Cutting my cloth

Some time last year – I forget when – I bought some wool fabric. It wasn’t your run-of-the-mill stuff, it was deadstock; this means it was left over from a textile or garment making factory. Deadstock has become big business and there are clothing brands that base their eco-credentials on using deadstock. I’m not convinced about this because if they have access to loads of this cheap fabric, the textile manufacturer must surely have factored selling it into their production run calculations so it’s not really waste. However, small quantities that are simply left over after garment runs must exist and seem like an interesting way to access new fabric. In fact, some deadstock is old and must have been hanging around in a warehouse for years. Whatever its origin, deadstock is usually marketed on the basis that you are saving it from going to landfill, but I’m not entirely convinced how “green” it really is. Anyway, that debate aside, I did buy a couple of pieces – one of which was a two metres or so and was all the company had available so it clearly was, if nothing else, a remnant.

Of course, buying a remnant means that you have to chose to make something that you have enough fabric for. I had something in mind for this particular piece of fabric, but according to the pattern, not enough. Well, not quite anyway. Not deterred, we laid it out and Mr Snail and I played around until we got it to fit, photographing it along the way so that we didn’t forget where everything went.

And that was the most difficult bit. After that, the construction and sewing was easy. It is an unlined jacket, but all the seams are bound, so that it’s very tidy inside.

In fact, this was a bit of a test piece because I’d like to make a waterproof version. I find it very difficult to get jackets to fit me. They tend to be straight up and down rather than shaped, so it they they fit my hips, they tend to be enormous across the shoulders. The joy of this particular jacket (The Hove Jacket by In The Folds) is that it has pleats at the top of the back, thus creating an ideal shape for someone like me. I plan to make version #2 (probably) in a Flax/Cotton dry oilskin, with cotton facings… I just need to work out how much fabric I need to buy, so we’ll be back to laying out pieces on the floor again because the pattern layout only takes account of using a single type of fabric, not combining two.

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24 Comments

  1. Ooh! What a lovely jacket! 2m you say? You did well there. 🙂

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  2. Absolutely lovely, both style and colour. As far as eco-credentials go, the fabric has certainly been saved from imminent landfill destination, but it will one day still ultimately end up in one!

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  3. Oh. My. God. You are a wonder! I can’t even conceive of making such a snappy jacket. Looks fantastic!

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  4. That’s a great jacket, and the colour is really good on you. There’s an art to jigging a pattern around so it fits the fabric rather than vice versa, and I’ve been know to make things out of two different but co-ordinating fabrics to achieve a single garment. I reckon your waterproof version sounds great – don’t forget to show us when it’s done, and don’t forget about rubbing a candle down the stitching to waterproof the seams!

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    • Great tip about the seams. Now I know how the jacket works, I realise that I could easily have done all the facings etc in a different fabric, but when I was cutting it I couldn’t quite visualise the construction… it does mean that can buy the smallest amount of expensive oilskin for my waterproof version.

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  5. Always so impressed when someone makes an item of clothing (even more so when it fits beautifully like this!) Thank you for sharing the process.

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  6. Going Batty in Wales

     /  April 9, 2021

    That is a lovely jacket – very smart but also practical with its hood and pockets.

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  7. I love it. And I am impressed with your seam binding!

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  8. The jacket looks great and will brighten up many a dog walk.
    I fancy making a waxed/oilskin coat of some sort but the good stuff is expensive so I will have to gear myself up to it and be sure it will turn out right.

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  9. I understand deadstock completely – when I was weaving, I used a lot of carpet wool for a particular product I made. And you could visit the factory store for leftovers from runs, in all kinds of colours or neutral for overdyeing. But suddenly the market tightened, and the businesses also tightened their leftovers, with the pickings very thin!

    And I believe in some countries that’s not the case but it is where a business suddenly looks at their bottom line and sees that a ton was either sent to the dump or it went to a unprofitable factory store.

    And here you are making a worthwhile jacket even with “jiggery pokey” – I so miss that word from my time with people who used! Every time I say that here, people look at me sideways!!!

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    • I wonder whether the phrase “deadstock” has been hijacked somewhat. I’m sure that in the past it really was a genuine thing, but perhaps now, because it is perceived as being environmentally friendly, manufacturers are using the term in a very loose way.

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  10. Wow – this is beautiful! Great use for that fabric remnant, very inspiring. It reminds me of little red riding hood too, so that made me smile 🙂

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