I’ve had a fascination with reflective fabrics for a while. The amazing reflective fabrics being manufactured today have so many creative possibilities that I itch to get my hands on some of them. Unfortunately, most aren’t available here.
Recently I managed to get my hands on some reflective fabric tape, and designed a new jacket with the tape in mind.
But first I had to turn the tape into piping.
Then I made a few test seams with the piping and the wind-block fleece I’d chosen for the jacket. I found the combination of fabric and piping was singularly unforgiving—the fabric stretched too much, and the seam had to be sewn perfectly to look good. Even the slightest sloppiness caused it to look awful.
That meant hand basting the piping to one side of the seam first, and then hand basting the seam together before sewing it on the machine.
Then each seam needed topstitching to make the most of that precise seam.
The upshot is that every seam on this jacket (to which I added seams for style purposes) has to be sewn five times (two of those times by hand through four layers of quite tough fabric).
What was I thinking?!
I’ll admit that by the time I’d managed the first seam (having had to rip it out twice because it wasn’t perfect), I was nearly ready to scrap the project.
Then I looked at the gorgeous seam I’d just finished.
When I finally do complete this garment, it’s going to be lovely. I’ve chosen fabric I know will look good for a decade or more of hard use. Its reflective piping will give me a measure of safety for the nighttime walks I enjoy. It will be warm, windproof and nearly waterproof. Yes, it will take me quite a bit longer than I’d hoped to make. But, as they say, good things take time.