Simple Woven Style

  Graduate from scarves to shawls and sweaters with the help of Simple Woven Garments!

imageplaceholder Sara Goldenberg
Contributor, Weaving Today

I was very excited to come home the other day to find a physical copy of my book, Simple Woven Garments (co-authored with Jane Patrick) on my doorstep. It has been about three years since the project began, so seeing the final product has been amazing. Designing and weaving the garments was a real treat. The sampling phase alone could have been its own book! Having the opportunity to work with so many different yarns from so many great yarn companies unlocked ideas for more garments than we could possibly publish.

Spending time experimenting with the different yarns was key to creating cloth that was not only eye-catching, but also draped well and had a nice hand. It often took many samples to hit on the right fiber combination and sett for any given piece. And sometimes, one sample that didn’t work for the intended idea turned out to be perfect for a whole new one! 

While creating the garments, I discovered it was important to not try and force a particular cloth into a preconceived idea. Often the garments evolved during each phase of the design process. Sometimes garments I hadn’t even thought about would take shape once a sample came off the loom.

Because I was working with all different sorts of cloth, the construction for each piece was unique. It depended on the tightness of the weave, the materials used, and how we wanted the garment to drape. It was a fun challenge to figure out the best way to construct the garments and how to create individual patterns for each piece.

With handwoven cloth, it can feel very daunting at times to experiment with the best neck hole finishing, the best hem line, or appropriate stitch length. This book aims to give weavers the confidence to cut and sew their handwovens and open up whole new avenues of what can be made from bolts of cloth from the loom!

The book ranges from very simple sewing to more complex patterns as you move through the projects. The more practice you have constructing garments from handwoven cloth the easier it gets. And once you figure out muslin patterns and templates that fit your body, you can create a wide range of pieces with similar patterns and construction. We hope this book not only provides step-by-step instructions but also a jumping off point for your own unique designs!

Another goal was to create a tool for weavers of all types and skill levels. With that in mind, we designed projects that can be woven on either a floor loom or rigid-heddle loom. As an avid user of both loom styles, it is always good to test how different yarns will behave on a floor loom versus a rigid-heddle loom.  I found that moving between the two didn’t create any real problems, usually just a minor tension and beat adjustment.

I hope that Simple Woven Garments lands in the hands of many weavers and that they get as excited as I am about all the possibilities in creating handwoven garments.


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