Finishing the Quilted Jacket Ensemble

My friend, Mary (from Inside Stori), has talked me into entering my quilted jacket into the wearable art competition at the Mancuso Mid-Atlantic show. She encouraged me to complete the extra pieces and enter the full ensemble category. Well, I really didn’t want to spend money on fabric for pieces I would likely not ever wear, but in the back of my mind I thought I might have some black fabric in the stash. It took a bit of searching, but I found it, and it was perfect. It is a dressmaker weight cotton/poly blend, and I had four yards of it. I laid out the pattern for a sleeveless top, and cut some bits on which to experiment with embroidery. My plan was to embroider a blue rose on the top. That failed miserably, so I cut out the top and came up with a new plan.

The shoulder and side seams were serged together, then the raw edges of the armseyes and neckline were serged to finish them.

Then the serged edges of the neckline and armseyes were turned under to topstitch.

I needed to have some way to tie the extra pieces to the jacket, so I dug around again and found one measly partial fat quarter left from the jacket, but it was all I needed. The print is one of the diagonals on the jacket front. I cut some strips at 1-1/2-inches wide.

The strips were sewn end to end, then pressed in half.

Pinning them to the bottom of the sleeveless shell, right sides together, I put the ends together just like you do for binding on a quilt.

Carefully pinning all the way around, the length is checked again to be sure it is exactly right. Then I serged the raw edge of the trim and bottom edge together, and pressed the serged edge to the inside, leaving a 3/4-inch trim strip showing on the top. The top is longer than the jacket, and will be worn outside the skirt, so the strip will show.

Next, I constructed a simple elastic waist skirt with the serger. For the hem, I used the blind hem stitch on my machine. Once you get the hang of this, it is not only fast, but the stitches are even and bury themselves in the fabric.

All done, ready for labels. Mary is helping me with those too, and she has designed a beauty! I have to have name of the piece, my name, address and phone number on all of them. She has the ability to print labels on fabric with her computer, and has made some for me with a blue rose on the side to go with the blue rose fabric. She is an amazing artist. Can’t wait to see them!

Now that I am looking at the photo above, I am second guessing my decision to have the top longer, should I shorten it? Ugh!! I need to decide then get the entry done. I still want to send the hat with the outfit, and found some air bags to put inside it so it will hold its shape. Surely the people doing the displays will fix it if it mushes down.

I am undecided about the extra pieces with the purse. I think the ensemble is displayed on a mannequin, so there wouldn’t be any way to show them.

I have to tell you, I am itching to wear it! After all, I originally started this project in response to the resurgence in quilted jackets for fall. But I don’t dare. The entry deadline for this juried show is coming soon, and I won’t know if my submission will be accepted until late January. I’ll keep you posted!

24 thoughts on “Finishing the Quilted Jacket Ensemble

  1. Mary Stori

    How kind of you to recognize me…….Wearable art is basically where I got my start in the quilt world with a (huge surprise win early on). Best of Show at the AQS/Hobbs Fashion show in Paducah years ago. Some of my still best friends in the quilt world were met through these competitions.
    My humble opinion…..The jacket’s length is just right…remember it will be on a mannequin…..which are often taller than we are. Secondly, in reference to the accessories….if the hat is a hassle to send…..forgo it. Use the purse for sure…the dressers will most likely wrap it on an arm or over a shoulder….perhaps tuck the two small pieces inside the bag…maybe peaking out….tack them down?? I will confess….as a judge, yup we often looked inside bags…..(a.) to check quality (b.) snoopy Ha ha.
    And finally…I’m impressed with your serguring ability……I still struggle with that task……!

  2. That’s so cute and well done on finishing. Don’t second guess the length. It looks great. I like the accessories (and if the judges peek in the bag, they’ll see them). I suppose even if they don’t, if they are done, put them in. What’s to lose? I can’t wait to see you model it one day!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Carole!

  3. quilterpt

    How fun! Good luck with all of that, and hopefully you will do well and send it on to PIQF where I would be able to see it next fall…although that’s a long time to wait to wear it!!

  4. lynn bourgeois

    You have invested a lot of work in this ensemble. Congratulations. Even if you decide against entering it, you have a winner.

  5. Becky

    Beautiful and best wishes on your entry. Being a teen of the ’60’s I never had my top longer than the jacket but would wear my sweatshirt inside out so the serged seams showed…LOL.
    I’ve changed along with the times and styles and totally wear my top longer than a jacket so I would leave it as sewn.

  6. Mary

    What a thrill!
    To enter something that you have designed and made is such a good feeling.
    I hope to see a picture of you wearing it one day!!

  7. Enter your jacket and then come to the show! It’s not that far away and I have a guest house you can stay in. I’m about 75 minutes from Hampton. It’s an easy drive. We do it in a day.

  8. Nikki B

    Beautiful ensemble. Hope you get to enter it. Maybe they have a table for the coordinating bag and pieces?

    I have worn my quilted jacket a couple of times, lots of compliments. We are going out for dinner tomorrow so I may wear it then.

    Happy thanksgiving.

  9. jseccurrtwcnyrrcom

    You are going to score high on workmanship as your seam and hem finishing are top notch! I think if you shorten the top, you’ll lose the pizzaz of the strip that matches the jacket.

  10. I love the additional pieces you made. Have you tried the ensemble on? I think that is what would help me decide whether to shorten the top. I don’t think the little pieces will be necessary. Good luck with your entry!

  11. Sue

    Yes, I would shorten the shell. The extra length distracts from the jacket. Maybe some horizontal pleats on the midriff would work. I would like to see more color at
    the neckline too.

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