So...what are you planning on sewing?

Enquiring minds want to know!  What are you planning to make during Halloweave?

I'm going to do a coat, if I get the fabric woven up (and my muslins finished) in time!


Posted on Sat, 09/17/2011 - 15:31

My profile photo is a coat I made. I am currently weaving a wool to explore 18th century construction. I do all my work with needle and thread,by hand.

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:02

I'm a new weaver and so far terrified to actually cut the fabric. My mother is not helping. I told her I wanted to make a purse and I would have to cut the extra warp, and fold a hem on each side. She told me, "NO! Don't do that. Just leave the fringe. It will look pretty on a bag." Haha. I have more than just me that I'm fighting here. I'm going to start small. I want a lined purse with a padded pocket to hold my iPad, and no warp fringe! 

Since that is small, I might also attempt to make a tote for my Cricket loom, and maybe something small for my drop spindles. 

I hope this counts. 

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:26

Wow!  I have never tried sewing an entire garment by hand.  I've done all the finishing work by hand, but not the actual seams.

What is different about 18th century construction (aside from no machine sewing)?

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:52

Not 18th C techniques, but Stitched Into the Earth by Else Ostergaard (sp?) details garment construction from Greenland in around the 14th C (or earlier, can't remember as it's been a few years since I looked at the book).

She not only examines the sewing, but the spinning and weaving of the cloth.  Fascinating, I thought.



Posted on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 23:29

I would like to make the tote that I have been promising my mum for a long time. I have a picture of the one I would like to copy and it is shaped and has several panels so there will be cutting and putting pieces together involved. I will make the pieces on my backstrap loom in striped warp faced plain weave.

BTW I have joined other Halloweave groups but I don't see the JOIN link for this particular group on my list and can't join.

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 04:41

I am new to Weavolution and hope someone can help me with a sewing project.   I wove the following project from a handwoven issue:  12 epi  5/2 bamboo warp w/  sari silk weft   I expected the finished fabric to be rather stiff but it has a beautiful hand considering the weft is so thick though the fabric is very heavy. Rather than weaving the 3 totes off as one piece of fabric I wove 30" sections with gaps in between.  This is limiting my options severely.

How do I get some body into my fabric so that the tote won't flop in a heap?  The finished fabric is so heavy I'm not sure a heavy weight interfacing is going to be enough.  I am considering cutting the woven 30" lengths and adding a commercial fabric to make the ends and bottom - is this a good idea or not?  I afraid to cut it because the weft is so far spaced that the fabric may just fall apart though interfacing would help with that.  What would make a good handle for these totes?

I appreciate any comments and advise ... I have had these woven for a year and cant seem to get a plan on how to proceed.  Thank you!

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 12:03

Instead of a tote, how about a trifold handbag? You don't give the width so maybe this idea isn't practical but if you were to fold that 30" length in thirds you'd have a little less than 10" which doesn't seem too big.  Then I would cut thin plastic into 3 pieces that would stiffen the sections & line the entire piece-sewing across the material to hold the plastic in snug and providing a "fold line" - a metallic or high sheen thread might be nice. Add a strap.

PS you might want to fuse interfacing to the fabric so that it doesn't shift while sewing or using.

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 12:32

Look on the top left hand side under Demon.... a gray box?

Posted on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 23:11

I am weaving 11yards of wool. The warp is all color mart mixes and the weft is some early Shetland jumper before Lerwick was bought by Curtis yarns. I am hoping to finish and make a mantua dress for the holidays.

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 01:37

I am just about finished weaving eleven fabrics for Teddy bears.  I have five of the fabrics wet finished and fused with interfacing.  I am about to start cutting out the first bear.  They will be 11" jointed bears.  My only worry is the narrow seam allowances.  I may cut them a bit wider than the 1/4" on the pattern and trim them after the seams are sewn.  I am also thinking of sewing the single layers just inside the cutting line to stabilize the fabric before cutting.

