A Punch Needle Jacket!

My husband has jokingly referred to this project as “the most ridiculously inefficient way to make a jacket.” I can’t disagree with his comment, as it took 20 months to complete. Nevertheless, I’m delighted to unveil my punch needle jacket!

The Story:

In early 2021, I was at home with our toddler, longing for a new craft to slowly chip away at. While searching for something that didn’t require getting the sewing machine out (+ all the accessories our little one loves to put his hands on), I fell down the #punchneedle rabbit hole. Shortly after, I embarked on my first punch needle project: a bomber jacket! I calculated that I would be done in roughly 6 months if I devoted an hour a day to it. 

Sounded like a perfect slow make! But a few months into it, I started an excellent new job at Core Fabrics which meant less time and energy for evening crafts. Then I got pregnant with our second child and this punch needle project (along with my sewjo) came to a full stop for 9 months.

We welcomed our daughter 4 weeks ago! Between feedings and lots of newborn snuggling, I’m slowly getting back to making stuff. Of course, finishing this jacket is first on the list.

The Making Of:

The pattern I used is Fibre Mood’s Frida Bomber Jacket. I transferred the front, back and sleeve pattern pieces onto monk’s cloth, a recommended foundation fabric for punch needling. Unfortunately, I only sourced it in 2 x 1 yards, so I had to make it in two different cuts. I stretched and stapled each cloth on a wood frame and drew a wavy abstract pattern, matching lines in areas such as the center front and the shoulder. Then the fun part began: punching! I used an #10 Regular Punch Needle and Patons Classic Wool Roving in 4 different colours. I don’t know much about yarns but I love how warm and soft this wool feels.

My framing job wasn’t super tight, resulting in some areas becoming loose + the punching becoming tricky over time. I cleaned up the design and cut my pattern pieces. I assembled the jacket following Fibre Mood Frida’s instructions. Machine sewing through thick layers of wool wasn’t easy, so I hand-sewed basting stitches to help prevent any shifting.

I used a ribbed knit for the cuff, collar, hem band and facing. Lining the jacket would have been better, but I wanted to see the flat stitches on the inside because I find them so pretty.

Here it is! Truthfully, I find it challenging to appreciate this handmade jacket. It’s probably because it had been sitting untouched in the corner of my bedroom (+ my mind) for the last 15 months. I know I will eventually love it, but for now, I’m just happy I tackled this UFO* just in time for the cozy season. No more punch needling for me… At least for a little while!

Wanna read more about punch needle? I find amyoxford.com to be an amazing resource.

*Acronym for Un-Finished Object in the sewing world!