30 Sep

Making a Wiksten Haori with Blackbird Fabrics

I attended my first all-day sewing class a few weekends ago at Blackbird Fabrics. I was there to construct the Wiksten Haori from scratch, start to finish in one day. This was a feat I’d never previously accomplished (and may never again). I’d bought fabric and the pattern to make the jacket for myself in the spring but had been too intimidated to try and do it on my own.

I was glad to find the class at Blackbird, but it included an unlined version of the pattern and I had to work with fabric chosen by them rather than my own. I was fine with that because I figured I could make another version on my own after the class.

The Haori has an oversized fit with options to make it in three different lengths. The fabric I worked with was a cotton/linen blend with a jacquard texture in black, and I made the small fit Haori in mid-length.

The full day of sewing was epic and exhausting but we were gently and enthusiastically guided step by step through the process by class teacher, Joy Nickerson, with support from Natasha, the workshop co-ordinator at Blackbird. I won’t describe the entire sewing process but we used the serger A LOT, which was my first time doing so, and the whole thing got progressively more challenging the closer we came to finishing. The jacket collar is a whole lot of work to put together and attach.

My version of the Haori has a whole lot of tiny flaws because I am not a great or careful sewer, but it’s all delightfully hidden thanks to the dark fabric. I wore it for five days straight after I made it because I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

Transforming a piece of cloth into a finished garment that you wear home at the end of class made me feel like I had magical powers.

© Rachael Ashe