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 11:42

I wove a multi-colored, varied twill striped 10/2 cotton fabric.  My sister and her husband are musicians, so I am making vests for them.  Then, I'll make a padded keyboard bag.  I had made a linen wild colored, twill vest, previously, and they just loved it.  I had been a nervous wreck when I made that 1st vest.  But, since then I've done alot of reading.  This time, I applied woven interfacing to the fabric before I cut.  I've cut out for 1 vest, and no ravelling.  So, I am much calmer this time.

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 14:10


Tote help has arrived! I am working on a series of tote bags, and know just of what you speak! (I'll try and post photos when I can.)

Yes, you most certainly need to reinforce a slippery or floppy handwoven fabric in this application. I use an iron-on craft-weight pellon. Unfortunately, it only comes in white in my area. So I will sometimes add a lining fabric on top of that, in a color that looks good with the bag. You can also stitch a reinforcing layer to the handwoven before beginning to sew. Stitch parallel to the design/warp/stripes with matching thread, so from the outside, it doesn't show.

More tips... I am using commercial canvas for the bottom of the bag, and on the inside as lining and to provide more support for the outer handwoven. (Advice from the "Bag Lady" in my guild - use a light color lining, as it is easier to see items in the bag. My default would have been black or a dark color.)

A final note. As you might guess, when stitching a tote bag with handwoven reinforced with craft weight pellon, a lining, and possibly canvas bottom, you are giving your sewing machine a workout. Switch to a denim or canvas needle for the assembly stage, or even take a play out of the quilter's bag of tricks and try using a walking foot if the layers are proving tough for your machine.


P.S. Try out the pattern on commercial fabric that has the characteristics of your handwoven before cutting up your good stuff. You'll end up feeling way more confident when you execute your actual project, AND end up with TWO great bags!

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 14:22

Commercial canvas strapping would make a strong and long-lasting handle.

Look for a pattern where the handles are anchored into the base of the bag, not just at the top/perimeter.

For the tote I am currently working on, I was given a very loosely-woven inkle band. I used a fusible to lightly tack and center the inkle band to a commercial canvas strap base, then stitched it down in place. The inkle band provides the decorative element I sought, but the underlying canvas will be the support needed for the life of the tote.

For some reason I am still having problems posting photos to forums, but I will try and create a project post so you can see what I am talking about. I am doing two tote bags and one of the fabrics is much like you described. Silky and beautiful, but also heavy and floppy as all get out! This is acutally a UFO for me, too. (An Unfinished Object.) 


Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 15:09

A friend of mine wants me to make book bags to sell in her bookstore.  So, in October I will make my first attempt at actually sewing some handwoven pieces.  Wish me luck.

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 18:23

I'm hoping to weave fabric for a jacket pattern that I've had for over two years. My plan is to weave an 8-shaft twill and was hoping to use perle cotton for the warp and silk for the weft, but silk is so pricey and I'm scared. Wondering if tencel might be a nicer cheaper alternative. First thing I need to do is lay out the pattern and measure the pieces to determine how much fabric I will need to weave and make my calculations from there. Okay, I'll go get busy. I won't get finished by the end of October, but maybe this will be what I need to get me going!

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 18:48

Hi CHudnall,

If you're looking for a cheaper price for silk (or silk/wool or silk/cashmere blends), hop on over to , which is where I get most of my luxury fibers.  They do mill-ends from the top luxury mills, and have silk at about half the "going rate", very high quality!

That said, cotton and silk have opposite care requirements, so I'd recommend tencel weft instead of silk.  Or you could make the entire thing silk - at Colourmart prices, that's actually pretty affordable.  Or silk/wool, or...lots of options!

When you lay out the pattern to calculate yardage, keep in mind that (a) the finished width of the fabric will be somewhat narrower than it is in the reed, due to draw-in and shrinkage, and (b) give yourself some extra yardage in case of cutting errors, flaws in the fabric, or matching larger patterns.  I always weave 1-2 extra yards (enough to cut one extra of the largest panel plus 1/2 yard for luck) - you don't have to, of course, but I find it makes cutting into the fabric less nervewracking!  And the leftovers can be used as accent pieces in another garment or totebag (etc).  I made a matching hat from mine!

