Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

SWAP’14 Yellow


I’ve started on my SWAP for this year – 11 garments before the end of April. This year the rules are to sew 3 X 3 +2: that is three outfits of three items plus two wildcards. I’m doing mine based on the colours of the rainbow – red/orange/yellow – blue/green – indigo/violet. I’m starting with the red end of the spectrum and have just completed my first item –


This was so easy to sew together that it only took a few hours to put together but the felting took days!


I have been doing a bit of simple knitting over the holidays while watching movies and BBC dramas on TV using Noro yarn. This stuff is just extraordinary – blends of wool, silk, angora, cashmere – just think of all the most luxurious fibres in the world twisted and rolled into one. The yarns are always variegated and are coloured with natural dyes and hence knits up like stripes.



Wonders of wonders but I have actually completed a jumper using this yarn!

From the leftover yarn I cut out the red/orange/pink sections to felt onto the jacket.

I bought some felting equipment – a brush and a needle stylus. You position the fabric with the yarn over the brush and stab like a mad woman until the two are blended together – then you move onto the next section etc. The needles are extremely sharp and have barbs along the shafts so that when you stab the fabric the fibres are mixed together and the embellishment is pushed through and into the base.

The line design comes with the Vogue pattern. You just mark up your pieces with tacks, pin the lengths of yarn to match and start stabbing until the two things become one.This was fun at first, then boring, then tedious and then just plain hard work – but the felting process itself is still fascinating. You’d think that you would do damage to the fabric by continuously sticking needles into it but a little steam pressing later and you’ve got a whole new and totally unique fabric. I didn’t follow the design meticulously; left off the circles and added a few more lines, shortened the ones around the neckline and lengthened some on the back – just made it mine!

Original Marcy Tilton Vogue jacket

Original Marcy Tilton Vogue jacket

My boiled wool is much finer than the pattern envelope pictures and so flops about quite a bit at the neckline. To secure the fronts together, should I wish to do so, I made a ‘brooch’ – more yarns felted onto a circle of the fabric. I think mine is more like a cardigan than a jacket but that’s OK.

DSC00721 DSC00722Because the boiled wool doesn’t fray you don’t have to finish any seams or hem or attach facings – this is why it takes hardly no time to sew up. You could also use any fabric that doesn’t fray, like fleece, neoprene or even leather. Just make sure your cutting at the edges is razor sharp and not wobbly like mine – perhaps a rotary cutter would be better than scissors to get a smooth, even cut.


The jacket is completely unfitted and very loose, which means it will fit over bulky jumpers with ease. There’s a nice little touch on the sleeves with a cuff dart for just a teeny bit of shaping.

DSC00739 DSC00740 DSC00741

This is the first item in my wardrobe that is yellow, so until I make the skirt and shirt planned for this colour spectrum, I’ve nothing but jeans to wear with it.

And the knitted jumper? Finished? Yep


Infinity scarf to use up the leftovers


Absolutely shapeless and constructed solely in a knit stitch – my kind of knitting! But cosy like a blanket and enough colours to brighten the dullest of days.

Finally…. here’s me playing charades at the New Year’s Eve party the other night.

Mail Attachment

I was given the song “Frosty the Snowman”, but in the all the fun and excitement I got my Christmas icons mixed up and ended up miming “Frigid the Reindeer”! Ever heard of that one?

But the dress looks good doesn’t it? And I had a matching red party hat! I took on board all the advice about the jewellery and went with one chain necklace, worn backwards, down the back. Thanks for that! 

So one SWAP item down! Six more colours to go and 10 garments to sew – I’d better get cracking on then – especially as I’ll  have to take a break from my rainbow to venture into animal print land for Jungle January 2!

39 thoughts on “SWAP’14 Yellow

  1. Great! Unique and eye-catching. I picked up this pattern at a charity shop… I love it’s unstructured feel…

  2. Wow, looks pretty fancy! And your jumper looks so cosy!

  3. Ok, I totally want to felt sonething now!!! These c

  4. What a terrific jacket! Perfect with the colors and the felting. The jumper (pullover) is just darling :0) m.b.

  5. Congrats on a great start to your 2014 SWAP!

  6. looks great, love the felting

  7. Great start to your SWAP. I love them both!

  8. Talk about wearing a color to cheer you up…Holy Daffodils! Love the felting lines and soft feel! Your weather certainly can use so perking up and “springing” forward! Stay warm and dry!

  9. Very edgy jacket and interesting felting details. Love your hand knitted jumper…so simple but looks very cosy and I love the multicoloured yarn. What pattern did you use to make this? Great start to your SWAP.

    • Hi Jean. the pattern is from Jane Ellison’s Noro Unlimited, the design is called Fitzmaurice. I think I could have got away with knitting a smaller size! And, as usual, I didn’t use the recommended yarn – this one is Mossa. Thanks

  10. Love your jacket! I also enjoy knitting with Noro yarns. It felts beautifully.

  11. Your productivity amazes me!! Great top. Now I know what Noro yarn is, I keep running into it on Ebay. Sounds like something you should do when dealing with pent up rage.

  12. Great jacket – I love the color. Very mustardy!

    I have some of the Noro Silk Garden sock yarn (I love knitting socks) but I am finding it rather hard going. The yarn is not as soft as some of the merino/cashmere yarns that I usually knot with. Perhaps I’ll have to give it another go!

    • I am a terrible knitter – slow and using the plainest of patterns, so Noro works for me as the pattern is all in the yarn and not in the technique. What can beat pure merino or cashmere? Your socks sound terribly luxurious…..

  13. What a great cheery colour for the mid-winter blahs. Your felting looks like fun, and the brooch is a great idea. Your jumper (a sweater where I come from) will coordinate with so many things, and the infinity scarf is a FAB idea.

  14. I love your yellow!!!!! jacket. I made the same one a couple of months ago in a mid grey but probably the same kind of boiled wool. Quite light. I didn’t like the floppiness of it either. What I did was turn up the cuffs (no dart in the sleeves) put in an iron-on interfacing then four rows of stitching at each cuff. I put another layer of fabric at the back neck, also with iron-on interfacing and four rows of stitching. That helped a lot. I put a little button and loop arrangement to hold the left side in so the right side could drape over nicely and then I secure it with a kind of beautiful hatpin. I really love the jacket and want to make lots more. Wish I had access to that great yellow fabric. I think you are very brave going for the rainbow. You’ve got the coloring to wear it. Since my hair went grey, I feel more comfortable in greys and black. I love seeing bright colours on other people. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with.

    • Hi Barbara. I too had thought of doing the extra work that you did – lines of stitching but as you can see in the end I just left it as it was. It’s a comfy throw over and really lifts plain colours underneath. Lucky you – I can’t wear black at all! Thanks.

  15. I do love your creation! Thanks for sharing it with us…I’m not sure I would have picked out that pattern if I hadn’t seen your version. It is gorgeous.

  16. Such wonderful creativity. Love your felting details on the yellow jacket, and its styling, and the comfy sweater and infinity scarf! Lovely all!

  17. Hi Ruth – I’m brand new to this online world of sewing and I’m loving it. I have a blog started and I’m “following” yours but I haven’t hit my own public switch yet. I love reading about your projects and am especially excited about participating in some of the sew-alongs I’ve seen you and others mention, but I’m not exactly sure how they work. Kind of trying to figure it out before I make the leap.

  18. Pingback: SWAP Set 1 | corecouture

  19. Pingback: A/W O3 | corecouture

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