Back in March, I did my first ever pattern test and the outcome was an 80″ x 80″ quilt top. The pattern is called ‘The B.S. Quilt’ by Trevor Whittow (@thatgayquilter). ‘B.S.’ is short for Bento Stars but I’ve affectionately called mine ‘The Beautiful Santorini Quilt’.
Since I completed it, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think about how to quilt this giant. I considered hand quilting it, then I thought I would outsource it to a Longarm quilting service. They use a large, standalone machine called a Longarm that moves around the quilt, making it easier to quilt larger quilting projects. Compared to using a domestic sewing machine, where you move the quilt around and your sewing machine stays static.
The latter was very much on the cards, until I remembered that one of my reasons for completing the ‘Nova Coat’ by Papercut Patterns was so that I could practise coat-making before using one of my treasured quilts to make one. Instantly, the quilting situation was solved. A quilted jacket was on the cards!
I chose the ‘Unfolding Jacket’ by Wiksten (formerly known as ‘The Haori Jacket’) and spent an evening putting together and cutting out the PDF pattern after the children had gone to bed. As silly as it may sound when I had an 80″ x 80″ quilt to use, I kept thinking to myself, “I hope there’s enough of it for this pattern!” 😂 I was very careful with the pattern placement when cutting, just to make sure that I could pattern match efficiently and effectively.
Something that is worth mentioning, make sure that you wash your chosen quilt/quilt top before cutting out the pattern pieces. If you choose to assemble the coat without pre-washing, you will experience shrinkage when you decide to give it a wash. This will affect the fit of your jacket. If, like me, you completely forget then there are a few things you can do:
1) After you have quilted each of the relevant pattern pieces but BEFORE you sew them all together, steam press each individual piece. This will cause a small amount of shrinkage in a more controlled manner. Minimal shrinkage should occur because the fabric will be quilted.
2) Hand wash your quilted jacket, or put it on a short cycle, cool wash, to avoid any further shrinkage of the finished garment. A cool wash, because the heat can cause more shrinkage. A short cycle or hand wash means that the jacket will be in water for a shorter period of time, compared to a standard washing machine cycle, therefore aiding in the minimising of shrinkage.
3) Air dry your quilted jacket, rather than tumble dry.
These tips won’t necessarily completely stop shrinkage but they’ll certainly minimise it. All the fabric I used was 100% quilting cotton, which is quite robust, so I’m hoping that this will work in my favour. It took me one evening to quilt the main fabric of the jacket. I pin basted (the technique of using pins to attach batting and backing fabric to the quilt top) batting to the quilt top and created a wavy-lined design. I didn’t add any backing fabric, because I wanted the jacket to be lined in the usual fashion that is associated with a lined jacket.
If you’ve never quilted before but you really want to make your own quilted jacket, you can either straight-line quilt (using straight lines to create a pattern/design) each of the pieces for the jacket, or make use of your machine’s decorative stitches, using them to create a simple quilt pattern on your jacket.
Sewing the jacket, the lining, and attaching them to each other was very straightforward. I’d never used any Wiksten patterns before and found this particular one was with clear photography, and very detailed, well written instructions. Unfortunately, this pattern has been discontinued but if you’re lucky enough to have it in your collection, make use of it. It was a joy to make the jacket and it came together relatively quickly.
Here are some photos of me rocking my new, favourite jacket in sweltering heat. It’s a shame I have to wait until the winter to wear it.
I’m so impressed and blown away with the finished jacket and how it looks. It was worth the risk I took of cutting up my quilt top. I much prefer the design as a jacket and I’ll get far more use out of it in the winter months, than if it were a quilt. I’ll also be using the Wiksten ‘Unfolding Jacket’ a few more times to make jackets in a variety of fabrics. This garment-making project was a resounding success and I got to incorporate my love of quilting. What a win!
Pattern: ‘Unfolding Jacket’ by Wiksten
Fabric: Quilt top – Moda Bella Solids – ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Off White’. Kona Cotton Solids – ‘Lagoon’. Lining – Kona Cotton – ‘Natural’.
Assembly: 1 evening cutting. 1 evening quilting. 1 day sewing.