Tag Archives: make your own clothes

Making A Boiled Wool Jacket In A Day!

I have a bit of a thing for boiled wool, but don’t tell anyone 😊 I had a search on the internet for boiled wool jacket patterns and I was pleased to discover Tessuti Berlin jacket pattern, which you can download and print yourself.

So when I say it took me a day to make the jacket the sewing part actually took an afternoon, my morning was taken up putting the pattern pieces together. There wouldn’t have been any problems but for some reason half my pages were a slightly different size. But which pages were the wrong size? After printing some test pages I eventually worked it out and reprinted those pages.
A jacket in a day

A jacket in a dayI checked the measurements and decided to make the medium size, I thought the sleeves might be too long but as the jacket has a drop shoulder and  couldn’t  work out where the seam would be I decided to shorten the sleeves once I could try the jacket on.

A jacket in a dayI cut out my fabric, making sure I had nice neat edges, the raw edges are visible so you want a nice clean cut for a professional finish.

The pattern has really clear step by step instructions. They suggest a walking foot on your sewing machine but I don’t have one. Sewing with the ordinary foot was the most tricky part of making the jacket, the overlapped seams tended to slip so I decided to tack everything. It was a good decision as the stitching would be almost impossible to unpick.

A jacket in a dayFirst the cuffs were sewn onto the pockets and edges trimmed.

Pocket were sewn onto fronts.
A jacket in a dayBack neck was joined, then shoulders and neckband were stitched to the back.
A jacket in a dayThe facings were joined then stitched in place.

A jacket in a daySleeves were attached.
A jacket in a dayNext I tacked the side seams and tried on the jacket, I thought it was too big so I increased the seam allowance to an inch, and I shortened the sleeves by an inch. The seams were trimmed down and pressed open. A rolled up towel inserted into the sleeve makes pressing much easier.

You can see here the seam might be visible when wearing the jacket.
A jacket in a daySo I trimmed them as a slight angle, problem solved.
A jacket in a dayAll that was left to do was sew on the cuffs and give it a good steam pressing. My Mum always said a good finish is all about the pressing.

A jacket in a dayI love this jacket, it will be so versatile, and it’s very warm, cosy, and easy to wear. I might  make another bright coloured jacket. It seems the sewing bug has returned.

My Upcycled Ecoprinted Top

My friend came over for a few days, we usually do something crafty, this time I decided to make a top where I’d eco printed the fabric myself. This has been on my to do list for a while so it was good to finally get round to it. It took 3 days to complete, on the first day I dyed the fabric. I downloaded a free pattern for the York top from Seamwork  

Upcycled ecoprinted top
The fabric is recycled 100% cotton ( I’ll tell you more at the end of this post), I cut the fabric slightly larger than the pattern pieces so there would be plenty wiggle room after dyeing just in case something didn’t work out and needed to be avoided.
Upcycled ecoprinted topThe fabric was rolled on copper pipes, tied with yarn and boiled for 2 1/2 hours. I threw a couple of handfuls of onion skins into the pot thinking I would get a golden brown colour.

Upcycled ecoprinted topI have to say I was surprised at the colour, which wasn’t brown, but I wasn’t too sure the leaves had printed very well. I left the fabric to dry overnight.
On assessment the next day I realised I had some lovely delicate green leaves as well as some darker cotinus prints. What I liked most was the patterning from the onion skin dye which ranged from pale lemon yellow to ochre. It’s hard to tell from my pictures but the light background colour is lemon not white.
Upcycled ecoprinted topOn the outside of my bundles serendipity gave me a lovely graded colour effect, also the pink yarn I’d used to tie my bundles had transferred to the fabric, I hoped to use this effect as a border at the hemline front and back and also on one edge of the cuffs when cutting my pattern pieces so I took care to match up the front and back so the ‘border’ was the same depth . There’s a lovely pattern centre front as well.
Upcycled ecoprinted top


Mirror image cuffs,look how the geranium leaf front and back prints differently.Untitled

And sleeves
Upcycled ecoprinted topI haven’t made clothes in years but I was taught well by my mother who had served an apprenticeship as a dressmaker and who sewed and taught dressmaking all her working life. It all came back to me very quickly, it was like she was sitting on my shoulder telling me what to do next.

I  made my own bias binding for the neck.

Upcycled ecoprinted topI had to wait a day for this nifty little tool to arrive but it makes things so much easier.

You slot your strip of fabric into the tool, pin the end to the ironing board and as you pull the tool along you iron the fabric.

Upcycled ecoprinted top

Upcycled ecoprinted top

The pattern had a tie fastener at the back neck  but I thought it would be too bulky. In the middle of the night I woke up knowing how my Mum would finish the neck, with a thread loop which is barely visible. I don’t know if I have ever done this before but I had watched Mum do it many times in the past.

Using double thread I made a couple of loops which the button would go through but not too loose.

Upcycled ecoprinted top

Then I buttonhole stitched over the loops of thread and finished off the ends securely on the back.Upcycled ecoprinted topPerfect!

Upcycled ecoprinted topHere’s my finished top, I think it turned out well 🙂

Upcycled ecoprinted topIt’s a little on the large side but the next one will be perfect.

Upcycled ecoprinted topI have to say this turned out far better than my expectations, the top wouldn’t  look out of place in a boutique in Positano. I am looking forward to making more eco printed clothes, maybe a skirt or another top.

I said I would tell you about the cotton fabric at the end of this post. I’ll let you into my secret, it’s made from a cotton sheet that I used to cover my craft fair table, shhh don’t tell anyone 🙂

I’m wearing it to go out to dinner with my friend next week. 😀