Two-Piece Felted Jacket with Garment Designer Software: Tribute to Kath Taylor

I recently finished a jacket that had been in the works for a long time, the idea started in 2013 at a Cochenille Workshop here in southern California. It took seven years to complete this project and, in the end, it is a dedication to the person who inspired it, Kath Taylor. Kath was recently taken by cancer, and thus, the completion of the garment was a way to work through sorrow and honor a friend.

The Kath Coat
Kath, shopping for fabric in Verona, Italy with our Retreat Group

Meet Kath Taylor. 

Kath was completely lovely. She was from New Zealand, and lived here in the U.S. working as a nurse. She was a giver; always wanting to help and care for others. Kath joined us on an Italian retreat and had also taken several other workshops here in southern California.

Inspiration Garment

The Inspiration
At one of the So Cal workshops, Kath worn a great jacket-coat, made with a felted fabric. I loved it. It had this wonderful neck treatment and design details.

The Design
With permission, I took a sketch of the garment, and then rebuilt it in my size in Garment Designer. I used Top Mode and a princess line to make the top, and then added the skirt in Bottom mode. The garment has a slightly raised waistline.

Jacket Bodice of pattern using Princess Style
Jacket Skirt

Often at our workshops we take a day to go up to Los Angeles to the Garment District, often followed by a trip to Mood Fabrics. It was at Mood that I found my fabric which was an orange bouclé single knit. It had a hole in it, so Mood offered to give me extra fabric, and all was good

I prepped the fabric by washing and drying it in the laundry, with the goal of felting it lightly.  This took two attempts.

Wool Bouclé Knit Fabric, slightly felted

… time passed

Then, came the cutting out and construction. I had no problem with getting the bodice base sewn and the fit cross-checked, but I soon realized that it would be very helpful to see how Kath’s garment was put together, so a quick email resulted in a variety of images being sent. As you can see from the image above, the neckline required some additional treatment.

… time passed

I attempted my first round of the neckline treatment by pleating a long strip of the wool. Once sewn on, I realized that the neckline has stretched. And now, we have discovered my weak spot. I hate undoing, and so..

… time passed. This time a lot of time, as live got busy, work increased, and other ‘quick’ garments were made when I did have the time.

At one point, I was searching for the right trim (a good excuse to delay)… and indeed found it, once again at Mood Fabrics in New York, where I had gone to attend Vogue Knitting.

Zoom ahead to 2020,
and the garment is still not quite done.

Then two major tragedies hit at about the same time. First was the pandemic. And second was a phone call with news that my friend Kath had passed away, taken by cancer.

So, this was it. I wanted to complete the garment in tribute to my friend Kath who was always the happy, up person in any group. She was a nurse, a giver, and a lovely soul.

So, I dug into the task and completed this Jacket.  The neck trim took some ‘twiddling’ but I finally got it. I believe that my fabric is not as stiff as the original jacket so it took some extra hand-stitching in places to get those pleats to hold. 

Here are some images of the jacket, from the wrong side. You can see the construction a little better from this view.

Wrong side of the garment for a better view of the construction

The last two steps were the buttons and adding the trim. I must have tried up to 10 options for buttons. And the trim sorted itself out because only one of the three pieces was actually long enough to go all the way around.

I could not make up my mind….

And so… I present here, the Kath Coat. It always had that name, but now, it is even more special.

The Kath Coat

More on the 2017 Italy Fashion and Food Retreat

Need some incentive to come join us in Italy?

June 14th – 23rd, 2017
Verona, Italy, with visits to Milan and Venice.

Come join us this June in Verona for our Food and Fashion retreat.

How about yarn shopping for Italian yarns?

Or maybe some fantastic food, cooked just for you.

Then, there are the fashions … oh how we love Italian style. In museums…

and in the store windows.

We’ll visit a weaving establishment in Venice where they weave velvet on traditional hand looms using jacquard punch cards. Customers include Dolce and Gabana, the Kremlin, etc.

bobbins… for color inlay.

And, maybe a cooking class with a chef, in the kitchen of his restaurant.

More temptations to come.  Details can be found at

http://www.cochenille.com/events/category/retreats-workshops/

Fashion and Food Retreat in Italy June 2017

 

It’s that time again… planning for our annual creative retreat in Italy. This year it will be a combination of both the Food and the Fashion. The Dates are June 14th – 23rd, 2017.

Here are some highlights of past trips and a testimonial from a happy traveller who joined us in 2015.

The 2015 Fashion Retreat was a real trip of a lifetime. As an avid textile lover, it was a transformational experience! Susan’s fun and fact filled itinerary exceeded my expectations. We had such an organized agenda it seemed like we were on the go from morning until night. The array of appointments included quality museums, demonstrations, factory visits, fashion houses and many, many extras –Venice, opera, great Italian dining, terrific accommodations, and easy transportation. Susan was always there to guide and help us along the way. It’s difficult to say what my favorite experience was- it was all very exceptional.

“Eye opening, fun, educational, adventurous… not your ordinary trip!

Linda Perry

Click on this link for more info.. and enjoy the fashion and food photos here..

Painting a ceramic in Renaissance style

 

Lunch at a restaurant in the Lake Garda district. We will have a cooking class here in 2017!

 

and of course… wine tasting in the Lake district outside of Verona

 

We’ll have a felt workshop with Lisbeth Wahl, renown fiber artist

 

There are always the appetizers!

 

Lots of unique styles

 

Visiting a velvet weaving workshop in Venice

 

with Gloria..

 

and lots of relaxation!
Garment Designer Software Workshop-New Mexico

Garment Designer Software Workshop-New Mexico

Garment Designer Software Workshop-New Mexico

Garment Designer Software Workshop-New Mexico! Next week, a group of Cochenille users will be spending concentrated time in this 100 year old Inn, in Cimarron, New Mexico. We take over the Inn, set up computers, and away we go with learning Garment Designer! Our focus this year includes learning how to measure clothing accurately, so we can reproduce the patterns we want in Garment Designer.

Garment Designer Software Workshop-New Mexico
Site of our workshop, Casa del Gavilan near Cimarron, New Mexico.

Students will learn more about their software, how to input measurements, choose styles, edit patterns, and simply enjoy a fun and relaxed learning environment.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Casa del Gavilan

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