Hurrah! My Gypsy Jacket is done

Last summer, I bought a huge cone of variegated red shaded mohair at one of our fave thrift shops.

Ever since then, I’ve been thinking: Ooooh…. gotta weave myself a red jacket with that yarn….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Just before Christmas,Β  I thought- Mmmm… why don’t I warp up that neat red mohair and weave myself a new jacket to wear to Jim’s Christmas concert? (My husband, Jim, is a jazz musician extraordinaire, and his trio always does a jazzy Christmas concert every year).

So… I got warped, and wove and wove and wove…and wove up 2 yummy lengths of freeform weaving yardage for the jacket.

I had scissors clutched in my hand, poised above the yardage, about to cut it out, using a pattern that I had never made before.

Luckily, my little inner ‘Oh Oh Voice’ popped up and asked if I was nuts, and shouldn’t I consider making the jacket up in commercial fabric first before I slashed my way through my yards of handwoven treasure?

I went… oh… what a good idea.

I whipped up the jacket in some stash fabric and was aghast to discover that it looked truly horrible on me! Yikes!

Luckily, it looks fab on my daughter in law.

I was so put off by the whole thing that I folded the fabric up, plopped it on the top of a shelf in the studio and carried on with Christmas-ing.

Last week, when I realized that the concert that the ‘Road to Django’ concert that Jim was playing in on the 23rd was a really important one for him, I thought: I need to make something really spiffy to wear to it!

And discovered that I didn’t have anywhere near enough fabric, as I am quite tallΒ  and that means that there is a lot of me to cover!

So, I warped up and wove the 2 sleeves for my Gypsy Jacket.

And then, started snipping and stitching it all together.

Did I take pics of the process?

No… my camera is stuffed full of step by step photos for my new book, and so I didn’t want to take the time to deal with those while I was frantically building the jacket.

As we were racing out the door to the concert, I had to leave one pocket still on the loom.

Just not enough time to finish the weaving, and to get it stitched onto the jacket.

I had some doubts, as I was putting the jacket together…. I wasn’t sure that it was going to work.

BUT… I love it!

It is the MOST comfortable jacket – and it’s just plain fun to wear.

NOW… I can hardly wait to get warped up for the next one!

Here’s a larger view of the jacket:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

What looms did I use? A 24 inch rigid heddle loom, an inkle loom, a potholder loom, a frame loom, and a 2 inch square vintage weave-it loom.

I stitched it all together by hand, but did use my sewing machine to zig zag the cut ends of the fabric.

Yarns: Mohair, silk, wool, cotton, chenille.

Today, I finished weaving the second pocket and stitched it onto the Gypsy Jacket.

By the way, the concert was FABULOUS!!!



Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

39 responses to “Hurrah! My Gypsy Jacket is done

  1. As usual, lovely lovely results!


  2. Wonderful! Unique! More proof that little looms work! Your handweaving is inspirational and like a breath of fresh air!


  3. Sharon

    Noreen it looks WONDERFUL!!!!!!
    Thanks for inspirirng us all.


  4. Thank you so much, Caroline! I do dearly love my little looms! And, it was sooooooooo much fun to weave this jacket! πŸ™‚


  5. Jan

    This is so original and delightful. The organic flow and drape are absolutely stunning in red shades. Thank you for such a wonderfully bright note during winter.


  6. Thank you so much, Jan! I am so pleased that you like it!!!:D


  7. Aleksa

    Yay! his is an absolutely gorgeous creation! How do you DO this?


  8. Thank you so much, Aleksa! Big grin in answering your question: I do it with joy! πŸ™‚


  9. Alice

    You create such beautiful things . Love the jacket: )


  10. SHAZAM – that’s stunning! Oh the possibilities with weaving… I’m still on rectangles myself but I’m itching to cut and sew and make fun, funky, drapey graments like yours! Thanks for the inspiration.


  11. Bren

    Wonderful! I love the back!


  12. Barbara Pretzsch

    What a lovely garmnet. Hard to believe it is woven! I love it.


  13. Noreen, just posted my comments on the FF crochet digest – you are so creative and do wonderful work – I’m stuck home with the snow today so I’m off to work some more on my free form knitted piece – you got my juices going as I haven’t really seen anyone else do what I’ve been thinking about – how I love the color, pattern and texture!


