Harris Tweed – Real Beginnings


I have a tendency to procrastinate projects. Often it is because the fabric I’m wanting to cut is rare or expensive, sometimes it’s because I’m not sure I can do it well, other times it’s because I’m not exactly sure how to do it or if my plans will actually work.

Yesterday I saw a quote on Instagram. I didn’t save it so I don’t know who said it or who posted it. It said something like all procrastination happens because of fear. Look at all of the reasons (excuses) I gave for procrastinating. Looks like fear to me.

My friend Dana, who obviously loves me very much, sent me several large pieces of Harris Tweed fabric when she was visiting Scotland. So you can see why I might be hesitant to cut it up.

So, I laid out my pattern for this very first Jacket from Harris Tweed before I left for SAFF on the 22nd of October. It actually sat there for a couple of days before I left. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to line up the lines well enough. So I put it off. That pattern laying there is Vogue 8701.

So I got back on the 29th and it layed there for another day or two. While I was gone another pattern arrived in the mail. Vogue 9531.

I decided to do this one instead. It has fewer pieces and if I’m learning how to match plaids I thought that might be a good idea. So here is what I did. I did some Googling around to see how other people match plaids. I watch some YouTube videos about it and then I did something about it.

I laid my first pattern piece on the fabric and I traced the horizontal lines I wanted to match onto the pattern piece. Then I laid the next piece next to the first one and match the notches. I continued those lines across making sure the grainlines were straight then I laid the piece on lines. Because of the way this fabric is woven I didn’t have a ton of waste but I definitely couldn’t lay the pieces as efficiently as I wanted to but….

It’s cut. I sewed the front bits together and then I got stuck. Should I bind the seams? Leave them alone? Overlock them? I couldn’t decide. But then I thought, one step at a time so yesterday I made good progress.

The sleeves are a bit long and need to be hemmed today and I will be assembling the lining and facing today.

But can we just take a moment and look at the matching of those lines? I’m super proud of myself.

At the same time I’ve been working on my next me-woven garment project. I will be trying out weaving with fine singles.

Those are the singles soaking on my PVC niddy so I have some control when I wind them. All of the details of this project will be covered over on my Patreon Page so if spinning for weaving clothing is something you might be interested in check me out over there.


6 thoughts on “Harris Tweed – Real Beginnings”

  1. Wanda

    Your words speak to my sewers soul! I have fabric (bought for a skirt so long ag Roslyn Carter could have worn it to the inaugural dinner) that I adore; meaning I am overcome with failure-fear. The skirt was never made and the velveteen hangs as a testimony to procrastination.
    Kudos to you for moving forward. Also – nice plaid match!

    1. Beth

      I hope you will get it out and make something.

  2. Ann Davis

    If you’re not lining your jacket, bind your seams. You won’t regret it. It’s a classic couture finish. Overlocking is a cheaper easier route, and looks it.

  3. ann davis

    woops! I should read all the writing before responding. Since you’re lining, no need to do anything to your seams. the lining will keep it all lovely and you avoid the extra bulk of thread. Thread on your edges tend to “strike through” during pressing. Like when you send it to the dry cleaners and they use the big pressing machine….

    1. Beth

      Thanks! These are great tips for the next one.

  4. Pingback: 7 Podcasts that Inspire Me to Get Back to Work | Beth Smith

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