Quilted Jackets Return to Fashion

One afternoon last week, I had the opportunity to while away a bit of time in a Macy’s department store. When I was still working, I would make the one hour drive down to Greenville twice a year to look for good quality clothing. I still love shopping at Macy’s, even though I haven’t been in years, and My Sweet Babboo dropped me off for a bit of retail therapy. I didn’t have a lot of time, just enough to blow through a few sale racks, but what I saw on the way out made me stop in my tracks. Yep, this is Ralph Lauren.

Patchwork! And he wasn’t the only one, this shirt from Tommy Hilfiger has patchwork sleeves.

Back at home, my curiosity got the better of me, and I did a quick search for patchwork jackets just to see what else might be out there. I was very surprised at what I found. Designers all over are showing quilted and patchwork jackets for the season! Just take a look at these ads, from major high end retailers, in the states and abroad. Can you believe the colors on this one?

These blues and greys are nice, lots of half-square triangles.

More blue from Bloomingdales, again Ralph Lauren. Take a look at the price, and it was on sale!

This one is such a typical quilt pattern, such a surprise! It is likely a printed design, not actual patchwork, but the placement of the blocks is pretty good.

And more patchwork looks, also probably printed but still has that effect.

Heavier coats for autumn cool days have quilted features.

I’ve been asked to do a post for Madam Sew on quilted jackets and now I know why! I thought I still had the sweatshirt jacket that I embellished the yoke with a quilted accent, but I cannot find it. I do still have this quilted vest that is part of my Scrap Dancing presentation, but that is apparently all I have in patchwork clothing.

I did a post a while ago on Turning a Sweatshirt into a Jacket, where I added a zipper to a pullover sweatshirt. The quilted yoke sweatshirt jacket that I cannot find was made this way, then I added yokes in a Grandma’s Fan pattern. In both jackets, I started with a pullover sweatshirt.

Then I put the zipper in the front to create a cardigan style jacket.

One more idea, I have had this photo for years, meaning to someday figure out a jacket to make in this way. This one has sweater sleeves, might be easy to do from a recycled sweater. I like the mix of textures, embroidery and tapestry.

But now I have a question for the quilters in the audience. Do you have a quilted jacket that you made? I’d like to see a few of your creations and how you did them. Share what you have on our Facebook group with photos, and I’ll select a few to include in the article. If I want a jacket for this fall, I need to get busy sewing now!

If you’ve made a quilted jacket, did you create fabric, then cut out a pattern from them, or did you convert an existing garment like a sweatshirt? Did you strip piece, or make a patchwork? Did you take the sweatshirt apart, apply fabric then sew it back together?

What do you think of the quilted jacket look for fall?

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43 thoughts on “Quilted Jackets Return to Fashion

  1. I’m looking at the prices!! Our quilts should be worth this much! I think it is a fad and will pass. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s I taught a sweatshirt jacket class. Fun but now passé.
    My two cents….

  2. Cathie J

    I love this post! The quilting community is now part of high fashion. Who would have thought. Now I want to make myself a quilted jacket. I have a lot of old craft books from the 80s and 90s that have directions. Hmmm. I can save money, use the colors that I like and be fashionable.

    1. Pat Semeraro

      I’ve made 3 different quilted jackets. I still have 2 of them. I’ll post some photos in your Facebook group “Friends of From My Carolina Home Blog”.

  3. Marie Chandler

    Good Morning,

    Thanks for sharing the quilt themed shirts and jackets. Free Spirit Fabrics recently had a contest for quilted jackets. Members of their staff also made them. Check out their Facebook page.

    Enjoy your weekend!


  4. Patsy

    Good Morning, I have wanted to make a quilt coat for a long time. When I was very young, there was a lot of coats made from sweatshirts.
    I saw an Indian vest in a museum and plane to make some, I have two Great Granddaughters that are part Indian. Then I found a pattern by Laundry Basket Quilts just the other day, called Beachcomber. I have a book of Georgia Bonesteel that has a quilt jacket. We have just moved and hope I can find it. I will post the Indian vest and the Beachcomber.

  5. Making a quilted jacket is on my to do list. I found instructions using a Sweatshirt & actually bought a Sweatshirt. Now the problem is where did I store the instructions (in a safe & logical place, of course! Lol).

    PS – WOW! Those prices!!

