Tag Archives: clothing

Dreaming of color and weaving the vest

Last Sunday morning, I had an inspiring dream.

I dreamt that I was invited to visit the workroom of a friend who passed on awhile ago.

She and I had written back and forth for several years before her death.

I still hold her dear in my heart, even though we never got to meet, face to face, in this world.

Anyhow, in the dream, I was invited into 2 gorgeous little rooms that were full, floor to ceiling, with antique drawers and shelves, full of exquisite handmade lace and yarn, and thread and weaving and embroidery.

It gave me a whole new view of heaven!  😀

I was particularly moved by the colors of one jacket and 2 bags that were woven with a range of reds and blues and then embroidered with yellow silk thread.

For the rest of this week, I have been glued to my loom, and then my sewing machine, weaving a vest that was inspired by the dream.

It has been such an interesting voyage of discovery, as it took me places that I didn’t expect to go, and it had it’s own rules and requirements.

Here it is:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I wove it on my Saori loom, blending the yarns on the bobbin, and adding and picking up strands of weft as I wove.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I knew that I was going to be shaping the vest by pulling on warp strands to add the curves that would build the vest, so I worked at making the shapes of the clasped weft be conducive to the warp pulling process.

I had thought that I would use the narrow band to add another ruffle to the outside edge, but I decided instead, to use it to weave the back of the vest.

This is one of the things I love about Saori weaving- being able to do freeform work that takes off in a different direction than I had originally planned!

I like to shape the garment after I have woven it, so I do my warp pulling after the weaving is off the loom, and don’t do any shaping on the loom.

The butterfly was woven while it was still on the loom.

I had thought that I would embroider lots of dragonflies onto the vest.

I didn’t embroider the dragonflies while it was on the loom, as I wasn’t sure where I would be placing the pulled warp sections, and didn’t want the embroidery to be distorted or to interfere with the pulling process.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I had woven the butterfly a couple of weeks ago, and set it aside, as the piece that it had originally been part of felt like it was a ‘fail’.

How wrong I was!  The butterfly and another section of the ‘fail’, fitted into the back of the vest just perfectly.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I thought that I would tat some dragonflies and stitch them on, but they just didn’t work.

It’s a wonderfully comfortable vest, and every time I wear it, I will think of a dear friend, and how she still inspires me!

So, my friends, here’s to life, to color, to love, and to the creative process!

May you weave sweet, colorful dreams! 😀

And, here is a video on how to shape fabric by pulling warp strands:



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

Embroidering Leno Lace

I am passionate about lace and lace making.

I love to tat, crochet and knit lace.

And, recently, I have been experimenting with weaving lace.

Well… weaving leno lace and then embroidering it…..

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

This was my first attempt, and to be honest,  it’s wonky and woobley and ‘real weavers’ would consider it to be a messy failure.


copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

But, I really learned a lot while I was working on it- and am intrigued and intend to keep working with this technique.

By the way, this was woven on my 16 inch Mirrix loom, with loom extenders attached.

When I was warping up for my second embroidered Leno lace scarf, I made  a video about the things I figured out while  warping with loom extenders:

I got so overwhelmed with all the work for the Soumak Weave Along that I didn’t have time to do much more with the embroidered leno lace.

I needed my 16 inch loom for a tapestry, so I wove off the blue scarf to get it off the loom, and will be doing the embroidery with the scarf being off loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I am pleased with the progress I have made with the embroidery, and look forward to doing more of this technique.

I love scarves and wear them year round.

Leno lace scarves are light enough to be comfortable even in the summer, especially in the evening.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I haven’t had a chance to wash and block this one yet, so it’s not as nice as it will be.

I am planning on working a twisted cord with beads on it for the fringes.

Leno lace is so wonderful and has so much design potential that I intend to continue experimenting with it!


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mirrix loom, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

How to make a butterfly from woven hearts

I have been weaving up all kinds of sweet little hearts on the Dewberry Ridge Heart loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

You can use the butterflies to embellish all manner of things: Toys, dolls, scarves, stoles, shawls, hats, bags, stitch a pin on the back to wear it as a pin, stitch it to a pillow, towels, blankets, throws, wraps…. etc 🙂

Here’s the video tutorial on how to make the butterflies:

Happy weaving! Happy butterflies! 🙂


Filed under gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Heart Loom, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven

Weaving a vest on my Structo loom

The other day, I had a big ‘aha’ moment.

My husband is a jazz musician and composer and completely awesome bundle of wonderfulness, and I love weaving beeeeeuuuuutiful shirts for him to wear when he’s performing. (last year’s Jazz festival shirt: Link).

I have been weaving away on fabric to make him a new shirt for this year’s Jazz Festival, LINK

But…. oops… it’s cream and ecru with lotsa colors…. and, the color that the guys mostly wear to perform in is black.

Our daughter made Jim a gorgeous black shirt from the Folkwear Victorian Gentleman’s shirt pattern, so it’s kinda dumb to weave him another one….. sooooooooooooooo the big AHA was…………… weave him a VEST!!!!!!

Ding! Lights go on, whee’s and skippetty hops and happy dances ensue….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

When our son got married, I used the Folkwear pattern to make him and my hubby kilts, (oh my word.. the grooms men, hubby and our son, all wore kilts and they looked FABULOUS…).

The kilt pattern has a really spiffy vest pattern, which Jim likes (that’s essential- why make it if he doesn’t like it?)

Oh oh, whenever I go on the Folkwear pattern site, it makes me want to buy more patterns. I love their patterns and have been wearing them for more than 3 decades. We actually got married in clothing I sewed from Folkwear patterns, and our children grew up in Folkwear.

(No profit, affiliations etc, just love their patterns)

Okay, just had a brief noodle through their website, and am seriously in love with the Siberian Parka….. hmmmm… that would be fun to weave the fabric for…. hmmmmmm.

Anyhow…. in the midst of meeting design deadlines, and new projects that are so delicious and tantalizing and time consuming,

I am in the throes of weaving up narrow bands for this vest, and loving it!

The vintage Structo looms are kind of like the ‘Featherweight’ sewing machine – tiny, perfectly formed workhorses that are beautifully engineered and much sought after.

Although, after I spent hours the other evening, warping the black cotton, I would have cheerfully sold the blessed loom to the first taker. (Warping black thread at night is not so much fun).

Luckily, I got over my snit, and am now utterly enchanted and weaving merrily away.

Which is good, as the Jazz festival is getting closer and closer…. eep… I need to go meet some deadlines and then get weaving!

😀  Happy weaving!

PS: I carved the shuttle in the photo a few years ago.  🙂

My dear friend, Terri Bibby, is a Saori teacher and weaver extraordinaire, who told me about some shuttles that don’t have a metal rod through them.

This intrigued me, so I made myself one to see how I liked it.

I absolutely love it. I made it small and low profile to fit the small shed of  Structo and Peacock looms. Thumbs up, indeed!


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