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Marvellous Muslin Jacket with Jan Manning

Marvellous Muslin Jacket with Jan Manning August 2017

The aim of the workshop was to produce an economical jacket based on the design principles of the ‘Bog coat’. This was a simply constructed garment found on ancient bodies preserved in 4000 year old bogs in Denmark.

No knowledge of pattern making was required for this garment. Each student came prepared with a large rectangular piece of nearly felted nuno felt, using heavier weight muslin as a base. The muslin creates a more textural look than silk and is very warm. Every piece was quite unique depending on the colour and amount of wool coverage, surface embellishments and the weight of the muslin.

Jan illustrated how a few simple cuts could turn this yardage into a functional and versatile jacket. Various samples of jackets and vests were on hand to illustrate a variety of design possibilities with variable sleeve and body lengths. Folding a paper template helped to visualise the concept.  

Although the technique involves only 2 basic cuts, Jan demonstrated a variety of ways to finish off edges, join seams and shape the garment. She shared her knowledge and problem solving experience in how to deal with various issues and adjustments.

Students were keen to explore different things – variety of fabrics, different wool layouts and intriguing surface treatments possibilities.  There were many tips along the way.

Jan has a herd of alpacas and lamas on her property, and she explained in depth about the virtues and variations of alpaca fibre. She could even tell you the name of animal whose wool she had used in her various projects – it doesn’t get more personal than that!

It was a very enjoyable day, where participants learnt the skills to make a custom fitted jacket, share ideas and be inspired to create further masterpieces at home. Thank you Jan for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

Reporter: Sara Quail

5 August 2017

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