  6. I made a sweat shirt jacket years ago but am at a loss to even think where it might be! LOL I love the idea and glad to see quilting moving into the fashion world! I recently saw a foundation pattern for a quilted jacket and one of my fellow Island Batik ambassadors recently made one. Very pretty!

  7. Linda B

    Creativebug has a couple classes on making quilted jackets…quite cute designs. Not on my radar at the moment, but will be fun to see what you come up with!

  8. Vicki in MN

    I have made a couple quilted jackets several years ago and still have some of them. Which Facebook group do we post them in?

  9. Julie

    Everything comes around again if you wait long enough, although sometimes not the same. Think bustier as clothing vs. foundation. Not awaiting the return of the bustle, but I’m happy to see a patchwork jacket. The manufacturers sure are charging plenty & they don’t necessarily look like real piecework, so easy to use cheater cloth for mass production. I’ve never made one, but the sweatshirt based jackets look achievable so maybe there is one in my future.

  10. karenfae

    I really don’t care for quilted jackets – as a part of a quilting group about 20 years ago they wanted to make quilted vests or jackets as a project and all were encouraged to join in – I made a vest and never wore it – I gave it away I think. I really didn’t care for any that I saw people making – to me it looked like you were wearing a quilt and it didn’t look right

  11. It’s a big circle, because it was very popular in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Now, I am going to look at all the donated patterns I have on hand from 2nd Time Around. Just sorted them all yesterday, but if I find a pattern I will shoot you an email. Never made one for myself, but have used “EPP Hexies” on things like dishtowels and bathmats.

  12. Mary Stori

    There’s been lots of controversy about this practice, esp. cutting up old quilts. Mary Fons even did a rant video about it.

  13. I love quilted jackets. They probably add more bulk to me than I need but they are cozy and pretty. I have one, made from an old quilt, that I bought once while traveling — and let me tell you, that thing is warm! It’s really a terrific things to put on during a cold winter day! I like the idea of a patchwork jacket or vest that is perhaps not quite so bulky but as bright and colorful as these!

  14. jseccurrtwcnyrrcom

    Bring on the quilted jackets! I’ve made one from Favorite Things’s The Shawl Jacket – patched pattern which is still available https://pattern-walk.com/product/favorite-things-v007-the-shawl-jacket-patched-by-leslie-gladman-size-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-22-uncut-sewing-pattern though the pattern dates to 1999. I made it long ago and since gave it away. I pieced with violet prints squares for a tone on tone look. I lengthened the pattern and made it reversible. My quilting bucket list includes making another quilted jacket. Following for ideas.

  15. Daryl Miller

    Hi Carole, happy to see quilted jackets are coming back! I have 3 I remember and would love to send you photos, but am out of town. If you still want them after the 17th, can send when I get home. A fall leaf one on a sweatshirt. Another pieced by a pattern and a batik on the pattern, just quilted maybe both have zippers? Daryl

    1. Patricia Evans

      Yes, Kim makes quilted jackets from old vintage quilts she buys at flea markets. Kim has a counter argument to the critics who rant about cutting up old quilts. She does beautiful work, but the jackets are just as pricey as the ones from the designer manufacturers.

  16. Interesting how fashion trends reappear. This is one I wish would not. I had the opportunity to model quilted/patchwork garments once and I felt like a sofa the entire time. Lol. Just not my cup of tea.

  17. Michele Bretz

    I remember that was an 80’s thing and they say what comes around will come back in the garment industry! I may find something in my stash since I was a teacher for JoAnn’s.

  18. Candy

    There was a fad back in the 90’s to make quilted jackets from denim and loud, splashy beach towels. Someone where I lived then was making them and selling them for pretty big bucks, I think. I never had one, but they were certainly eye-catching. Candy

  19. Joan Sheppard

    I made a quilted jacket from “Jacket Jazz” – very intricate, very time consuming, very pretty and didn’t fit any which way. My biggest hint to making a quilted garment is to make a sample, even if it’s only the lining before you make my mistake. A good friend, 4 inches taller and thinner, loved the jacket and still wears it 10 or so years later. These are fun to make and wear – so many comments from perfect strangers!

  20. mlmcspadden

    I did a quilted sweatshirt many years ago for my grandmother. Made new ‘fabric’ using scraps and then appliqued that onto the sweatshirt. No pictures of it though at this point.