Posted on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 21:47

I plan to make a jacket or top out of my "octal version of Hope" fabric.   I'm in the process of designing several jackets that take advantage of handwoven fabrics, so this will be my newest design.   I just posted 3 previous weaving / sewing efforts under my "drafts" page.

Happy sewing everyone!


Posted on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 01:57


Thanks so much for sharing such valuable information ... from how to add stiffness to my flimsy fabric to what to use for my handles.  I just bought a Janome with the thought that I wanted to sew my handwovens.  My Brother sewing maching would never get through the layers we're talking about with this bag.  You've given me the encouragement to move forward, now to find the time.  Thanks again, you're an angel!

Posted on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 01:57


Thanks so much for sharing such valuable information ... from how to add stiffness to my flimsy fabric to what to use for my handles.  I just bought a Janome with the thought that I wanted to sew my handwovens.  My Brother sewing maching would never get through the layers we're talking about with this bag.  You've given me the encouragement to move forward, now to find the time.  Thanks again, you're an angel!

Posted on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 10:54

I've just finished weaving fabric for a jacket, fine wool with a handspun silk accent thread. At 35 inches it's the widest I've ever woven, maybe that counts as a dare too. The weaving wnt surprisingly smoothly but the serger was not so happy when I had to serge the ends. Moral of story: serger needs to be cleaned, oiled and it really helps if the 2 needle threads are going to the correct needle

Posted on Sat, 09/24/2011 - 17:30

I have just gotten a new-to-me 8S LeClerc Medico table loom with the floor stand and treadles that I found on eBay. While talking to the owner, I learned that her grandmother used it to make dishtowels as well. I am putting on all new cords, with Texsolv tieups, and have my warp wound for some nice towels. This will be my first attempt to sew hems instead of tying fringes. My very first real loom was a 4S Medico and I loved it for the noise it made. It gave a real feeling of production, lol. This one has wire heddles instead of flat steel, so will be quieter. Keeping my fingers crossed, Wee

Posted on Sat, 09/24/2011 - 20:10

My fabric is only 12 inches. I don't really use a pattern, but most are not all that wide. Also, extra seams can strengthen a soft finish handwoven. The coat in my profile is lined with commercial wool and I have top embroidered the seams. I would send pics, but must go to the library. My ranch doesn,t allow for files on my iPad.

Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 15:10

I have the bad habit of weaving yardage (with a plan in mind) and putting the sewing part aside (not really fear, just procrastination)!! So, I will join this challenge and FINISH one of the pieces of yardage I have woven for a jacket.  The one I am thinking about is a random striped cotton in rust/peachy tones with a rust boucle overshot pattern.The pattern is a tailored jacket and the lining was a splurge as it is silk-cost more than the yarn!!  Finishing it for Halloween will be a good thing.  I will get Michael to post some pictures of the finished fabric.  This should be fun.

good luck everyone,


Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 17:21

Since Colour Mart was given as a "cheap" source of silk I will plug my yarn business. I sell more colors and sizes of silk than Colour Mart at a lower price. The big difference is that I sell in larger amounts. I offer silk dyed to your choice of 300 colors in skeins, cones or slivers. Unless I am running a special( Right now, I am offering 100 gram mini cones of 20/2 spun silk in 10 colors for $15 cone per cone no min amount)  the min amount I sell is 1 Kilo (shipping on most skeins is 4.95 anywhere in the US, Canada or overseas is $11.95) So 1 Kilo of 20/2 spun silk skeins (8, 9, or 10 depending on the weight of each skein) dyed would be $95 + $4.95 shipping. Come check out my prices on silk yarn, fibers, cocoons and cotton yarn at


Posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 18:28

This dare is just what I need! Most of what I weave ends up as scarves (for people and furniture) but I would like to sew something with my fabric too! I think I will try and start with a tote bag, but maybe a pillow would work also.

