Friday, October 31, 2008

Stretching the Boucle

Two or three years ago, my sweet MIL gave me a couple of pieces of black wool. One was a fulled piece, the other was a knit boucle that was unbelievably gorgeous. She had purchased them years ago, when her local department store still carried yard goods, intending to make a little jacket and skirt from them. She cautioned me that they'd been in storage for a while.

So I soaked them in Eucalan and drip dried them. I don't know if they shrank, but I ended up with 1 3/4 yd of 45" wide fulled wool, and only about 1 3/8 yd of 40" wide boucle.

What can you do with 1 3/8 yds of 40" wide fabric?

I tried and tried to figure out a little jacket pattern I could use but every one I pulled out (Loes Hinse's Bolero, Nancy Erikson's 1960 'sleevless jacket', for instance) didn't fit.

I thought about using it as a trim element, but it was so soft and warm that I really, really wanted to wear it as a wrap of some sort.

Finally, I decided I could try the Sewing Workshop Plaza Jacket...I'd just adjust the rectangles to fit the fabric I had.

So, a couple of days ago I got brave and laid that beautiful boucle on the table and squeezed the pattern on...I had to narrow the sides by 2" per piece, and I had to cut the back neck out of a faux suede. There simply wasn't enough boucle to do it.

And I made a severe boo-boo in cutting the back neckline on the back of the jacket. Instead of cutting the pattern, I measured off and cut the rectangles, then laid the back neckline over the back piece and cut the shallow arc for the back neck.

Only I was doing this project as I was doing other things...coming, going, cutting, folding laundry, etc., and somehow I had turned the piece of fabric 90 degrees after I cut it, went away, came back and forgot it was turned. I cut the neckline off the wrong edge.

So now I have a little 'v' inset below the back neckband where I 'filled in' the boo-boo. In the heavily textured boucle, I'm thinking it's not very visible. If anyone sees it, I'll call it a design detail. ;)

I can't do the fine seam finishes recommended in the pattern guide...this fabric is just too bulky. But it does not ravel at all, so I think I can just seam them and press them and call it good.

So, the finished product will have a little less drape on the sides and a bit shorter sleeves than pictured, but I think it will be a lovely cozy thing.

I'm hoping, anyway.


  1. Phew! I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one out there making cutting errors. I've made a couple whoppers so far with my bouclé coat but fortunately nothing fatal.

  2. Ooo, Lisa, your jacket sounds beautiful. I hope you will post pictures. It sounds like a perfectly elegant, cozy little jacket. I think you are brilliant for figuring out a way to squeeze a garment out of such a small amount of fabric.