Waiting for snow or buried under it, you'll need something glamorous to slip over a turtlenect apres skiing. This Norwegian wrap is such a classic design that it can look equally at home worn by man or woman, on the ski slopes or in the city, or even if you use it to keep snug on chilly days in the office.
The easy thing about making this kind of garment is that it hasn't a single curve in the pattern. You cut it out of four rectangles -- two for the sleeves and two very long ones doubled over for the body. I suggest you cut out these rectangles in paper, following the average measurements given below., then pin or masking-tape the pieces together and slip it on. If necessary, you can then enlarge or reduce the rectangles to fit, and your pattern will be all ready for you to cut in fabric. The measurements are as follows: 20-by-22 inches for the sleeves (cut two pieces) and 22-by-52 inches for the body (cut two pieces). Choose a soft tweed, woven wool or any flannel-weight fabric.
Draw out a fringed border on either end of the long body rectangles. Then, 1/2-inch from the seam on the right side, do a running stitch to give the effect of saddle stitching on all the pieces. Now hem the edges of each piece by turning back a single 1/2-inch fold on all sides. Stitch each piece on the reverse side (you may catch it into the back stitching if you like so that your stitches are invisible on the front). It your fabric is quite thick, secure these turnbacks with a herringbone stitch.
Now you're ready to put the pieces together. Start by joining the sleeve rectangles to make a tube. Hold the two edges flat side by side and now work a decorative double herringbone in contrasting wool thread across the seam on the right side. Now double one of your body rectangles in half and, starting on the right side of the fringed edge, about the edges and repeat the double herringbone 14 inches up from the fringed edge. Now lay this seamed piece flat on a table and pin your sleeve in place. Then join it in the same way, starting at the shoulder or top of the rectangle and working down 10 inches on either side. You will find this leaves an opening at the underarm -- a clever tradition idea used on most ethnic garments with straight seams which leaves the underarm free for movement.
Now join the opposite sleeve and side seams in the same way, and then join the two halves of the jacket at the center back -- stitch only 21 inches up from the fringed base and then end off securely to form the jacket, but continue the decorative stitching along the open front and nect edges. You need not be limited to saddle stitching and herringbone. You could try decorative borders of whipped chain or couching, using matching or contrasting thread. Once you begin you'll find there are all kinds of variations on this basic theme. You can wear this jacket belted or loose or completely change the effect with light stitching on a dark fabric. Or you can even follow the same pattern and technique for joining but use bulky yarn knitting, rather like the rainbow-wrap sweater I suggested in an earlier column.
Q. How do I remove the creases from my (imitation) velvet crazy quilt pillow top?
A. Prop your iron on its back in the sitting position and throw a wet cloth over it. Coulds of steam will come billowing out. (I hope you haven't just returned from the beauty parlor!) Stretch your velvet out taut about an inch from the steam you've created. If it's a very definite crease, smooth the crease back and forth just above the point of the iron for a few seconds. Another good solution is to hang your fabric in the bathroom while you run hot water from your shower.