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 20:50

Here's the fashion sketch for what I'm planning to make:

And here is a muslin mockup with my sample draped across it, to give a rough idea of color:

(I accidentally flipped the muslin right to left when constructing it.  Will fix that in the next version!)

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 21:10

Ha!  No way.  I'll be lucky to get it done by the end of January!!

(I'm going to try to have it ready in time for the Convergence Fashion Show entry deadline - I think that's Feb 15.)

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 21:50

LOL!  Yes, it's going to be a lot of work, especially since each panel is made with a knitted blank.  (Knit 2050 yards of 2/60 nm wool into a rectangular piece of knitted fabric; hand paint with dyes; unravel blank, hoping the wool doesn't tangle up TOO much as it unravels; weave up the resulting yarn into a 48" panel; repeat for a total of 8 panels (6 needed + 2 spares).)  The yardage is dyed after weaving, too.

I figure I'll be working on weaving well into November/December...

Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 22:38


I really have to ask, why the knitting which will be undone?  Now I have to tell you that I would rather dig ditches or mop floors than knit-it just never stuck, so I am biased, but can't you get the dyed effect you are looking for without going through all of this?? I am trying to imagine this yarn all coiled up in the knitting and what will happen when it is dyed-sounds fascinating-I cannot wait to see the results.


Posted on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 23:48

Knitted blanks are handy (IMO) when you want to do one of two things:

  1. introduce a gradual color gradient without dyeing a whole bunch of skeins or using multiple-stranded wefts and swapping out strands
  2. "paint" the yarn, to produce an irregularly striped fabric.  This "feels" more organic than swapping out weft colors - instead of a clean line you get color blending at the edges.

As an example of the first, check out this piece, which I did a few years back (yes, the color choices are awful, but I was a young'un then :-) ):

You can see that the weft shades gradually from yellow to red.  I could and did accomplish the same effect by dyeing a series of skeins that transitioned gradually from yellow to red, but I had to dye 20 separate skeins to get a smooth color gradation!

As an example of the second, take a look at this:

This is done with a painted warp *and* a knitted blank, set up so the color changes coincide with each other.  The knitted blank was painted in blobs of adjacent colors (green and bronze, bronze and gold, gold and orange,etc.) with the amount of green/bronze (etc.) shading gradually from green-dominant to bronze-dominant, from bronze-dominant to gold- dominant, etc.  The result is a gradual color progression, but with considerable "texture" to the color progression that renders it more visually interesting than just a plain line.

In theory, you could get a similar effect by painting dyes onto the finished woven piece, but this tends to obscure the woven pattern, and tends to look like a surface design piece rather than a handwoven piece.  Take a look (click for the larger photo) at the last set of samples I wove for this piece:

Left to right, they are:

  1. scrunch-dyed with gradually changing colors, after weaving
  2. painted in smooth gradient colors, after weaving
  3. painted in streaky lines, after weaving
  4. knitted blank, painted with blobs of color, producing lines.  Overpainted with fiber-reactive dyes afterwards to give some color to the warp (which was white originally), but which remains lighter than the weft so the maple-leaf pattern is clearly visible.

My favorite was the knitted-blank one (far right) because of the visual complexity - the flow of color, the intermittent spacing of the lines, and the maple-leaf pattern all add texture and interest.  My second favorite is the left-hand one, but it doesn't look handwoven at all - I could have started with a commercial fabric and gotten almost exactly the same result.  The others just don't do it for me, so I'm going with my favorite.

So that's why I'm knitting and unraveling a couple miles of weft thread for this!  (Does that make sense?)

Posted on Tue, 09/27/2011 - 01:33

I'd like to make a Folkwear shirt (pattern #204 Missouri Boatman's Shirt) which I think is within my very modest sewing skills.  Ultimately, I'd like to use my own yardage, but I don't have any yet.  However, at the beginning of October I will have an opportunity to purchase lovely handwoven yardage from Mekong River Textiles which will be almost as intimidating to cut as anything I make myself.  Does that qualify me to join the Demon Seamstressers?

