Quilted Jacket Sew Along – Creating the Patchwork

This week we get started. For those who missed the previous posts, this sew along began with a trip to Macy’s and the discovery that quilted patchwork was back in style. See my post Quilted Jackets Return to Fashion. Then, the McCalls Quilting September October 2022 issue featured Quilted Coats! That issue is available for your Kindle reader or print version. We talked about doing the sew along in Quilty Chat, and the comments were positive. So, it seemed a sew along would be fun. Here is the timeline:
Week 1 – choose pattern, create fabric – today, August 2
Week 2 – quilt fabric and patchwork, pattern placement – August 9
Week 3 – cut out and adjust fit, assemble jacket – August 16
Week 4 – finishing – August 23

For those who would like to have one, I made a button for the sew along. Do a right click on the image below, and ‘save image as’ to your desktop. Then link this url which will pull all the posts – https://frommycarolinahome.com/category/quilted-jacket-sew-along/

If you missed it, last week I talked about Pattern Selection. We each have different needs, body shapes, and sewing skills, so everyone should pick a pattern they like and are comfortable sewing. Guidelines are on that post.

This week, we make the decisions on how to do the patchwork and what parts of the jacket will have them and which ones may not. There are also several ways to create the fabric. First, and easiest, is to simply create a patchwork equal to the amount of fabric needed for the pattern and quilt it all. Then cut the pattern pieces from the large quilted piece. This would be the same as if you purchased pre-quilted fabric to use. Second, you can make the patchwork piece by piece, which has the advantage of being smaller pieces to quilt. But, before we get to that, let’s talk about the batting.

While your first thought on batting may be to use 100% cotton, and that would be fine, I am going to use a lighter weight batting with a softer drape. I think using either Tuscany Silk or Quilter’s Dream Orient or Bamboo (available at Fat Quarter Shop) will make a less stiff jacket resulting in a garment more comfortable to wear. These battings require special care in washing, so be sure to check the label. Washing in cold water and blocking to air dry is generally safe. I also plan to pre-shrink my fabrics by either washing yardage in a machine, or soaking fat quarters and then pressing dry. I am not expecting to wash a jacket much, as they rarely need it. Another idea is Hobb’s Thermore, an ultra-thin, 100% polyester batting specifically designed for clothing and miniatures. You could also consider a black batting if your fabrics are dark.

So, now let’s talk about the jacket design planning. You need to decide if you are going to do patchwork all over, or just on a part of the garment. For mine, I have decided to only do a patchwork for the left front. The back and sleeves will be the same fabric, and the right front will be a single piece of a different print from the collection. Using the yardage I purchased, the sleeves will take most of one.

The back will be cut on the fold, but I don’t need the whole width to get that. So, I folded the fabric to only what was needed, and I’ll cut away the excess. I’ll save that to use as binding.

I want the right front to be this coordinating butterfly print, but it isn’t quite long enough.

You can see that I only need a bit at the top, but this was before I added 2 inches to the overall length. I need to put the seam in a spot that looks intentional, not like a mistake in cutting. If I put the seam at the top, I have to figure out a good spot to look like a yoke, and get the joining seam away from the shoulder seam. This will also put a seam into the armseye, which usually isn’t a problem if it is in the middle, away from the other seams. Ultimately, I decided to put the strip of rose print at the bottom.

Now for the patchwork part. I began auditioning the fabrics I have in this line. These were OK, but there isn’t enough contrast between the values. I need to take out at least one and add in some lighter prints.

To remind myself that the left front pattern needs to be cut out right side down, I flipped the pattern piece over and wrote ‘left side up’ on it.

Setting out strips 2-1/2-inches wide, I arranged them until I had enough to cut the pattern piece. I am using fat quarters, so my strip length is limited. Note that the bottom section is offset to accommodate the short strips. I want the strips to be on a diagonal from the shoulder down to the center front.

Sewing the strips together, the seams are pressed open to reduce bulk.

So, your task this week is to complete your patchwork, choose your batting and find a backing/lining. Next week we will begin quilting the fabric pieces. Share your fabric pulls, batting choices, and your progress in our Friends of From My Carolina Home facebook group.

Tell us about your progress and plans for your jacket in the comments today. Are you going to do patchwork all over or just in a part of your jacket? What colors did you choose?

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10 thoughts on “Quilted Jacket Sew Along – Creating the Patchwork

  1. karenfae

    I have never been into sewing clothing but it will be interesting to see what you come up with Good Luck!

  2. Julie

    Excellent suggestions on the batting! I’m still planning so little progress on my part. Ha, I’ve been planning for years, who am I kidding?

  3. Joan Sheppard

    This is really exciting to see this come together! You could also have tried putting the “additional” strip at the armhole level and made it into a inside pocket. And love that you marked the pattern – thanks for showing such detail.

    1. Edy John

      Love, love, love this whole idea. Hoping to follow along but on my own time schedule. I have minimal experience with clothing and especially altering patterns so that was a set back for me. But I found a quilted jacket which fits me on clearance at Target which I’m hoping to take apart to use as my pattern. My daughter is staying with me this week so I’ll have help with the design and fabric selection. (She’s already requesting one if it turns out!)

  4. I am planning to quilt all over my jacket. Still looking for backing fabric, but will get caught-up soon. My color palette is grey with other neutral and/or dark colors.

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