|the plain version|
|the cross-weave needed to be highlighted|
Once finished the jacket was quite plain. It needed something. My first step to was to add the square patch at the back neckline. I had already added the little bias loop in the collar band seam.
I love working with bias binding and bias tubes and often look for spots to use them. Because this fabric does not have much give, I had to make some samples, particularly of the tubes. Below is a picture of my tubes and tools. I always start by trying to turn the tube with the Fasturn tube turner. It involves a metal tube and metal wire that slides inside the metal tube. There is a sharp pointed corkscrew shape on the end of the metal wire. So you cut the bias stripe and then stitch it together. For this particular fabric, I settled on a 1.25 inch wide bias strip, a 0.4 zig-zag stitch (otherwise the stitches pop when you're turning the tube), and I stitched it 3/8 inch from the fold (not from the raw edge).
Because this is hand-woven, the cork-screw end of the wire slipped out when I was mid-way through turning it. Dang. Luckily I was able to use the hemostat to reach inside the tube, grab the end and pull it the rest of the way out. I used both tools on every tube.
Then I fetched my favorite instructions for making a Chinese knot: Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing. I find her instructions to be the easiest to follow. And I never remember how it's done in advance! Here you can see how it starts:
|The long end is off to the left.|
At this point it's symmetrical and rather pretty, I think. I've been tempted to transfer this shape to a garment for embellishment, but I never have. The final step is to draw it up into a round knot. This take some finagling because it wants to draw up unevenly. It helps to have finger nails.
In the end I decided on a single Chinese knot closure, with a plain loop on the other side. I made sure that the Chinese knot finished with long tails. Then I opened up the collar band seams and inserted the raw ends of the Chinese knot on the wrong wide of the band, wrapped it around and hand-stitched in place.
To create the loop, I simply used one bias tube. I opened up the collar band on the other side, inserted raw ends of the bias tube on the outside, and hand-stitched it in place.
I don't know if I'll ever actually close it, but it was fun to make.
I had a Chinese knot left over. So I added a patch pocket with the extra knot attached.
You can also see that I created a vent in the sleeve that is bracelet length. A sewing friend said in a recent presentation that Coco always liked her jacket sleeves bracelet length since that's the skinniest part of a woman's body.
The inside of the jacket also has its own story with much bias binding in a very light weight Indian cotton. Stripes are so great on the bias. And I love the look of the Hong Kong finish when the inside is flashed.
Or if I want just a little flash, I can turn the sleeves up in a slight cuff.