  21. I’ve been seeing quilt coats on other quilters’ blogs. I think Patty at Elm St. Quilts has made 1 or 2 of them, fairly recently. I think they are really fun and unique, but not sure I want to do it myself! My mom used to be the garment maker in our family, and she made me a quilted vest years ago – I still have it. It looks a lot like yours that you showed.

  22. I’ve wanted to convert a sweatshirt into a quilted jacket for years but never got around to it. I have done patchwork vests, especially in the 90’s but really thought they were out of style. Thank you for bringing us this fashion update! Who knew??? I bought a loose blazer pattern a few years ago intending to quilt fabric and use that to make the jacket, but I haven’t yet. Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts has a jacket pattern featuring patchwork stars….I think it’s called the Beachcomber Jacket. I can’t wait to see you post photos of what you’ve come up with. I look forward to the Sew Madam post!

  23. Sandra B

    I have a pattern, bought many years ago, for a quilted jacket….even bought fabric to make it…jewel tone fabrics, if I remember correctly…. And even did some sewing on it! I will have to dig it out to see if I still like it as well as I did way back when!! You know, there’s a saying about how “something old becomes new again”. Don’t know the exact wording.
    Not that I need to be starting on anything else…but technically, this is a WIP, right??!

  24. Melanie

    Interesting and fun article today, Carole. I love anything quilted or with the look of quilted fabric. I have a sweatshirt jacket half made from years ago that was put aside and forgotten. I’d like to dig it out and finish it this year, so looking forward to your Madam Sew technique. Also like your vest very much, still relevant today, and the example you showed of a jacket in different techniques of fabric, knit sleeves (yes, could take a sweater apart, have seen this done), lace and embroidery. Fun, fun, fun! And why not quilted jackets this year????

  25. Tina from Oregon

    I made a sweatshirt jacket for my sister-in-law and she wore it for years. I started one for me at the same time. Guess I need to pull it out and finish it up. For the jacket, you de-construct the over-sized sweatshirt, make the fabric, quilt it onto the sweatshirt and then sew it back together.

  26. I made a quilted jacket several years ago, and am happy they are coming back. Made mine from a sweatshirt. I did have a pattern that I bought at a quilt show.

  27. I have two quilted jackets I made from patterns in a book called Jacket Jazz. Judy Murrah, the author, came to teach at our local quilt store. I am so happy the quilted jackets are coming back into vogue as they are so comfy and warm

  28. I have seen that quilted clothing is making a comeback. I think that most of the ones you showed in this post are not attractive, but I do like quilted clothing. I like the one you had saved with the different materials and the Ralph Lauren. A recent magazine I saw also featured quilted jackets.

  29. I made the Beachcomber from a tutorial by Edyta Sitar a couple years ago, and my wool patchwork parka last year. Patchwork is very big, there are some designers actually using old quilts in some of their stuff too!

  30. Bev Warburton

    It has been said if you wait long enough it will come back in style. One of my later jackets was constructed from 3 panels, many compliments when I wear.

  31. I made my quilted jacket from scratch so to speak. Its’ made from batiks, in the storm at sea pattern. I made the lining first and put it on a display wall, then loosely made up the panels to cover the lining. Then I put in the batting and quilted the panels together, and cut them out according to the pattern pieces, and sewed them together . I made bias tape to cover the seams. Still wear it !

  32. I have not made a quilted jacket yet. But that needs to change because a girl is gotta keep up with the times 😀 Staying relevant is a must.

  33. June Neigum

    Sorry this is late but my weekend got full of everything but computer work. This post makes me feel good. I have been wearing a quilted winter jacket for the last 4 years and have have many compliments on it. I thought it was out of style but because I am a quilter I still wore it. Now it is back in style! Go figure. I also make a “collage” jacket I pieced but that was when I was 2 sizes smaller. I also have another jacket that was pieces and quilted and hopefully I can ressurect this one as it seems my old 20 year old jackets are back in style. Yea! I’ll try to take pics of them and post on your Facebook page.

  34. Bridget

    hilarious, I made a quilted jacket from an old sweatshirt for myself and then for several others who asked for them. that was +20 years ago and I still have and wear the jacket on cool days, camping, any place where it is causal. I never wear it that I don’t get compliments, even now! Maybe because it was made from batiks. Simple to make…um, maybe time for another.

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