of the sewing process. But zipper installation fascinates me, so here are some in-progess shots of the pocket zippers. Above, I’m sewing the lining onto the right side of the fabric.

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Then the pocket opening is slashed down the center.

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Next, the lining fabric gets pulled to the wrong side and pressed. It’s so clean and tidy looking!

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And finally the zipper is pinned underneath and sewn down. I love a good zipper installation. Which is good, since each jacket requires 5 zippers. Whew!

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Here we have something that is actually beginning to resemble clothing. Yay!

It's like magic that this can turn into a moto jacket, right?
It’s like magic that this can turn into a moto jacket, right?

 

If you’re planning on being at TNNA in San Jose this weekend, stop by the booth and check out the finished jackets. Otherwise, I’ll be back on the blog next week for final photos and wrap-up.

 

Free Pattern Friday – Inside Job

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Inside Job hat in Uptown Bulky.

Inside Job Hat in Uptown Bulky blogSometimes you just want to make something fun and quick, you know?  Inside Job fits the bill.

This basic hat flies by in our Uptown Bulky anti-pilling acrylic yarn (87yds/100g).  It’s worked from the bottom up in the round, with US Size 11 (8mm) needles for the ribbing and US Size 13 (9mm) needles for the brim.  Top it with a cute pompom, and voila!

What makes this hat a little different is that it’s worked in reverse stockinette.  The plain striping shows on the inside, and the more intricate patterning shows on the exterior.  Hence the name “Inside Job.”

We hope you enjoy this quick and thick topper.

Happy knitting!

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Weaving Fabric for Moto Jackets

And the adventure continues! You can read the first two posts in my moto jacket series here and here.

After warping my loom with my monstrously long and wide warp – 280″ long x 36″ wide using Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash, I was delighted to weave the fabric. I wove the same herringbone pattern that I used in my sampler scarf (seen here).

This piece of fabric I’m weaving will be for two jackets. My warp is color 414 Charcoal in Deluxe DK Tweed, and the photo below shows color 413 Smoke as the weft.

One bobbin of yarn lasted for about 3" on my 36" wide warp.
One bobbin of yarn lasted for about 3″ on my 36″ wide warp.

Back when I was winding my warp, I thought to tie some bright thread around some of the warp threads at the halfway point. I’m going to be changing my weft color halfway through since the jackets will be slightly different in color. This thread reminds me it’s time to switch colors!

This contrasting thread tied to the some of the warp threads lets me know I'm at the halfway point.
This contrasting thread tied to the some of the warp threads lets me know I’m at the halfway point.

Not too long into the second half of my warp, I realized I had a couple of problems. I managed to mis-thread two heddles, which resulted in a glitch in the patterning. See below for one example.

Uh oh!
Uh oh!

I could have fixed the problem right there – I could have broken the warp thread, threaded an afterthought heddle and tied on a new strand, but I opted to leave the mistakes in place and fix them after the fact.

If I had noticed sooner, I would have fixed them right away. But because I had made it this far and knew I’d be doing some repair work anyway, I figured I might as well do the whole length at the same time.

 

Cutting doesn't have to be scary!
Cutting doesn’t have to be scary!

After cutting my fabric from the loom, I simply knotted the warp ends together – no hemstitching. I then zig-zagged the edges with my sewing machine, and also sewed lines at the halfway point. I figured it would be a lot easier dealing with two 3 yard pieces of fabric rather than a 6 yard piece. I then cut the fabric apart at that halfway point.

Fixing my warp mistakes.
Fixing my warp mistakes.

After my two halves were cut apart, I threaded a tapestry needle and wove the correct placement for my mistaken threading. It was a little tedious, but very doable and wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be.

And here are my yardages basking in the sunlight prior to washing. I threw both of the pieces of fabric into my machine and washed and dried them on gentle cycles. Because I wove a fairly dense fabric, the fabric changed very little after finishing. But I already knew that would be the case since I was a good little weaver and did a sampling first.

Zippers, lining, fabric: go!
Zippers, lining, fabric: go!

My jacket will be made from the stack on the left – gray on gray fabric, teal lining, and gray zippers. Yonca chose cream to go with her gray for the fabric, matching gray lining, and bold lipstick red zippers.

My goal is to be finished with these jackets by next weekend’s TNNA. So if you’re planning on attending, stop by our booth and check them out. Otherwise, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks here on the blog with all the sewing details.

 

Free Pattern Friday – Peony Ridge Jacket

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Peony Ridge Jacket in Adore Colors.

Self-striping yarn looks so cute in baby knits!  It’s a great way to add color without complicating the design.  Adore Colors is a great choice for this, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a soft, machine washable blend of our anti-pilling acrylic and superwash merino.  Lucky baby.  Well, not just baby – this jacket is sized up to 6 years.

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Work the cardi from the bottom up in one piece until you get to the yoke. Sleeves are worked flat to the yoke. Then join the sleeves and the body and work upward.  You’ll want three or four buttons, depending on size.  There’s one button hidden under the collar, so you can fasten it closed around the neck in case of really cold weather.

We hope you enjoy this cute little jacket – and that you and yours stay warm!

Happy knitting!

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Free Pattern Friday – Linen Stitch Clutch

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Linen Stitch Clutch in Java.

java-linen-clutch-detail-blogSo cute!  This little envelope purse is made in Fibra Natura Java (219yds/100g), a 100% hemp yarn.  Fast-growing and vegan, hemp is a natural fiber that’s easy on the environment.  It works beautifully in this quick-to-knit project.

The clutch is worked flat, then seams, edging, and a button loop are added in single crochet.  No lining is needed.

We hope you enjoy this stylish little free project.

Happy knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Chevron Wrap

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Chevron Wrap in Uptown Worsted.

Even though we’re in the depths of winter, that doesn’t mean things have to be drab and bleak.  This Chevron Wrap is a colorful delight, and the selection of Uptown is a good one.  With 60+ colors, Uptown Worsted anti-pilling acrylic is a great choice for mixing and matching stripes for whatever palette pleases you.  As pictured, this features four of our brand new colors for Spring:

chevronwrap1_uptownworstedhires• 358 Pale Orchid (MC) – 2 skeins
• 360 Midnight (CC1) – 1 skein
• 361 Olive (CC2) – 1 skein
• 359 Pink Punch (CC3) – 1 skein

This is an easy knit.  It’s a two-row repeat with only one color per row.  The stitch repeat is a piece of cake – knit a few, increase, knit a few, decrease.  The centered decreases create the columns of stitches that rise into the next color.

Wouldn’t this also look lovely widened, as a colorful home decor throw?

We hope you enjoy this pleasant project.

Happy knitting

Dona Color Kits – Blue Color Shift Hat and Mitts

You’ve got everyone else covered for the holidays, but what do YOU want?

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Did you get a gift certificate to your LYS?  Need something to point to for that well-meaning relative?  You know the one – they want to do right, but then they panic and get you a bunch of random skeins from a grab bag.  Sure, it’s the thought that counts, but when you say “you shouldn’t have!” maybe you’d rather not mean it.  It’s so much easier to point at a color kit and discreetly clear your throat.

Continue reading Dona Color Kits – Blue Color Shift Hat and Mitts

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