But... where is the ram?? Well I am wearing him! In the form of my pure wool felt cardigan/jacket. Baa-aa!
And I did take a picture of this inquisitive flock of girls while I was driving up the driveway to my parents’ place this morning. We are here for a big family Easter shin-dig :)
My cardigan was until very recently, a voluminous drape-y wrap, which I bought in New Zealand a few years ago. The fabric is so soft and snuggly, making it beautifully warm and cosy, and I’ve always loved this deep olive colour. But the shape, while very fashionable at the time that I bought it, eventually became very not. I’m not going to show you any pictures of me wearing it, as it was. Especially with my hair… so just picture Samwise Gamgee in LOTR and you’re getting a pretty good idea! So unfortunately I have not worn it for aaaages and knew I never would again either looking like that; but I still loved that soft wool and thought it definitely deserved a second wind.
I like it all over again now. I think it turned out sorta like an unstructured tweed jacket; a casual, playful, loose and floppy version of the landed gentry’s countrywear, like a cheeky, irreverent, younger brother of the same, if you like. And I still have my souvenir from New Zealand, in a newly wearable style :)
Jacket; based loosely on Simplicity 4698, deep olive felted wool, refashioned from an old wrap
Skirt; my own design based upon Vogue 7303, white stretch lace, details here
Tshirt; self drafted, white cotton jersey, details here
Socks; handknitted by me, to a 1960’s sock pattern, details here
There were a few little holes, which I darned before doing anything else.
The new design is partially based on the pattern Simplicity 4698 with major alterations. Needed partly because of a severe lack of fabric, and partly because the felt is so thick and spongy it just would not suit a properly lined and tailored suit jacket anyway. I have made this pattern up previously four times I think, only one of which I still have
The pieces were all reduced in size a lot, basically to match the regular cardigan size that I wear, and the back princess seams and outer sleeve seams were eliminated.
I made it as a completely unlined cardigan, with welt pockets. The sewing lines of the welt are stabilised with a strip of corduroy.
To reduce bulk, because the fabric really is very very thick! the pockets themselves are just a single layer inside, sewn directly to the jacket front invisibly by hand. I used lots of tightly spaced, tiny stitches around the pockets but hid them inside the felt so they only show up as the faintest shadow on the right side of the garment. I edged the entire front, collar, hemline and sleeve hems by turning under a tiny roll of fabric under the edge and slip-stitching by hand. At the roll-point of the collar I switched the turn under to the other side, to allow the front turnback of the collar to lie flat and true. Those overlocked seams are remnants of original seams.
On the inside, I hand slip-stitched all the new seam allowances down to “disappear” as invisibly as possible against the cardigan, for a neat and tidy inner finish. Maybe neater than the original overlocked finish, I think ;)
The buttonholes are all embroidered by hand using 2 strands of embroidery floss, and the buttons are nacre; sewed on upside down because the rough hewn wrong side of the buttons was stylistically perfect for the rustic style I was going for.It is quite a simple re-fashion, basically a wrap front cardigan has been transformed to a suit jacket style cardigan. Not exactly earth-shattering stoof here. But I am happy, since the new style means I am in love with it all over again and will get a few more years wear out of it!