Yesterday I attended a workshop at my neighbourhood group of the Australian Sewing Guild run by Jody Pearl of Sew Outside the Lines. Jody showed us how to make jumper wraps, using old jumpers sourced from the op shop or from our own stash. I had bought several garments to use in the workshop from the Good Samaritan op shop, but in the end only used two of them. I had selected a couple of grey to use as a base, and some pink for additional interest, but I ended up using only the grey to make a monochrome wrap. A bonus is that I now have the pink ones left over for another wrap, and now I have done one I also have more idea about what to look for when shopping for the raw materials next time.
The basic premise is to cut up the donor garments, and start by making a flat piece of fabric. A diagonal cut in the first garment means that some of the fabric is on the bias, which is what gives the wrap an interesting asymmetrical look, and also a bit of flare. After that the donor garments pretty much dictate how the finished item looks, as Jody says you let the fabric tell you what to do. Every finished garment is different, since the starting points are all different, and also everybody has their own individual style which influences the decisions they make.
I didn’t get mine quite finished, so no photo yet. I had forgotten to take a cushion, and I find the chairs in the centre are a little low, so after some time sewing my back was aching and I didn’t feel like finishing. I have a bad habit of disregarding my posture until something hurts, rather than sitting properly to start with, and I need to stop doing that. I have something called a ‘quillow’, which is basically a blanket/quilt which folds up and tucks into a pocket stitched on one side of it and becomes a cushion. I really only use it when I am going out somewhere, so I should keep it in the car and avoid the same thing happening again.
When I got home I was pressing my wrap to try and get rid of a small ‘bubble’ where I had stretched the fabric during stitching, and I noticed a pale streak in one of the pieces. I hadn’t noticed it before, but as usual with these things, it is right down the front of the garment, and once I knew it was there it bugged me. I’m not sure how it got there but I need to do something about it. The pressing didn’t work, but I did manage with a great deal of care to unpick that bit of stitching so that I can re-stitch it without the bubble. Unpicking knitwear takes a great deal of care, especially since I had used a closely matching sewing thread, but I did it without making a hole in the fabric. If I had made a hole though, I could just have stitched more fabric on top, such is the adaptability of the whole concept.
My first thought was to get some fabric paint and add more pale streaks to try and disguise the first one, but that meant going shopping for paint. Then I remembered that I had an offcut of pale grey lace somewhere, and thought of stitching that over the top of the panel with the streak. I’d also add at least one other piece of lace elsewhere to make it look as if the lace was intentional rather than covering up a flaw.
Apart from that I have just to finish the armholes and the wrap is complete – watch this space for a photo!