Vera has made some stunning jackets and vests, inspiration coming from Phyllis Hoffman’s book Felted Vests. Vera first drafts the simple pattern from the book, she also has used a simple commercial pattern for some of her jackets. Next a large piece of fabric is made from a length of silk fabric covered in wool. If you are trying this remember to make a sample of fabric for the shrinkage rate. Vera thinks about whether she would like a collar or sleeves on her garment and makes the fabric large enough to accommodate these, and incorporates any design she may want to have on the bottom edge of the jacket or sleeve. Next Vera cuts the pattern out of the fabric and sews the shoulder seams together. The garment may need to be adjusted slightly on the shoulders before you sew together. For strength Vera uses ribbon or similar under the stitching. Trim one side of the seam and fold the other over the stitching and stitch down to hide the seam. On some pieces Vera has left excess fabric around the neck and folded it over to make a collar, on others she has cut a straight piece from the fabric and added it to the garment. Another idea Vera has used is to finish around the edges with a row or two of crochet using interesting wool.
Toss and Tell Lynn Blasgund kindly showed us how to neaten a raw silk edge with just a simple zig zag stitch. It is best to do this before you felt but can be used as a fixer afterwards. Use a sharp and fine needle for edging silk and practise on a scrap of same fabric first. Set the stitch wide, and short in length, for example width at 5 and length at 1. Using your zig zag foot, drive the fabric along the centre of the foot so the stitching will be half on and half off the fabric. This causes the stitch to pull in and roll the fabric. Sew straight along the edge and off at the end, don’t turn corners, just trim the excess afterwards. This will leave you with a beautiful edge.