Since the Met Gala, quilted jackets are in! We are seeing them everywhere, from the fashion runway to the back porch; from the city walks to the backwoods, and everywhere in between. And, they are naturally blowing up all over social media. It seems everyone has dusted off an old quilt and transformed it into a fashionable wearable jacket or purpose-made one specifically to wear.
This inspired Regena Carlevaro, Director of Education at Janome America, to make a fashionable Quilt Jacket from scratch. She provided some helpful tips using her Janome Continental M7 with the Janome AcuFeed Flex AD foot, Janome AcuFeed Flex Narrow VD foot, and the Janome AcuFeed Flex Ditch Quilting SD Foot.
Choosing the correct pattern – To begin, you’ll want to select a pattern that will be friendly to this technique, avoiding complicated tailoring elements such as darts, tucks, or gathers which may interfere with the quilting and add to the bulk. Minimalist is the way to go. The pattern used was Butterick 6496.
Fussy Cutting is essential – The importance of lining up your pattern using the grainlines, center front, center back, and so forth to make sure it lines up correctly with the quilt piecing will significantly affect the outcome of your jacket. You don’t want a seam in the piecing to fall on or within the seam allowance of the jacket, which will be extra bulky. Layout the pattern pieces multiple times over your quilt, take photos, compare, pin, rearrange, and sleep on it. Don’t be afraid to incorporate multiple quilts into your jacket. Be wild, be bold; you probably have a whole closet of ordinary jackets, but this is a Quilt Jacket. Make it stand apart from the rest!
Shrinkage – When creating the pieces, cut them 3″ bigger than the pattern pieces to compensate for quilting and shrinkage. As you sew and quilt, the fabric will draw in and condense in size. Washing will cause the fabric and batting to shrink even more, so consider washing your quilt before you begin laying out the garment pattern pieces. The big debate amongst quilters; to wash the fabric before you cut and construct the quilt, or after? That conversation is for another blog post, lol!
Janome must-haves – If your machine is equipped with AcuFeed Flex; Janome’s built-in superior feeding system, take advantage of this. AcuFeed Flex is a Janome exclusive. The system uses Upper Feed Teeth/Feed Dogs in the various foot holders in conjunction with the Lower Feed Dogs in the machine to gently move the multiple layers of fabric through the machine at the same rate. In addition to quilting, it’s ideal to use when sewing napped fabrics like velvet, and when matching plaids. The Janome Ditch Quilting AcuFeed Flex foot (SD) and Janome AcuFeed Flex Narrow foot holder with Narrow (VD) foot are game-changers for straight line quilting.
Watch the video below to see the many Janome AcuFeed Flex options!
Just Sew it! Let the quilting speak for itself. Use different quilting lines and angles to accentuate the garment. Notice the points on the sleeves in the photo below. The piecing provided inspiration for the echo quilting up the sleeve. This gives the jacket so much texture and structure, so consider this when laying out the patterns and assembling.
Second-hand quilts – Lastly, let’s face it, not everyone is up for making a Quilt Jacket from scratch, so head to your local thrift store or swing by a garage sale to look for pieced quilt tops which have not been layered and quilted. You never know what you might find, and having an older quilt will give your jacket tons of character. Let Janome be your guide and companion on your unique super-thrifty Quilt Jacket experience, lol!