Okay my patient followers! I haven’t posted for a while, but wanted to talk about a project that I decided to tackle, since I am such a fan of Matthew Boudreaux, aka #MisterDomestic . Matthew, along with Tara Curtis, who created the cool tool, Wefty Needle to use with fabric strip weaving, I’m doing a fun little Weave Along on #MisterDomestic’s web site.
I’ve been fascinated with fabric strip weaving for a while, now, after seeing Matthew’s incredible, breathtaking woven coat he made for his little daughter (take a gander, here: Matthew Boudreaux’s Amazing Woven Secret Agent Trench Coat). Now, I have sewn for, well, let’s just say decades. Many decades. But this was Off. The. Hook. I had to check this guy out. He has the energy of 3 people, and let’s just say his little daughter is one very lucky little girl!! After seeing this incredible coat, I just had to investigate this fabric strip weaving thing. That led me to Tara Curtis, whose web site is equally inspiring, @T_Jaye Modern Weaving. Tara also has a really great YouTube channel, where she teaches how to fabric weave. Between Tara’s web site and YouTube channel, it’s impossible NOT to learn how to fabric weave, she is a brilliantly talented gal.
So, between Matthew’s infectious personality & boundless energy, and Tara’s detailed & talented teaching and tools, it was simply impossible for me not to learn how to do this. Here’s what I made, and super excited about turning this very cool weave into a very nice tote. One of my Viking Designer Epic List talented list members, Judy S. posted a photo recently of a “Poolside Tote” she made from Noodlehead. I have this pattern, and just haven’t carved out time to make the tote, but realized it would be perfect for the weave, so that’s my end goal – to use the weave as the back panel for this tote.
First, I had to select my fabrics. I decided upon Art Gallery Fabric’s “Round Elements” for the weave and lining, and for the rest of the outer fabric for the bag, I selected Bari J’s Joie de Vivre Collection’s “C’est la Vie Winter“, also by Art Gallery.
So, with my fabrics selected, and my Wefty needle in hand (the little purply pink slotted weaving tool hanging to the left of my fabric choices),
I needed to make up a bunch of fabric strips. Now, with this in mind, I decided to bust out a very cool little machine I’ve had sitting in my storage cabinet for a few years, the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker. Wanted to see if it would make the rather tedious task of creating 1″ single fold strips from 2″ fabric strips a little faster. Boy Howdy, did it ever:
This little machine probably cut the time in half. That meant more time devoted to the weave! So, first vertical layer was pinned on to a layer of woven fusible interfacing, that was pinned to my foam board, which was marked with 2″ vertical lines, as well as two sets of 30 degree lines, as instructed in the Tumbling Blocks Weave Along Day 1:
Notice my coolZirkel Magnetic Pin Organizer? If you don’t have one of these, they are the cat’s meow, no kidding.
So, once the base strips were pinned down, I then wove in the second color:
Once the second color was woven in, the magic will happen with the third color. This is the “triaxial” part of the weave (specifically, a “mad weave”), and creates a really cool effect:
So, once the weave is complete, I just need to iron it down to adhere it to the woven fusible interfacing sitting underneath, tape the sides to keep the weave from pulling apart at the edges, remove the pins and re-iron the interfacing, again, with the interfacing facing up to REALLY stick it to the weave, then sew around the edges and trim. I then will have a 16″ x 16″ piece of woven fabric I can use for the side of my tote! Pretty rad, eh?
Hope this intrigues a few of you enough to give fabric weaving a try. Tara Jaye recommends a great book on weaving, if you’re wanting a printed resource on weaving:
“Hex Weave and Mad Weave: An Introduction to Triaxial Weaving” by Elizabeth Lang-Harris & Charlene St. John.
Remember, Cohen says, “Go sew!”