Carla in Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Posted on Tue, 09/27/2011 - 20:37

Absolutely!  The more, the merrier.  I'd love to see your Folkwear shirt once completed!

(Mekong River Textiles - is that cloth from weavers in Laos?  I saw Lao weaving when I visited Laos about ten years ago...absolutely AMAZING!!  If you can  get your hands on that kind of weaving you are very lucky!)

Posted on Tue, 09/27/2011 - 21:35

Thank you for such a detailed answer.  I looked at your photos and yes, I can see the difference, and what you are trying to achieve.  I can't wait to see the finished project-it should be a real show-stopper at Convergence.  I have never gotten the bug to do my own dying, I have always had fun making existing colors work, but I can see the pleasure in being able to control everything to your own liking.  Thanks again for your explanation.


Posted on Tue, 09/27/2011 - 22:06

Attached are 2 pictures as promised. One is the fabric on loom when I wove it, (and yes we moved my 48" Macomber to an outside festival, what fun!!) Second one is the finished fabric close-up.


Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 00:22

This is Cheryl, and I know I am confusing everyone by using Michael's log-in, but he spends way more time on here than I do.

But in answer to the question, I am going to make a fitted jacket with a silk lining (for me which is rare)  I have the pattern and the lining picked out ready to go.

Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 00:48

The lining is a warm salmon silk, which brings out the lightest color in the warp colors-it was also the closest match I could get.  Here in rural GA  I do not have that many choices of good fabric (one reason I started weaving!) In future I may have to order as it is always a challenge to find what I need.

Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 22:04

I've used Fray Block (liquid, comes in squeeze tubes) on cut edges where raveling is a risk, along with machine overcast (zigzag).  I suppose you could put it onto the cut lines and let it dry before you cut; just be careful not to spread it outside the seam lines since it does create a stiffer hand and, depending on the fabric, an appearance change.  I've not tried cutting fabric treated with Fray Block, so don't know if there would be problems.


Posted on Wed, 09/28/2011 - 22:12

I get 10+ yard bolts of silk charmeuse in black and white from Dharma - the white takes dye beautifully. Have used that method for lining several pieces.

Also, any fabric woven in a fineness and density that appears to be commercial fabric will sew well and not fray - as commercial fabric of the same weight.

Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 00:34

Hi Folks, I am slowly getting the dishtowel warp from the warping mill to the warping wheel, then onto the loom. It sure is tedious. Had I only known that a sectional beam was included in the deal I got, I NEVER would have wound a plain warp. I suppose I probably should go join the ghost group, but I instead would rather sell my mill and not wind another plain warp. I hate them and they hate me, lol. I know there are lots of folks who can put on wonderful plain warps that are tensioned correctly, but I am not one of them. No matter how hard I try, I end up with a mess and have decided not to further stress myself out by trying to do something I can't. Thank God AVL came out with the Warping Wheel all those years ago. I got one of the first ones and I still have it. I would risk my life to keep it safe, lol! Well, almost half the warp on and tomorrow is another day, Wee

Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 16:49

I'm still in beginning stages of the fabric for my jacket, but the yarn was ordered this week and has already arrived and I worked all yesterday afternoon getting the additional 8 shafts in place on my Glimakra Standard. I'm going to weave an 8-shaft point twill pattern. - Cheryl

Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 20:15

Hi Michael,

A good way for your to promote your business during this event, might be to become a HalloWeave Donor. How 'bout it?

You can contact me for more information.


Posted on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 21:49

Hi, I'd like to share in the fun with the Demon Seamstresses! I have a lot of samples and small yardages that I wove while trying out new patterns years back. I'd like to try to sew some teddy bears out of it for Christmas.  Jenny, any advice to a novice animal sewer is welcome!  I can sew simple things like pillows, and did hand sew a sock monkey once... 

will try to post pictures of my yardage soon.  


Posted on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 14:06

Okay, I have a pile of fabric, made bags with some success and a couple of jackets that are nice but nothing I would wear.   I'm stuck.  I really want to make something that I would actually wear.  Guess I need a push or something.   Any ideas of some good, easy classic jacket?