Silk Cocoon, a la Anita Luvera Mayer

Another finished object from several months ago, but finally getting around to photographing and posting.

A sewn interpretation of the knitted interpretation of Anita Luvera Mayer’s woven cocoon. This was made from a piece of silk charmeuse that dip dyed in indigo over the summer.



Minor variations from the standard Jumpstart Vest:

  • piping along the front band
  • bias shoulder band (instead of band a la front band).

I would like to add that the entire vest was made from stash. The fabric was woven in January for this project from yarn in stash. The lining is silk charmeuse, also from scratch. Once I got to this point, I got stubborn and used thread from stash as well. I had to resort to a brown for tacking down the lining because I didn’t have anything in the right eggplant-y purple.

Finished several weeks ago but just got around to photographing and posting.

I finally got around to photographing some of the finished items sitting around. They will be posted over the course of the next few days as a way of extending blog fodder.

Stash Busting Yardage




I had so much fun making my jacket, I signed up for another sewing class with Daryl Lancaster in February. This time the workshop is the Jumpstart Vest.

With only two weeks to figure out a fabric, I decided to work from stash. I came up with some Newton’s Country Yarns Cotton Ice (50/50 cotton/rayon) in blue/green/purple (*). I couldn’t figure out what weft to pair with it so I went to my stash and came up with tube of lilac Cottolin (60/40 cotton/linen). Perfect! I knew there was a reason to all that yarn in the garage! (**)



Finished Fabric

  • Finishing Technique: front load washer on “Quick Wash” cycle, warm/cold; dryer for 15 minutes with jeans; pressed while damp
  • Length: 4.2 yards
  • Width: 19.5″

Now, I just need to figure out my lining. I think I have some white silk fabric and purple dye in the stash.

* By the way, Newton’s Country website says Cotton Ice is 2100 ypp. When I measured it on my McMorran Yarn Balance, I came up with 1500 ypp.

** It’s scary how much weaving yarn I accumulated in such short order. I’d better get weaving!

Hand Sewing

Did you know that there is a “grain” to sewing thread? Yup. According to Daryl, you should always knot the end that you have just cut off the thread. That, along with waxing your thread, will minimize tangling while you are hand sewing.

And yes, I’m finally getting around to finish the hand sewing of my jacket.

Jacket Workshop

Yardage in daylight (Click to enlarge)

Here’s a picture of my yardage in daylight — just before I cut into it. I don’t have a picture of myself cutting into it. I procrastinated as long as possibly could. I love the way the fabric turned out. The color stripes remind me of a cascade of colored ashes from a fireworks display. Oh, and the actual fabric. It has absolutely gorgeous hand and drape.

After all that work on the yardage, I walked into the workshop and then dropped my jaw. It bounced a few times. I had forgotten to bring my yardage. Yes. After months and months of work, I forgot it.

I had packed the car with all the equipment, tools, and food for Daryl’s 3 day Jumpstart Jacket Workshop the night before. I left the yardage for the morning. I didn’t want to leave it in the car overnight. And the next morning? I drove away with the yardage still sitting by the front door. Sigh.

(Click to enlarge)

Okay. Onto the class. We only had 8 people in the class (instead of the typical 15). This meant that Daryl had more time to work with us individually to alter the pattern, not only for fit, but style that we want — casual, fitted, buttoned or open front, length, ease, everything. It was fabulous. Daryl was fabulous.

After all that stress about mistakes in my treadling and whether I had enough usable fabric to cut my pieces from, I had. And I have plenty to spare.

Once we got to sewing, she taught us how to apply a Hong Kong finish to all the raw edges. The finished garment will have no exposed raw edges. How fabulous is that?

I chose a fuchsia raw silk fabric from Thai Silk to make the pocket lining and bias tape from. Look how well the fuchsia matched the accent yarn.

It was a very intense 3 day workshop. I was able to finish all the major sewing by 5 PM on Sunday, but just barely. I still need to apply the bias tape to my shoulder seams. The rest of the work is handwork. I need to remove all my basting and marking stitches, hem the sleeves, and tack down the jacket hem and front band. A nice pressing and it will be done. There’s probably about another 3 hours of work remaining.

This old thing? It's just something I whipped up over the weekend.

Here’s the jacket in its current unfinished state. There are things that I would do differently, but overall, I’m very happy with how it turned out. The colored wrap threads kept it from a boring man’s suiting fabric.

Jumpstart is right. This jacket presents a great jumping off point for a lot more ideas and jackets. I’m already planning my next yardage and jacket!