So, what have you made?

I think it is time we started sewing!

So, let me share a bathrobe:

As yarn was somewhat short, I had to plan the pattern (and its layout) ahead. After fiddling around with various possibilities, I decided to cut one front and the back in one piece, adding the other front "upwards" (to be folded down, thus eliminating one of the shoulder seams). This is, of course, impossible if the pattern has an apparent direction. 

I also thought it fun to have, and have not, seams in the expected places.

As I have problems with adding pictures to forum posts, I wrote a blog post - found here.



Posted on Tue, 10/06/2009 - 17:30

Kerstin, that's really lovely! And a very efficient use of your yardage.  I'll bet the fabric is deliciously comfortable to wear, too. Beautiful work.

Thanks for sharing!

(I'll be back to post some of my things as soon as I photograph them.)

Posted on Tue, 10/06/2009 - 17:36

Here's a silk and cashmere jacket I wove:


More about it can be found on my website, at

And, of course, there is the infamous as-yet-unfinished wedding-dress project:

And the cashmere coat project, temporarily on hold in favor of the wedding dress...

That's all I've done so far...


Posted on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 04:34


Here are two garments from the same warp.  The warp is a combination of varigated wool alternated with solid color wool.  The vest on the left has blue-gray mohair weft.  The sweater has a light blue worsted weight weft with knitted collar and cuffs.

This fabric sat off the loom for a year before I had the courage to cut into it!


Posted on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 04:51










Here's the warp and resulting sweater.  This is varigated sock yarn alternated with a solid coffee color.  I wound the warp by winding one warp thread, then cutting it and bringing it back to the beginning of the warping board.  I carefully placed the colors to make the color pattern "swipe" with a northern lights effect.  I like the weight of the sweater, it's light enough to wear inside and is a comfy sweater.


Posted on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 04:57

And here's my favorite.  I just about live in this sweater. It is perfect for Alaska temperatures.  It is made of Harrisville yarn.  This sweater fits like a glove and I wear it all the time!  I based it on my favorite wool sweater.  Since woven fabrics don't have as much stretch as a knitted sweater, I used a sewing pattern that had darts on the back shoulder.  Rather than put the darts in, I sewed two rows of basting stitches along the shoulder and gathered, or "eased" the fabric which gave me more room along the back. 



Posted on Tue, 10/13/2009 - 12:02

Ready to join the party at last!  I *finally* got my pix uploaded - four garments, including my $1.29 winter coat.  Yep, you heard that right.  *g*

Since there are a number of pictures, I wrote the whole thing up over here, on Dreamwidth.

Posted on Sat, 10/17/2009 - 14:31

One of my guild mates made a vest - which may not qualify, as there is no cutting involved...

Pictures on our guild site. The text is in Swedish, the diagram is NOT to scale.

A short explanation:

Two narrow pieces of fabric - sew the back seam (red).

The neck opening can be cut (or not, as in this example, if the fabric is flexible enough).

To make the hidden pockets: take the back piece out and in front of the front piece. Sew the green and the blue seams through both layers. Sew pocket closed at bottom.

Make a paper pattern first!

We also have several bag links, most of which are in English.


Posted on Sat, 10/17/2009 - 23:50

Perhaps this is a silly question but here goes... when you want to make a initial pattern as a primary fitting before laying out and cutting handwovens I would think you'd want the hand of the mock up cloth to mimic very closely the handwoven cloth to get the fitting and drape right.  So using the guild vest the Kerstin just posted what would you use for that mock up?  For instance I'd like that vest to lay more smoothly along the back and shoulders, so I'm thinking that the curvature of the neckline needs to be played with and shoulder darts would be necessary but doing the p[attern in a cotton cloth would lay differently than what to me looks like a wool piece.   Can someone shed some light on this for me?



Posted on Sun, 10/18/2009 - 12:01

FWIW - what I usually do is using a non-woven pattern paper. A lot cheaper than fabric, more flexible than "ordinary" paper. If the piece is a more constructed one, I can use fabric. But - as you say - the problem is that most "other" fabric does not mimic the "real" fabric - whether the "real" fabric is handwoven or not...

How do the rest of you deal with that?

