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Quilt Fanciful Fashions

The autumnal season and quilted jackets are ideas that belong together like latte and pumpkin spice.  Each fall we have at least one blog post and class about quilting Tabula Rasa Jackets.  For my September OSQE Quilted Jacket Class I started a pair of quilted jackets which were used as samples to demonstrate steps in the quilted jacket process.  Here is an update on the finished jackets.

Fabric Inspirations

For years we have traveled to shows with our friend Edye’s quilted jacket made with this Alexander Henry Fabric, “Bow Wow Chow Mein”.  She acquired some more of this discontinued fabric for us years ago and this fall, there was time to create with it.  You can see the fabric in all its glory in the archived post Edye’s Quilted Jacket.

Bow Wow Chow Mein
Whole Cloth Quilted TRJ

Find the Best Fabric Combination

While the original fabric combination was fabulous, the other fabrics Edye used were in short supply.  It was fun to search for new possibilities.  I shared some of the fabric combinations with an online ASG group and on Facebook and Instagram.  As always, the votes for each combination were evenly split.

Design the Jackets

While our readers were considering the fabric choices, I decided what size to make the whole cloth quilted jacket.  Actually, there are two, one for my daughter Anna and one for my great niece Rory.

I kept the toddler jacket fabrications light and colorful, drawing on the lighter sections in the Bow Wow print which were cut and quilted to a bamboo blend batting.  The hot pink lining is free-hanging.  The cute buttons, small and wooden, slide through inseam buttonholes in the striped band.

For Anna’s jacket, the greens and mustard colors she likes are featured.  I quilted the fabric sections to silk batting and neutral colored china silk lining in one step.  The quilt sandwich was 3 layers as you see in the photo above.   The buttons are moon shaped polymer clay.  Loops were inserted into the two-piece band to close the jacket.

Quilt the pieces

The fabric sandwiches for each jacket section were cut larger than the pattern pieces, quilted, and then trimmed to the size needed for a well-fitting jacket.  This allows for some shrinkage during the quilting process.  Don’t make your jacket larger because it is quilted.  Quilted jackets have little drape and look best when they fit neatly.

Construct the Jacket

Both jackets were constructed in the usual order for any Tabula Rasa Jacket.  Anna’s jacket, with the lining quilted in, required that each seam be finished with a binding, serger or Hong Kong finish.   Rory’s jacket was constructed, seams left unfinished, then the lining was constructed and inserted to cover up the seams and quilting threads.

Constructed jacket and lining ready to insert

Most of the hem and band finishes were done by hand, which is easy in a quilted jacket with all the extra layers for hiding your stitches.  To minimize bulk, trim out the batting from the seam allowances before finishing and finally pressing the seams.

Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram this week to see close up photos of each of these steps.  In the future, we hope to show some photos of the jackets being worn by their new owners.

Gather What You Need and Get Going

Is there a whole cloth quilted jacket on your cutting board?  Now is the time to get one stitched up for the cool weather ahead.  In addition to the Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern, the Quilting Tips booklet provides direction on quilting techniques, materials, design ideas and fit that make whole cloth quilted jackets successful.  Our patterns for TRJ Band Variations and  Sleeve and Cuff Variations provide additional design options, such as the shawl collar band and turn back cuffs seen on some of these samples.

Coming soon to the OSQE Online Class schedule for December will be a new class, Innovative Piecing for Quilted Jackets.  If you have a  whole cloth quilted jacket already made, this class is sure to inspire you to give even more complex quilted jackets a try.

Stay Well and Sew Happy, RAE

3 thoughts on “Quilt Fanciful Fashions

  1. Thanks for this detailed post. I saw the ‘bow wow’ fabric years ago when I worked in a quilt shop and loved it! I bought several yards but never used it and just came across it last week when going through my stash. So it’s great to see it put to use here. I just bought the tabula rasa jacket pattern and I believe I know just what fabric I’ll use!!

    1. Ooh Pamela, I cannot wait to see it! I still have a little more that I think will become a vest that features the brown colors.

  2. I too have the bow wow fabric. I never could decide what to do with it – you know, when you have that piece of fabric that you just don’t want to cut just for anything – well I think I found that something. I think this will be a fun project and a great jacket to make — can’t wait to start.

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