Jacket for a Quilter

This is my second blog for National Serger Month, which is this month. I was looking for serged things to show you and I found a jacket I thought you would enjoy.

Many of us who are traditional quilters also have “quilty” jackets or sweaters. So let me tell you an easy way to make yourself a jacket. You don’t need to know anything about garment construction when you use this method.

Start with a good quality sweatshirt that is one size too large for you. Wash it to preshrink it. Cut it open by cutting the side seams open from wrist to hem. If there are not side seams, just cut it open where the side seams would be. Cut off the ribbing from the hem and from the wrists. Do not remove the ribbing from the neck edge yet.

Lay the sweatshirt out flat on a table with the wrong side up. Place your chosen fabrics on the sweatshirt. In the photo, you might notice that I didn’t do this step correctly. I put the fabric on the right side of the sweatshirt so the wrong side is what you see as the inside of the jacket. The wrong side collects lint. If I’d done it correctly, the right side (smooth side) of the sweatshirt would be what you’d see as the inside of the jacket and it wouldn’t be all linty.

You can use quilt blocks, whole fabric or assorted pieces of fabric like I did. The fabric for this jacket started with a set of charm squares. I filled in a few other pieces from my stash. I trimmed the charm squares just a bit with a wavy blade in the rotary cutter. It is important to cover every bit of the sweatshirt base, overlapping the patches a little. Make sure all the fabric lays nice and flat. Baste the fabric in place.

Add laces and embellishment tucking raw edges of the lace under the fabric. Free-motion quilt the fabric and embellishments in place.

4 8 2013 quilting 1024x768 Jacket for a Quilter

Closeup of Quilting

I stippled the fabric down on this jacket but you can stitch whatever pattern you’d like to get the fabric attached to the sweatshirt. I find the sweatshirt is sturdy enough I don’t have to use any stabilizer.

I also added cuffs.

4 8 2013 sleeve 1024x768 Jacket for a Quilter

Cuffs dress up the jacket a bit.

When all the fabric and embellishments are free-motion quilted in place, serge the underarm seams back closed. (You knew I was going to get to the serger eventually.)

Use a ruler and rotary cutter and cut the front open. Remove the ribbing from the neck edge and bind all the raw edges just like you’d bind a quilt.

And here is my completed jacket. The laces are a combination of purchased lace, hand crocheted lace and machine embroidered lace. I love this jacket.

4 8 2013 jacket 1024x768 Jacket for a Quilter

Completed jacket

If you’re considering buying a serger, this month is a good time to check into them. Some sewing machine companies are offering special deals during National Serger Month.           

For more quilting fun, follow Quilters Newsletter online and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Lori Baker

Lori is the creative editor at Quilters Newsletter.
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13 Responses to Jacket for a Quilter

  1. Ann Williams says:

    The wrong side of the sweatshirt is cuddlier and feels so good when it is really cold.
    I left the neck ribbing on mine to make it fit closer to my neck.

  2. Velia lauerman says:

    Nice instructions for making a beautiful Quilted Jacket from a SS. Thanks

  3. Velia lauerman says:

    To line a SS Quilted Jacket I turn a SILK shirt or blouse right side in and attach it inside the jacket as a lining. Leave the tails hanging from the bottom.

  4. Lori Baker says:

    One of the things I like about blogging is when readers share their ideas. Ann, I never wear my jacket without a long-sleeved top so I wouldn’t have thought of the cuddly aspect. Velia, I really, really like your idea about lining with a silk shirt. It would really make an elegant jacket. Thanks for sharing both of you!

  5. Nancy Kille says:

    Are you saying in the above instructions that you do not sew the blocks together first? Wouldn’t there be raw edges that would fray when washed? I’m a beginning quilter so this may sound dumb but I need to know before I start. Thank you.

  6. Lori Baker says:

    You are absolutely right about not sewing the fabrics together first. There will be raw edges but since I trimmed the charm squares with the wavy blade on the rotary cutter, fraying is minimal. It’s the same idea as using pinking shears. Thanks for asking. I’m sure others were wondering the same thing.

  7. Sheila Kesster says:

    What a cool and simple idea. The instructions were easy to understand also. I will have to make one of these for myself as I always need a jacket or sweater on.

  8. Judy says:

    Wow. My serger cuts the fabric…so, are there sergers that don’t get caught by the blade?

  9. Sandra says:

    When you said baste the pieces down first before you do your stippling, do I do this with a sewing machine with a regular stitch or if not what stitch length? Or, do I do a large running stitch by hand with a needle and thread? After basting and stippling do I remove the basting stitches?

    Also, if the basting stitch is permanent how close to the raw edge of the piece that I am basting do I sew? So sorry to ask such mudane questions but I was unsure. I guess it’s a matter of interpreation that I am experiencing here LOL. Thank you kindly in advance for your response. This will be my first jacket and I think this one is a beautiful looking jacket that I can’t wait to make. God bless.

  10. Lori Baker says:

    Judy, on my serger, I can disengage the blade. But the place that I used the serger (to stitch the underarm seam) I wanted it engaged so I have a neat and tidy seam.

    Sandra, I basted my pieces down with a just a little basting spray or you could use safety pins. I wouldn’t machine or hand baste in this case because I don’t want to spend time taking the basting threads back out.

    Have fun with it!

  11. Tracy Pierceall says:

    I never would have thought of doing this with a sweatshirt. I’ve been wanting to make a quilted jacket but know nothing about measuring and cutting for clothing. Thanks so much for this clever pattern!!!

  12. Lori Baker says:

    You’re welcome, Tracy. I hope you have fun making your new jacket.

  13. Thanks for sharing. I love it. Next winter I hope to have made a quilterscoat :) gr. Carin

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