Posted on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 12:38

A flat piece of fabric laid over the curves of a human body is never going to "fit" well.....imho, shoulder seams and a proper neck opening must be attended to to attain proper fit.  I used to teach flat pattern making to handweavers and in the course of the years I taught, I was amazed to find such variety in each body....shoulder slope, where the neck sits on the shoulders both affect the fit of any garment.  Add to the the curves on a female body and adjustments must be made to flat fabric.  Darts are one way to help fabric lay over curves, pleats, smocking etc are other ways to make the garment fit well. 

When I am making a new pattern that will eventually be constructed using handwoven fabric, I make a mock up from my own personal sloper (a pattern that is, in essence, a flat version of you), in a fabric that is very similar to the finished handwoven fabric.  This allows me to make adjustments to the seams, darts, shoulders and neck to get a really nice fit.  If you know how to make your own sloper and then make an accurate one, you don't even need to try a garment on....just adjust your pattern to *your* measurements and cut and sew. 

Su :-)


Posted on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 15:09

Since I didn't inherit the best sewing genes in my family I'm usually a bystander to sewing with that in mind, when my mother talks about making a sloper I thought that was a permanent personal pattern for trousers, or shirt or dress, etc. that would be used no matter what fabric.  But from your post it seems you're saying to make a personal pattern for every project dependent on the fabric. The sequence then seems to be make a personal pattern, take the personal pattern/sloper to make a mock up in a similar fabric,  then make adjustments to that mock up, then take that mock up apart and use to construct the final garment.  Whew!

If that's the case, then why not skip the labour of making the sloper and instead make adjustments to a commercial pattern/mock up?  But really what I'm thinking is there won't ever be a special enough event for me to go to such lengths! 


Posted on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 16:40

HI Liese......I am misunderstood.......the sloper is made so that any adjustments to any commercial pattern being used will be quick and easy.  You can also use the sloper to make an original pattern.  The sloper is simply a tool to use to make any garment fit YOU properly.  Once a sloper is made, it can be used over and over again unless your body changes dramatically.  It can be used to alter the shouder slope, dart locations, neckline openings etc on any commercial pattern, or to design your own pattern for the style garment you wish to make. 

When I use a commercial pattern for the first time, I lay it out on muslin or other appropriate weight fabric and make the adjustments on that pattern according to my sloper.  Then I cut the mock up out and baste it together and make sure it fits.  Once that is done, the mock up becomes my permanent pattern and any garment I wish to make in that style can be cut from that pattern and I know it will fit.  As long as the design of the garment does not change, I can keep using the pattern on similar weight fabrics.  I only make a mock up when I am using a new pattern.  If I want to weave some fabric then make a garment, I just cut the pieces out from a pattern that has already been properly fitted and put it on. 

You do not make a new sloper everytime you make a garment....the order is:

1. Make a permanent sloper

2. Use that sloper to make adjustment to any commercial pattern before cutting out a mock up.

3. Use the mock up as a permanent pattern.




Posted on Tue, 10/20/2009 - 10:18

Oh,  I was misunderstanding the total function of a sloper.  Thanks for setting me straight.  Well,  that sequence isn't  AS daunting <G>.  Liese

Posted on Tue, 10/20/2009 - 12:15

You all make such wonderful stuff!

I have mentioned my best attempt at a sewn jacket before, but thought I'd post it here with a picture. I have it on the projects page, too, if you want to know more

Posted on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 03:05

WOW!  These are wonderful!  I am so impressed by what you have created with mill ends and left-overs.  You have given us great information and inspiration.  Thank you!


Posted on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 11:09

Thanks Liese.

No, the buttons were made by a lady in Denmatk, that I met at an arts and crafts fair i Copenhagen. She makes ceramic buttons (among other things)and was kind enough to make these especially for me :-)

If you are interested here is her address:


Posted on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 14:09

I thought they looked pretty flat to be covered but since they match your twill so closely it seemed the only possibility.  Never thought about having buttons made especially...thanks for her site info.  Liese

Posted on Fri, 10/23/2009 - 22:47

Hi Suzy,

Thank you so much! 

