Recycled Fabric ‘Campfire’ Jacket
This coat has provided me with many cozy hours during our RV travel years! It started it’s life as an ankle-length boiled-wool coat that I purchase to brave Ottawa winters while traveling to and from work. It was purchased at a time when my weight had skyrocketed and by the next winter, after some time with Weight Watchers, it no longer fit and was relegated to the back of a closet.
One of my fibre art groups, ‘ArtWear’ with a focus on wearable art, mounted a challenge to prepare a piece of wearable art from recycled components. We were allowed to use new thread and possibly embellishment. We weren’t a very adventurous group. Many of us, including me, were of the mind that it needed to be something we ‘would wear’ if we were going to put the effort into it. Many projects were elegant. This jacket was practical, colourful and now is well worn!
The coat, several sizes too large, provided me with a blank canvas! Especially when combined with a number of accidently ‘felted’ wool sweaters!
I think it was a Butterick pattern (for an unlined linen jacket) that provided me with design guidance. I made a pattern that incorporated my design features – the yoke of patchwork felted wool pieces, and kept the shape and details, such as the raised stitching on the collar, of the original pattern. Because the pattern was unlined. I constructed my own pattern to transfer the wool lining of the original coat to the jacket. I added some stitched embellishments to the edge of the lining – a coordinate with the curvy stitching that joins the felted wool pieces.
Next stop was my Grandmother’s button box – a collection that I had hoarded for years. Thank goodness for the ability to sew buttons with my sewing machine! I embellished to my hearts content with pearl shirt buttons. It was either use pieced coat material or some of the pieced sweater fabric to face the sleeves and I chose the later. When I move my arms, you get a hint of colour from inside the sleeve.
Still not satisfied, I dug out some wool fibre and created a loose braid which I needle felted by hand under the yoke. Just a touch of colour that tied the fabrics together.
One of the neat features of this jacket, that I came to appreciate through time and wear, is the longer length in the back of the jacket. It keeps me warm without providing bulk in the front. Thus the name – Campfire Jacket.