the cloth for this shirt
I wrote about the pleasures
of additive clothing construction
(building garments with rectangles),
and of how much I looked forward
to bumping into my preconceived ideas--
whatever they might turn out to be.
it turns out I have quite a few
how the garment should drape,
how it is constructed,
how it feels
how it fits
and how it should look.
what I really want most
is to get this linsey-woolsey shirt on my back
so I can learn more about the 'feel' part of that list,
and thus continue to study the fascinating, ancient,
and sometimes deeply troubling history
of this combination of fibers,
from a yarn-centric point of view.
At the same time,
in order to put it through its paces
it needs to be truly wearable.
it has to be comfortable,
which, since I'm making it up as I go along,
means a LOT of trail and error.
fit quite well in most areas,
but was, as the comic showed last week,
a little too right across the chest.
Though not actively uncomfortable,
there was an awkward bunching at the armholes
(there are reasons so many sewing patterns
have curved armholes....),
that I just couldn't live with.
Had it been all wool,
the close fit might have been OK,
but the linen portion of the fabric
makes it just a little too crisp
for what I was trying to do.
After much basting and un-basting
and yanking and pinning
to increase the shaping,
I realized I had two preconceived ideas
working in direct opposition:
--about fit (probably gleaned from sweater construction)
--about my love of woven rectangles.
Embracing the grid at hand
I decided to go bigger and add ease:
two linen panels to the front,
and a peplumish 'wedge'
made of graduated sections
of one of my linsey/woolsey samples.
(I did contemplate a knitted wedge for a while,
as per the Sarah-Dippity skirt,
but that is a garment for the future).
much more comfortable,
and thus more wearable.
It is also made it less elegant
(the lack of armhole lumps aside)
and meant that the garment
is would no longer be fully hand spun.
Having it be entirely hand spun
was another of the preconceived notions
I didn't realize I had.
1-stop sewing to spin and weave matching panels
2-get over myself and keep going
so I can wear the garment already
3 -finish the shirt as is (#2)
and if the invasion of the non-matching
mill-spun yarn keeps bugging me,
make linsey-woolsey replacements.
The first swathe of cloth
had a two-ply spindle-spun woolen warp,
and a singles, spindle-spun linen weft.
Though traditional linsey-woolsey
seems usually to have a linen warp,
I chose to reverse it because:
1. I trust my wool yarn more than my flax
2. I wanted the cloth to be as light as possible
(keep the linen as singles)
3. the wool was spun from dyed fleece
and thus is somewhat variegated;
if there were to be stripes
I wanted them to run lengthwise.
when I wove the second (narrower swathe),
I decided to try it the other way --
because, why not, right?
Stuff to learn.
So in the photo above
you can see the variegations in the wool weft
and the slight shift in the grist
of the less well spun two ply linen warp
slightly to the left of center.
This cloth is, indeed,
slightly heftier than swathe #1.
it was easier to keep steady tension
with the unstretchy linen warp.
The wool warp was more forgiving.
In other words -- I love both.
In the spirit of Coptic tabby/tapestry experimentation
I also wove a small tapestry on each warp:
wool warp: linen tapestry ground with wool squares
linen warp: wool tapestry ground with a linen swirl.
The weaving of both was lovely
but truth to tell,
I prefer weaving tapestry
on a tensioned frame loom.
Next stop: Four Selvedge tapestries***
sewn into clothing???
Talk about Portable Property...
(also, with individual panels
rather than fixed features of existing cloth
I could be more specific about placement).
both pieces of cloth feel lovely.
Finished (washed/fulled and pressed)
they are dense and light at once.
The wool fluffs out just enough
to keep it from being overly translucent,
and the linen lends a crispness
that wool alone would not have--
though I expect the fresh pressed crispness
that you can see below in the sleeves,
with relax and soften with wearing.
I've only worn the basted version--
to check for fit, water the garden
and to take these few photos.
But it is pretty darned comfy
and I'm getting excited
about putting it to work.
Just a few questions to answer....
are planning a Four Selvedge Tapestry Webinar
on Saturday, 20 July at 10 AM Pacific Time (me), 11 AM Mountain time (Rebecca)
I can hardly wait!
Rebecca is such a blast to be around, virtually or in person--
fun, funny and always a total inspiration for me.
We'll definitely talk about using Four Selvedge Warping for the Post Card Project ,
hopefully learn a bit about Rebecca's Tapestry Book in progress,
and definitely leave room for your questions
and other topics as yet undecided.
Back with specifics (like how best to ask questions and register ), when I have them.
If you already follow Rebecca, you'll hear from her too.
In the meantime, you can also check out her Youtube channel and maybe watch a few of her France tapestry tour VLOGS, just to get in the mood.
The work she saw made me want to start tapping in some weft.