When we last visited about weaving and sewing issues, I had managed to salvage some unintentionally felted wool into a vest.  But the original project was supposed to be a winter coat.  Around the Christmas break, after the vest was complete, I bought some terrific wool from my local fabric store to sew the coat that I needed.  This almost felt like handwoven.  I was literally picking out the vegetable matter from the fabric as I worked with it.  But I loved the warmth and drape of the fabric. And I chose a stunning, red, flannel-backed lining to add warmth to the coat.

I chose a Very Easy Vogue coat pattern to use and I had to think long and hard about whether to use the view with the hood.  But in the end, it was my walk to and from the parking lot of my job that sealed the deal.  The hood was a go.

Then I had to consider the buttonhole treatment.  I experimented with a variation on a bound buttonhole.

But after I purchased some terrific and rather large buttons, it was suggested that instead of buttonholes, I use large snaps.  It was a good decision.

I got the coat finished just in time for some pretty wicked winter weather.  My husband took this photo of me in the coat as the winds whipped around us one Saturday after shopping at Cleveland’s West Side Market.  The hood offers great protection against the cold winds.

When I add a knitted scarf, I’m nice and warm during a winter that’s been filled with ice, snow, rough winds and, as I write this post, temperatures that started off this morning in the single digits.

I have a practical side I just can’t seem to shake.  My garden is full of useful plants- herbs, vegetables.  Thankfully my husband likes the beautiful side of flowers so it’s a nice balance.

Even my hobbies have to be useful.

All of my handweaving projects have a practical purpose whether it’s towels, placemats, or clothing. But at the end of a workshop, I’m frequently left with samples and little to do with them. 

After the painted warps workshop, I managed to end up with a table runner I chronicled in another post.  However, I was also left with a lovely scrap of on-the-loom painted fabric.  Rather than watch it sit in my stash, I looked around for a small project to transform into a useful object.

I have an iPod Touch that I covet.  Why not make a holder to protect it from all the nasty stuff in my purse?  Voila.

A little bit of fabric, some batting, a piece of elastic, and a button from my stash and there you have it.  The fabric got a little thick on the right side, so the seam is kind of wonky, but otherwise I’m happy with something that appeals to my practical side.

Sometimes I have to tame the “useful” beast.  Not everything can be practical; some should just be enjoyed for the beauty of it all.  But this little project appeals to both.  It protects my darling iPod and it’s nice to look at too.