I made two lots of things for my one-year-one-outfit effort in 2016, and I think they are worth two posts. So post one was about my dress, and this post is about my outer wear, which consists of a coat and a bag.
This jacket did not have a good start to life. I made it from some felt that I had made in 2015 when I was practising my felting skills, and didn’t want to waste it. It’s based on the Tessuti Sydney jacket, and, in the spirit of one year one outfit, it is made completely from locally produced and processed Merino and Corriedale wool and hand sewn. The blue comes from some roving that I dyed with local indigo at a dyeing day that Nicki (thisismoonlight) hosted at her house when she was living in Perth. The other colours are all the natural colours of the sheep’s wool, which I love: it is so interesting to have such a variety of wool in our local area.
At the beginning it had a bit of a trendy off the shoulder look, but to be honest, it was really uncomfortable to wear.
The back view was no better
Some major redesign was in order. Sarah from Workspace Fashion and Design School helped me steam it into shape, as it had to be moulded to my body and I couldn’t do it by myself without causing some serious burns.
We managed to get the collar to sit approximately where it needed to be and then I began to work on the front.
The problem with all the steaming is that the jacket shrank significantly and no longer fitted me properly around the bust. I have spent the last day or so cutting and pasting pieces of felt to create a kind of sculptural look at the front. It’s not quite finished, but it’s close now. The other thing I hadn’t realised was the effect of those swirls around my bustline, which I think make me look a strange shape. I suspect that I will mostly wear this jacket open or partially open to mitigate this effect.
The wonderful thing about felt is that errors are easily fixed. Carve off a bit too much at the front? No problems, just felt another piece on. Put a button hole in the wrong spot? No problems, felt it over and cut a new one. I employed dry felting techniques by using the Janome FM725 embellishment machine that Mark bought me for Christmas. I discovered that if I felted on the inside, the outside looked unchanged. Once I had the bit between my teeth, I went mad, felting new pieces over areas that looked a bit thin and adding pieces to provide a bit more coverage at the front. I haven’t quite finished sculpting that front edge, it takes a surprising amount of time to get it right, but time is against me for this post, so this is how it is today.
My favourite part though, is the back
I love the shape and the blue and the swirls. I also love the fact that Heidi managed to insert herself into a couple of my photos!
The buttons are from thick twigs harvested from the ground on our holiday property. They are made from Sheoak, which is one of our favourite woods.
I’ve blogged the bag before here, and I’m pleased that it goes so well with the coat. The bag looks deceptively simple, but getting smooth sides and a rigid opening was quite tricky.
I realised that this coat would not go with my one year one outfit dress, so I whipped up these trousers on my knitting machine. They are very similar to some I made a year or so ago, but this time they are from wool that my mother had that came from the Yarra Falls Mills in Collingwood, which is now defunct. It is 100% Australian wool, but because it’s not local, the trousers don’t count.
This is my final post for this episode of One Year One Outfit, and I’m planning this year’s make, but I have put myself on a wool fast – I have to use up all the wool and felt and roving that I already have. It will be interesting to see if I have another outfit in me!