January 22, 2015 by Tina Olsson / Gavanna
This is the wool coat I completed back in November, but believe me, I didn’t start it this year, or even the year before. No, this is a true U.F.O from a deep dark place on my shelves….
I think the reason I abandoned it is the color! I really do love grey, but I think I overdosed it a bit a few years back, when it was so very modern to wear everything in grey, or grey marl. So what to do with an already cut out coat in a color that you’re a bit “meh” about? Well, dye it of course. But that idea was quickly discarded after some testing. Too heavy, too complicated, too much fabric.
So, I painted it instead. Worked out great! My inspiration came from the lovely Navajo or blanket coats that have been so popular lately. Most of these come in many colors, but I decided to use only black on grey. As the project evolved I found that I took more inspiration from an older project, a whole collection I created when I was designing men’s streetwear. It was based on traditional patterns from different native cultures around the north pole. Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia and most of all the Ainu people of northern Japan. Look at these lovely appliqued coats! So I cut a simple template from ordinary paper, taped it on to the already cut coat pieces, and stenciled some black fabric paint! Easy as cake! (Well, I did practice quite a bit on leftover pieces, Fluffy wool repels water and the paint wouldn’t sink into the surface but had to be almost pushed in. I didn’t want the paint to become stiff and sort of sitting on top of the fabric, but on the other hand I couldn’t make it thin and runny, that would have given blurry lines. )
I’m not perfectly happy with how the pattern turned out on the back. I KNOW I stressed and wanted to start painting… So now some of it looks unbalanced to me, but done is done!
I have been asked to make pdf pattern for this coat, maybe I will. And in that case maybe I’ll include a template for “make your own” painted coat!
I entered in the Monthly Stitches November challenge with this coat, read more here. http://themonthlystitch.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/handprinted-wool-coat/