Autumn Feelings

 

A gloomy gray sky and a light drizzle cause a slight sadness and melancholy; summer leaves us to complete the next cycle of life and to return next year again.

 

A warm felted waistcoat can be now an irreplaceable thing in your wardrobe. And if it is a unique thing created by yourself, you will feel like a celebrity, catching the interested views of passersby.

 

In this lesson, we will create a long straight vest with a checkered pattern and a classic tailor collar.

Let’s take a simplest pattern inscribed in a rectangle measuring 130 x 65 cm (approx. 50 x 25 in for M size), enlarged to allow for further wool shrinkage.

How to draw a collar, the main stages:

 

– draw the lapel line through points A1 and C; the length of the segment A-A1 is about 3 cm;

 

– the length of segment A-D1 is equal to the distance from point A to the middle of the neck;

 

– the segment D-D1 is the height of a collar, in our case is equal to 4 cm;

Build the template using a bright polyethylene film or any other suitable waterproof material.

We will need about 400 gram (14 oz) of merino wool roving of two matched shades and a speckled yarn with a curly texture. At the end of the lesson, we will get a detailed wool consumption table.

In advance, we prepare a prefelt of darkest shade. It will be needed later for decoration.

Start the wool layout with the back detail. Gently pull out thin strands from the wool roving and lay them out on the template crosswise in rows. Each next row should cover 2/3 of previous one.

 

Bending allowances provided along the side and shoulder lines and overlaid the template by 2-3 cm (about 1 in).

 

Lay down the additional wool layer (5-7cm or 2" along the neckline, frontline, armhole and bottom) at the beginning of wool layout and its completion. It is necessary to strengthen the open edges of the garment.

After finishing the layout, cover with mesh, moisten the wool with warm soapy water, and manually rub through the mesh fabric. Remove the mesh and lightly rub around armhole, neck and bottom in a circular motion forming a smooth edge. Remove excess water with a towel. Try not to touch the allowances.

Proceed to decorating the back: this time we plan a classic chequered pattern. Spread the grid with cells about 6 x 6 cm in size. Cut the strands of necessary length for use on the front of a garment.

Cut the pieces from prefelt and place them under the cells in random order (but do not overfill them a pattern).

In order for the yarn to surely connect the wool surface, it is advisable to use a sander at the initial stage. Regular vibrations do not allow the yarn threads to spread apart and the pattern will not be disturbed.

When the décor is strongly connected with the surface, turn over the template and bend the allowances. Cut the collar lapel from the prefelt and spread it on the top of the template. Continue wool layout according to scheme, moisten and gently rub through the mesh.

Create a straight edge of the waistcoat; bend the allowances on the back, at the same time folding the threads on the front. Continue decorating the front side.

Finish the wool layout with the additional thin layer along the open edges, hiding thread ends, in order to give the garment a finished look.

Continue rubbing the flap detail so that it can be safely unfolded. Mirror the template and continue laying out the second front detail in the same manner.

Now, the vest is fully prepared for the intensive felting process. From time to time, unfold your vest – watch to avoid any defects. Pay close attention to the side parts – they should not have any ripples.

When you feel that the wool become densest – take off the template and continue felting according to the scheme described in previous classes. Roll the garment in different directions, toss up and knead it like a dough. Rinse out in warm water then continue adding fresh soap.

Try to form the edges, armhole and stretch out any ripples at the same time.  Enlarge the breast area. Continue felting process until the vest becomes suitable for a first fitting. Eliminate the defects revealed by fitting and leave the vest to dry on hangers or mannequin.

Spread the pockets using two wool layers (horizontal and vertical) as a single detail on a rectangle about 70 x 70 cm in size.

Create a contrast pattern with smaller chequers from light yarn.

Spread the additional strengthening wool layer along the edges and cutting lines.

Moisten, rub and felt to about half of shrinkage.

Cut the piece into four parts, and then thoroughly rub the pockets and flaps edges on the ribbed surface. Continue to felt the pockets, making them identical to each other.

The collar detail is made similarly, but it should be a little bit denser. Use three wool layers. Put the marks with the bright thread – they will be useful later when connecting.

Continue felting the collar until readiness. Check the neck length with a measuring tape. Now, leave all parts to dry.

Next day finish the job: gently sew the collar, pockets and fasteners – this time a simple sewing buttons.

 

In conclusion, the all size range wool consumption table.

Finally, the first outing: an early morning walk in the park.

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