Fall is the perfect time of year for making and wearing cozy quilted jackets. One of our favorites is featured on our updated home page. We call it Bow Wow Chow Mein after the Alexander Henry fabric featured on the front and back of this quilted Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ).
It was the first quilted jacket made by Edye Sanford, our trusted pattern tester and Eureka! Pants Professional. As you can see, Edye is not afraid of using bright, colorful fabrics in her clothing. Does it surprise you that there are only 3 cotton fabrics used in the exterior of this jacket: a bold stripe, a geometric stripe used on the bias as flat piping, and the Bow Wow fabric? The stripe is an excellent complement to the print and both are enhanced by the flat piping. The piping frames the print to make the jacket more dramatic. A jacket made entirely from any one of these fabrics would not be as interesting.
Using the Bow Wow print to its best advantage took some fiddling. First Edye made a full size pattern piece of the back and each side of the front so she could place her favorite China Town street scene perfectly. The length of the coat was partially determined by the scene on the fabric. With the remaining fabric, she placed a right and left front, being mindful of how the print would meet in the middle and fall in relation to the bust line. Placing a favorite feature on one shoulder and another at the opposite hip usually creates a balanced composition. It really worked here to dramatic effect. Take note that it took 2 and 1/2 pattern repeats to take full advantage of the fabric. When you are buying a novelty print fabric for a TRJ and want to fussy cut the pieces, make sure you buy enough.
Edye chose to quilt each piece of the jacket to the batting before construction after making some samples to test her materials. She allowed an extra 1/2” all around to allow for shrinkage that might occur while quilting. Then she re-cut each piece after it was quilted to assure a proper fit. Fit for Art’s booklet Tips for Quilted Jackets gives detailed instructions for quilting, re-cutting, trimming, constructing and lining the quilted pieces into a TRJ. Edye used a hot pink free hanging lining to finish the inside. She also put a great pocket on the inside that isolates another of her favorite scenes from the print.
Last week we talked about sewing clothing professionals want to wear to work with Fit for Art patterns. Edye is a sewing professional and when she wears her Eureka! Pants with this TRJ around town or to meet with a client, she quietly shows them that she is confident and talented when working with fabric, color, fit and design. If you live in Baltimore, you can meet Edye at Atomic Books on Thursday evening, November 13, where she is on a panel discussing a new book entitled Women in Clothes.
In our area, this week is the Quilters Quest Shop Hop. If you live near Gaithersburg MD, visit Capital Quilts to see our display of quilted jackets. Sign up for a TRJ class with me January 26 and 27 at Capital Quilts. We will be fitting and making jacket Mock Ups and also begin a real TRJ. There are also still a few spaces in the Eureka! Pants that Fit class at Capital Quilts on November 18 and 19.
Have you made a quilted TRJ yet? Cool fall weather is a wonderful for quilting jacket pieces. Is there a quilt shop you like that might be interested in knowing about Fit for Art’s patterns and classes? Please tell us so we can send them some information.
Happy Sewing, RAE