Mill ends are great fun, not to mention they allow one to weave a LOT of fabric for very little money.  My favorite yarn store jaunt is to WEBS in Northampton MA. I haven't been in a few years, so things may have changed, but back then they would let you take a shopping cart out into their warehouse to wander around and pick what you would.  And you'd never know what you'd find. Cones of thick white spiral cotton - that makes ideal dishtowel weft - cheek by jowl with cones of teal and steel grey silk singles, as fine as butterfly antennae, next to acres of unmercerized cotton in the most gorgeous shades, and weights from 6/2 to 24/2.   An awful lot of wonderful yarns followed me home. *g* When I want to weave something I just go into the stash and let the yarns suggest things.

Happy weaving!

Posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 14:23

Hi G...

I agree with you about WEBS.  Been there... done that... and could keep doing it again and again!  The last time I was there, I too took a shopping cart out to the treasure trove of a warehouse.  WEBS has great sales, too!  We used to live a little over an hour away!  You can shop easily on-line, too through their website:   I've been using that lately as I have to rebuild my stash after moving South last winter.

May your shuttles sing!


Posted on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 10:47

Father Xmas

With Xmas arriving soon again, I thought I would place a picture of a couple of father Xmas(es??) that I made some time ago. Not all the fabric is handwoven by me as you can see. The coats and hats are woven in cotton, the rest of the fabrics were bought. The sewing pattern I found in an old magazine. The filling is rice.

Posted on Sat, 11/14/2009 - 00:11

I am not yet a weaver, but am a long time sewer, and over the years I have become familiar with how sewing patterns generally need to be tweaked for me.  So I add in advance where I know I will probably need "more" - but always fit as I go - even if I have made many garments from the same pattern.  If you are new to sewing, try making your test garment out of  something inexpensive that is as close to your woven fabric as possible in thickness and drapability. The fiber doesn't matter. If you use something you like - you might end up with two garments, the tester and the hand weave!


Posted on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 06:44


I'd like more information about your "sloper"  Is it like a dress-makers' dummy? What do you make it out of?  Do you have a photo of one posted somewhere?  I can see how it would be very handy to have when making garments.




Posted on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 13:22

HI Janene......a sloper is like a flat version of is created by taking extensive measurements and then cutting out the flat pattern.  This flat pattern is nearly identical to the size and shape of your body.  When you use it, you must add east and seam allowances as well as the shape of the garment you wish to make.  For example, if you want to make a rather squareish jacket, the most important areas of fit will be the shoulder slope and the necklline opening so the jacket hangs correctly on *you*.  If you are doing a more fitted garment, the bustline size and shape and location of the waist are very important.  Most commercial patterns are made for a woman 5'7" tall and weighing 110-120 pounds.  Well, I guess the patternmakers don't understand that MOST woman are not that shape and size.  By making a sloper, you can adjust any style to fit YOUR body.  Once you get the hang of using the sloper, it is possible to create a pattern, cut it out, sew it together and have it fit perfectly the first time! 

All that said, it takes some effort to create a sloper.  A study of pattern alteration and flat pattern fitting is necessary.  This can be done with books if you are willing.  THREADS magazine had a series on using and making a sloper about 10 or 12 years ago.....but I learned by reading and studying books.  I have background in the move to making a using a sloper was not difficult, just something new to learn.  Now, whenever I make any garment, and whatever size and shape I happen to be in, I can make the garment fit *me* by using the "flat version" of me that is my sloper.  If you search Amazon or other book suppliers for books on flat pattern making and fitting and alterations, you will find enough info to get yourself started.   I used to teach a 5 day workshop to handweavers on this very subject.  Participants would go home with not only a sloper for top, slacks and dress, they would also go home with a finished garment that they constructed in class.  It was an intense 5 days and I guess people didn't want that kind of class, because intereste waned and no one seemed to want me to teach it any longer.  Too much info for such a short class, I suspect. 

Hope that helps Janene.

Su :-)

Posted on Wed, 04/07/2010 - 01:08

I just finished my second haori (short kimono jacket) for our Fiber Guild of the Savannah's annual show and sale.  I'm very pleased with the results.  The color palette was inspired by the colors of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.  You can read more about it on my project page.  Information about my first haori is here.

:-) SUZY