All About That Weave

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My husband and I have been amusing ourselves on weekends going to estate sales. I especially like the ones where the owners were older and had quirky collections of stuff. One house where we went to a sale had at least 1,000 elephant-shaped items. Cufflinks, tea pots, stuffed animals, a 7-foot stone statue in the yard, etc. Those people were so extreme.

We went to one a couple of weeks ago where the person was into textiles! I bought a loom, and several spools of weaving thread. I have learned that, when I’m buying a relatively expensive item, it’s always a good idea to grab some smaller things. The person doing the pricing will generally look at a pile of smaller items and charge $5 for the lot. I grabbed this textile, which I assumed without looking closely was a linen tablecloth, because I loved the weave. I thought I could cut it up into dishcloths, and have something nice hanging in my kitchen to wipe things with.

When I brought it home, it went straight into the washer and dryer. The dryer part is crucial to kill any bedbugs that might be lurking. When I pulled it out, it was clear to me that it’s not linen at all, but wool. I’m pretty sure wool dishtowels would be frustrating to wipe things with, so I set it aside and petted it occasionally while thinking on what to make with it. The washer and dryer did not have any negative effects, which was a little surprising. It had obviously been through the wringer before. It was mended in places using brown thread, but I could easily cut around that. There were many signs of wear, but no holes. It was originally 24″ wide, and 2 lengths were stitched together by hand. The blue threads were almost certainly indigo dyed, and the white were naturally colored. I’m thinking it was some kind of blanket.

EDIT — It is an overshot coverlet. Thank you for you comment, Judith Noble! You can find one on ebay if you are interested. Currently, they appear to be going for $100 – $200 for one that is in better shape than the one I used.

I thought for a while about making a collared shirt, but the fabric is really thick, and it might be too bulky to gracefully accommodate a collar and collar stand. I decided that a quilted cardigan jacket would be a good choice.

The body lining, trim, and seam finish is a dark blue necktie silk. The sleeve lining is silk charmeuse. I used a TNT pattern that I also used here.

back view

back view

I agonized over the buttons, and ended up choosing some rather small ones.

I agonized over the buttons, and ended up choosing some rather small ones.

I like the way the buttonholes turned out.  I stiffened them with gimp.

I like the way the buttonholes turned out. I stiffened them with gimp.

cuff vent detail.  The sleeve is a one-piece, darted sleeve.  I like to use a one-piece sleeve to minimize the need for pattern matching.

cuff vent detail. The sleeve is a one-piece, darted sleeve. I like to use a one-piece sleeve to minimize the need for pattern matching.

pocket

pocket

the body of the jacket is lined with necktie silk.  The sleeves are lined with silk charmeuse to make it easier to slide my arms in and out.

the body of the jacket is lined with necktie silk. The sleeves are lined with silk charmeuse to make it easier to slide my arms in and out.

hong kong finish

hong kong finish

inside of edge trim.  I left the edge raw, which should be OK since the edging strip is cut on the bias.

inside of edge trim. I left the edge raw, which should be OK since the edging strip is cut on the bias.

This is one of the spots where the fabric was darned.  It looks kind of cool, but I did not include the darned parts in the jacket.

This is one of the spots where the fabric was darned. It looks kind of cool, but I did not include the darned parts in the jacket.

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31 Comments

  1. Posted February 3, 2015 at 1:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful story. Beautiful and unique garment.My mouth waters. 🙂

  2. Judith Noble
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    It is an overshot coverlet, undoubtedly American. Likely indigo dyed will with white cotton. I could look up the pattern name if interested. You have done it proud!

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! The 2 fibers for the different colors explains why it does not feel exactly like wool, but not really like a blend, either.

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Overshot coverlet. Thanks! I was a little afraid, as I was cutting into it, that it would turn out to be some kind of museum piece. Now that I know what it’s called, I looked it up on ebay, and they are not all that rare or precious.

  3. Geo P
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 3:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a lovely story and a lovely jacket! I remember your beautiful check cashmere jacket and i checked the post again. You say there that the pattern only has 3 pieces but it looks like there are princess seams in there. Are they just long darts?

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, they are long darts from shoulder to below the waist.