  14. Tanya Corbin

    So gorgeous! What a wonderful rich colour!


  15. Swapna

    I looked at your jacket – it’s gorgeous! great job!
    Love the colors of your cloths. It look great,how creative are you.


  16. Thank you so much, Swapna! πŸ˜€


  17. nancilyn

    Beautiful. Saori is new to me, but I’m looking forward to learning more.


    • Saori weaving is freeform weaving that is all about exploring color and texture as a way of expressing heart and soul…. Misao Jo, who is 97, began the Saori movement 40 years ago, and her family has developed a line of gorgeous, beautifully designed looms. So, Saori is a philosophy of weaving, and also a line of looms and equipment. But, you can weave Saori style on virtually any loom. When you google Saori weaving, all kinds of yummy links come up. There are a couple of really fab books on Saori… I highly recommend them! Happy weaving! πŸ˜€


  18. Bonnie Hayes

    Amazing, amazing…you motivate me to try anything. I have never cut my weaving. I just weave long strips of cloth or rugs or placemats. How did it feel to make that first cut? We made bog shirts in guild and I took the fabric to a seamstress to make the shirt after weaving because I did not have the guts to cut it even though my first venture in fiber was as a seamstress. Wow…wonderful jacket. Please take pics of the next one. This is amazing!


    • Hi Bonnie
      Thank you so much! and yes! do be brave and cut into your handwoven fabric…. but ONLY after you have established that you are happy with the pattern that you are using! Also, drape your fabric and pin and play with it, and feel free to hand stitch it before you cut… and most of all- have fun!!! πŸ™‚


  19. Pingback: Clasped weft weaving for handwoven Gypsy Jacket | Tottie Talks Crafts Blog

  20. Carolee

    Noreen, its been a while since Iv looked at your blog. Due to a horrible 40hr a week job and then life, well I no longer have the job so I am getting back to the things I enjoy! when I saw this jacket I gasped its GORGEOUS! so rich and lush what a wonderful end to your hard work. and the colors of the latest jacket are perfect for spring and summer. You gave me the kick in the bum I needed to get in my craft room and get something done! Thanks for sharing you wonderful ideas.


  21. Hi Carolee
    So sorry that things have been so challenging for you! I hope that they will improve immediately!!!

    Thank you so much for your kind comment! I really appreciate it!
    Take good care!


  22. Mo

    hi i am a beginning weaver and am amazed by your usage of the african patterns within these works so beautiful and powerful, speaks to me i sense your energy put into this. i am wondering if you have and patterns for follks with little weavers and weave its to follow to create some garments and other things


  23. Maeve Robertson

    That’s wonderful! I’m a novice. I have discouraged myself by having trouble with the warping. It seems to start out fine, but on the ambitious shawl I was making on my 30 inch RH, the outer warp threads became loose and now I’m just going to cut the silly thing off and try something less ambitious. I’ve had lessons, too. Sigh.


  24. Hi Maeve
    Why not try working with narrower widths and stitching them together? The problem may be with your loom… so do try some narrower warps and see how that goes! Good luck, and happy weaving! πŸ™‚


    • Maeve Robertson

      Thank you so much! I wasn’t expecting a reply. That’s a good idea. I think I’m too much of a novice to have tackled such a wide warp.


  25. Hi Maeve
    sorry it took me so long to get back to you – it’s been a busy time! Do you have Jane Patrick’s book on rigid heddle weaving yet? I think that you’ll love it πŸ™‚ AND it’s got really good hints about warping the loom. Winding the warp is crucial in the way your weaving will progress, and to be honest, I find it easier to wind on a narrower warp on the RH loom.
    Personally I would NEVER weave on a 30 inch wide rigid heddle loom…. I am a big fan of working on a smaller scale- I prefer to stay under 15 inches wide on the rigid heddle loom.
    Don’t give up! This is all part of the learning curve and soon you will be weaving merrily away! πŸ™‚


    • Maeve Robertson

      Thanks for the encouragement. I have a smaller loom with an 8 dent reed, that I did have more success on, but I do love my Ashford. I’ll just not warp it out so far from here on out and sew if necessary.


  26. Great! Happy weaving! Hope you have a wonderful time with both your looms! πŸ™‚


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