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Ragging out in Saori clothing

Green woven jacketDecisions decisions.

This is something that I’m not so good with. Any decision is a difficulty and when you get a heap thrown at you when you are sewing a garment from your handwoven cloth it’s not easy. With the six metres of green wool and silk that I wove last winter it suddenly came to me what I should make. I used the number 3 vest design in the Fuku no Katachi ni Suru book but modified it because I made it longer, just because I could with all that fabric. But then I needed more fabric at the front so also added wedge shaped pieces for better coverage. When I’m underway sewing these garments, I soon leave the security of a pattern then trip into something more like a sculpture to fit the body. Adding, cutting, reworking. It can be a feeling of desperation or liberation!

All seams need to be finished so they don’t unravel, with selvedge as edges or flat felled seams. But then there’s the ragging out. Where do I leave this and where does it work or not work at all. Some types of ragging out don’t look good and tend to deteriorate too quickly. Mainly because the whole row of machine stitch that keeps it in check can be pulled off.  But a felted wool weave won’t do that and I’m much more confident. A chopped felted fabric can cut down on bulk and look good.  A bias ragout nearly always works well too. This garment has a mix of approaches and I’m pretty happy to just follow along with how it unfolds and making decisions as I go about the edge or seam treatments.  Maybe it’s the only way to go with this type of fluid and unpredictable fabric.

A not so good ragout

a felted fabric ragout

Robyn has been coming to my open studio for many months and after finishing her current fabric length she wanted to create some clothing. She went for the bias top with a cowl front and you can see here the cutting process once the bias ‘box’ shape has been stitched. It’s nice to leave the ragout on the seams at the front of the garment and they won’t be a problem because they are all selvedges. It’s also a good idea to plan your selvedges in interesting ways especially for this event.

Robyn cutting the woven cloth

Meanwhile Helen’s lovely open weave, wave work steadily progresses each month.  She plans to take the warp for a walk next month with the comb reed giving a great contrast to the waves in the weft.

This weekend I was especially thrilled to have Katie weaving day and night to complete a wide wrap. I took a photo of her weaving with the daylight lamp and it has a mysterious energy but will give you some ideas about when we weave! I’m not sure why we didn’t have the ‘real’ light on for her. Bad hosts.  But as most futuristic shows now depict a future with dim lights everywhere, as people peer into their computer screens,  we might have to get used to it. I hope the computer screen will light up our looms enough though.

Katie weaving into the night

Helen’s lovely wave weave

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