November 19, 2018

Another Quilt Post! (It’s Long!)

I know, you’re sick of me posting about my quilt collection, but this time, I decided to do something about it. In this post from July, I had some images of quilted coats. I started mulling the idea of making a coat from one of the quilts with condition issues, like stains or wear. image

I thought about it some more. The coat needed to be very simple. It needed to be simple because I’ve never made a coat, or even anything with sleeves before. I’d also never really made anything using a printed pattern. The coat needed to be a loosely-fitted, boxy design because of the quilt’s bulk. And I pretty much knew that there was no way in this world that I could construct and attach a collar. I finally found and  bought a pattern for the potential coat. image

There was actually a belt with the pattern, but I thought that would move the coat into more of a bathrobe territory.

I pondered some more. How could I make this work? I didn’t really want to have to have to sew hems around the whole coat, because again, the bulk. All of a sudden, the solution came to me. Why not use the borders of the quilt for the edges of the coat! I could use the corners for the two front panels, and then the other borders for the arms and the back.

Once I figured that out, things pretty much fell into place. I had gotten a quilt a little while ago at a different auction from my usual one, and they had a full photo of it online. I screen-grabbed it and put it in Photoshop. As you can see, there’s a pattern of sorts. I wanted to figure out how to take advantage of the larger red squares, because there were only two of them. image

Then I scanned in the pattern pieces and started moving them around until I found the layout which would take advantage of the borders and the red blocks. This was an early iteration of the lay-out.quilted coat

I wanted to try and match the fronts, but alternating the brown and red, and the sleeves with the white at the top. It took some playing to get this done, with the quilt laying out on my bed, Figue trying to be part of it all and me pinning the tissue paper pattern to the quilt. I actually marked the patterns out on the right side of the quilt (in a Sharpie marker, no less!), because I wanted to be certain of where the pieces were going to be. Even after I printed out this lay-out, I changed it again.image

The hardest part was actually putting scissors to fabric, but once I did, I just kept cutting. I have a dress-maker’s dummy, so I started pinning the coat on that and could finally see it taking shape… literally. image

As I mentioned, I’ve never made a garment with sleeves, so I had NO idea of how this would work. As you can see by the middle image, I initially put the sleeves in backwards, and then realized i needed to turn the sleeves inside-out. I also put seam-binding around the neck-line, since it was the only place where the raw edges showed. Once I figured all of that out, it was smooth sailing sewing. All in all, it took about five hours to make the coat, not including the contemplating and pondering.

I  like how the pattern mostly matches up, and how you can see the amazing stitch-work on the plain panel on the back of the jacket. I think that the bright graphic pattern on this quilt steers it away from the bathrobe territory. I did adjust the sleeves a little, but they were still too long, so I’ve just folded them back.

Front 1backFront 2

To say that I am THRILLED about how the coat (or quoat, as a friend termed it) turned out would be an understatement. I started this morning picking up coffee and having a woman stop me to tell me how much she loved my coat. I had to tell her I had made it all by my self!

So, that brings up my next quandry. I thought I would have sold a lot of the quilts at my Pop-Up Shop in September, but I only sold one! I was pretty surprised by that. I am now thinking of making some of these quilt coats for sale. I won’t cut up the perfect quilts, but some of the ones that are 90% perfect, since I now know how much fabric I need. I would make them in S, M, L and XL, not by actual sizes. I am thinking that you could pick which quilt you wanted, and what size you need, and the coat would be made to order. Thoughts?

21 comments:

  1. Wow! Reformed antiques dealer here with a serious quilt addiction. I might be interested depending on colors and price.

    NancyO.

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  2. It seems as if sewing is something you came to fairly recently? You are fearless! I recall you once tackled a slip cover. I can sew buttons - and that's about it. I am very impressed and think this is wonderful use of quilts. Unfortunately for you I never purchase clothing online (I need to try everything on) and I don't live in your neck of the woods but I want to encourage you in this endeavour. I think the coat is fabulous! Bravo! By the way - I was wondering if you were a whiz at puzzles as a child - the way you were able to repurpose the fabric around the stains was brilliant. Susan Sobol

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    1. Recently, as in 2009/2010. I am not great at puzzles, but it was fun to try and make the most of this pattern, avoiding spots, and trying to use as much of the red patches as I could. I hate repetitive sewing, but love doing things that turn out differently each time. Thank you for your kind words.

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  3. As I said in another email - I LOVE this coat. Would love to have one when you determine price and let me know how to determine the sizing. Also love that you took the time to "feature" the stitchwork on the back.

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    1. What I am mulling is to do them in S, M, L, & XL. The coats are supposed to be boxy, so very general sizes.

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  4. FAB U LO SO !!!!!!!! Ditto to all the above comments

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  5. Wow, Meg, I'm impressed! Not that I thought you couldn't do it, but I love that you were confident enough to charge right in, knowing you could figure-it-out as you went along.

    A while back, I went through a similar long-pondered but quickly-executed fitted slipcover for a camelback Chippendale sofa whose curvaceous shape I loved, but whose ghastly upholstery I had simply painted, for cost reasons. In hot weather, any bare skin had a tendency to stick to the paint, so I whipped up a slipcover for it. I had no sewing experience, no pattern, no instructions & no machine, but I still managed to whip up the sofa's cover over a long weekend. You just have to be smarter than the fabric, and anybody who got above a C grade in Geometry class can figure it out.

    Anyway, you did a great job, and I love how you turned the big un-patterned-but-quilted section into the highlight of the back.




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    1. Thanks, Magna! I did a slip-cover, too. Basically, pinning and sewing, pinning and sewing. All you have to remember is to do everything inside-out!

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  6. No more cutter quilt pillows for me. Thank you for the inspiration to tackle a more complex project. You rock, Meg!!!

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    1. The pattern I used was super-easy... as long as you ignore the lining and the belt. I think that a belt would take it into bathrobe territory, not coat. It's supposed to be unstructured, so maybe just a few buttons.

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  7. I'm not sure you realize how amazing it is to create your first piece with sleeves out of an antique quilt and come out with such a lovely result! Bravo! I especially like the showcasing of the white work square on the back of the coat.

    ceci

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    1. Thanks, Ceci! It took a while to really figure out how to highlight the various aspects of the quilt, since they were so random.

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  8. My goodness, what a fantastic result. The quilt pattern is a perfect foil for the coat. By the way does anyone recognize the quilt block by name? I for one can identify with the quilter if a they ran out of red or thought the tan and white to boring but the end result with the three color combo and now it is a coat!! what Serendipity. We all should try to make at least one quilt in our lives. I have sewn the around the world with fair sized blocks and only tied the corners with floss. Meg, this outstanding handiwork is suitable for the county Fair is a blue ribbon in my book. By the way to your readers --informal survey here-- is your County Fair adult friendly?? can you bake a pie to enter to win a ribbon is there a blue ribbon jar of pickles in your future-- does your county fair celebrate your community or is a A Carnival with sketchy rides and greasy 10 dollar hotdogs? Please respond thank you

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  9. If you were to ask me a set in sleeve is do--able But we are all body types patterns need to be altered and perhaps that seems a daunting factor. there are instructional videos that explain pattern drafting. I bet there is an app out there that could help a seamstress-- Women of the computer programing world and 3-d simulators Unite and recognize the contribution to society --- a way to make a perfect pattern to sew to fit me or you!!!!

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    1. Even though there are set-in sleeves, I think that this coat idea needs to be pretty unstructured because of the volume of the quilt. I am planning to make it in S-M and L-XL, since there's enough latitude to have it loose and still fit pretty well.

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