One busy afternoon at Mood, The Police were playing. Kway and I discussed the awesomeness of this giant among rock bands. Greats bands are like a marriage, he said, some end, but after they’ve had kids. Then when it’s over, you say, yeah, they got divorced. But those are some beautiful kids.
I suppose that’s what it’s like with this boucle. Or at least, the idea of this boucle. We had an affair for over two months before I finally divorced myself from my original vision of it. Ruggy would catch me standing in the middle of the room, hugging it: what are you doing? Really what I wanted to do was drape it over a dressform and go ballgown crazy, but alas, I left my much beleagured and mostly useless “Uniquely You” on the curb in LA. Her NY styrofoam wasp waisted counterpart, Miss Fugly, also went the way of the dodo in the Great Move Up Down And Over Country of Aught ’12. With my hands on a dressform, I have no idea what madness I would have come up with.
So, maybe it worked out for the best after all. When I first laid eyes on it, all I could think was WIGGLE DRESS WIGGLE DRESS WIGGLE DRESS. The bolt had three and a quarter yards left on it, and I took it the whole shebang. YESSSSSSS. It was simply too deliciously bratty not to. As I pranced around the store with my treasure, happy shoppers stopped me every ten feet: Oooh, so pretty! What are you going to make? A jacket? Grinning, I would loudly chirp NO! I’M GOING TO MAKE A WIGGLE DRESS!
Like most of the suddenly panicked shoppers, the ever gallant Eric looked nervous, but he was willing to help. Make sure you really press those seams, he guided, flat open and niiiiiiiice and you have got to overlock those edges, maybe interface them, you want this to be tight!
This picture was taken back in OCTOBER, YO, by the wonderful Daughter Fish in a meetupwith Madalynne. TALK ABOUT PROCRASTINATING.
As the weeks turned into months, everyone, and I mean everyone, saw this as a jacket. I pored over dress patterns, constantly turning contenders away: too many seams, tiny pieces that would fray, visions of voluminous arctic weather dresses closed in. I lost count of how many times I stopped in to Mood to discuss the boucle. A swatch was always with me, waiting for some unsuspecting solicited advice. I guess I was taking a poll, really. And finally, one day as I was sitting on the floor of our living room, boucle curled up next to me in my Mood bag, I looked up at Ruggy and sighed: it should be a jacket. Insert violins. Yes, babe, it should, Ruggy agreed. And then I can wear it lots and lots instead of once or twice a season, right babe? In his wisdom, Ruggy did not say I and everyone else in the rational world told you so. He just said Yes. Yes you can.
So, like The Police, I divorced myself from the past and looked to my old Burda magazines. Mostly because of Renee, she has such great success with those damn magazines! Issue Sept 2008 had a nice, simple coat, dropped sleeves. It went together quick like a bunny… I couldn’t believe it. All of the seams are indeed pressed flat open, and stitched with another tip from Eric: every inch or so, I backstitched for a quarter of an inch. This really helped the seams fall nice and flat when pressed open, flatter than just a regular run at it.
But! even with those seams lying flat as a pancake, the shoulders still looked odd. Probably due to where the dropped seam sat. So, I used the leather closures intended for the front of the jacket on the arms instead, as a way to gather and distract from the offending bulk. Let’s talk about handstitching! I attached the little belt loops with my gorilla paws, as well as the toggles, AND the lining.
Oh, the lining. My original intention was to keep it unlined, I couldn’t bear to hide one bit of the brilliance of this boucle, but in the end, the green cotton binding looked Holly Hobby against this sumptuous fabric. So, at eleven of the clock, the night before another wee blogger meetup, I grabbed some silk from the stash and got to going. It journeyed out for a preview day, as it needed a front closure anyways. An estactic Eric high fived me when I saw him. Exposed zipper? More Toggles? Leather ties? Peter suggested a quiet, simple hook and eye (and also politely suggested I hand tack the lining down an inch below the neckline, as mais non, it was showing.) Brilliant suggestions both, and ably carried out later by Suzanne and Wanett, who would not let me backslide to the land of zippers.
In the end, this is a jacket made of many pieces of advice, much like a good marriage. If only The Police had had a few yards of boucle.
Editor’s note: Mood has a big selection of boucles online, if Oona’s jacket so inspires you. Shop here.