  4. Posted February 3, 2015 at 5:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful use of that fabric. Well done!

  5. Ceci
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    This looks rather like blankets/bed covers I have seen indigenous to our US south eastern mountains….and the darning has that look too? More hidden than what I associate with Japanese folk fabrics? Very beautiful outcome!

    Ceci

  6. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very pretty, and you’ve done a lovely job putting it together. I think that particular weave is called “Summer and Winter” (I briefly got into weaving, until I discovered how tedious it was.)I like the idea of quilting the lining and then doing a Hong Kong finish, too.

  7. Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    It seems like I’m always gushing about your work but I really like how well thought out your garments are and the choices you make. This is a lovely jacket! Did you realize that it goes with your new spring dress or is that intentional?

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I can’t tell if they go together or not. I had them both on my form, and was not pleased with the silhouette.

  8. Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is amazing! To think that you made such a special jacket out of such lowly beginnings!

  9. Shams
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, what a beautiful textile and what a beautiful jacket! I love all the backstory.

  10. Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Stunning and so beautifully constructed! You found an awesome inspiring textile and did an amazing job with it.

  11. Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine you never cease to amaze! It’s a beautiful, unique jacket. Great story too. My dd calls those sales OPS, old peoples shit. When she was home she loved to got to sales with her father. She managed some high end clothing as well as her passion, books, once from an estate sale of an English professor.

  12. Posted February 3, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    So beautiful! What a lovely jacket, fabulous construction and details! What an awesome find!

  13. may
    Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful! The original textile may have been woven by the owner of the loom? It sure is one of a kind.

    • Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I don’t think it was woven by the owner of the loom. There were 2 looms there, and the larger one would only go to a width of about 18″. Also, this textile was obviously woven by an expert weaver. Judging from this person’s possessions, she was more of a hobbyist.

  14. Posted February 3, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    That’s a fabulous find! It kind of reminds me a little of shibori, with the colors. The story about the elephant collection made me laugh, too. Mostly because my mother-in-law could probably give them a run for their money, except with penguins.

  15. Posted February 3, 2015 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    Accolades are so deserved! What an outstanding job of design and construction with a challenging and exquisite textile! I love everything about your design choices and the quality of your construction, especially the sleeve detail, small buttons, fit and Hong Kong finish. I am checking out this jacket pattern. I am getting back into tailoring after decades of not sewing and the pattern is my achilles heel.

  16. Posted February 3, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely lovely! That was such a great find and you’ve done wonders with it!!

  17. sarogreen
    Posted February 4, 2015 at 2:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    This is beautiful! I’m looking up overshot coverlets on ebay now. 🙂

  18. Posted February 4, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful fabric, gorgeous jacket!

  19. Posted February 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! I really appreciate your sharing this story and process. I love your jacket, and your button choice is spot on.

  20. Posted February 6, 2015 at 2:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful jacket.

  21. Posted February 8, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is just gorgeous. My mom was a handweaver in NH. I have most of her weaving books and have been searching for a name for this pattern. Unfortunately, no luck. It’s definitely a “summer winter” weave. It requires two shuttles and an intricate threading and treadling pattern. But of course you’ll learn all this when you start weaving!

    • Posted February 8, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I searched on “overshot coverlet” and found the name of the weave. It is sometimes called “pine cone boom”, which is my preferred moniker, but there are other names for it as well.

  22. Elizabeth
    Posted March 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous Claudine! Love it. I’m sorry I don’t comment often, but I don’t really read blogs anymore.

  23. Pamela
    Posted August 25, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is a lovely and a creative re-use of a less than perfect textile. It must be cosy to wear. I am really amazed that an antique woolen made it through the dryer with no ill effects. I, too, love estate sales, thrift stores etc. I use a plastic bin with a small Nuvan in it, if I believe the textile is not washable or dryable. Nuvan needs to be contained, but it will kill all the stages (eggs, larvae,cocoons,live bugs) of bedbugs, moths etc. It works quickly and leaves no smell. You can buy it on Amazon. It’s a lot cheaper than dry-cleaning estate finds.

  24. grace
    Posted September 2, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    this is beautiful, would you consider selling it?
    thanks!

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