Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Jacket

I know this is a little late but I realized the other day that I had not posted on the jacket I made for Christmas. I have one I have only worn once because it is too Christmasy to wear in public so I decided that this was the year I would go for something a bt more wearable.

Shirley Adams, of PBS fame, created this jacket in her series 17 shows. Quilter's Quarters in Conroe Texas even does a class on it though I don't see it on the current calendar. And Emma Seabrooke does a variaton for knits. The design originated in Japan, thus the name. The premise is that you take six equal squares of fabric and, with a little mind blowing manipulation, create a flattering bias cut jacket. Here is what I came up with:
The fat quarters I used were purchased as a set from some quilt shop locally. I used black cotton for the lining and binding. To make it a bit heftier that just two layers of cotton, I quilted every square with a thin layer of batting between the lining squares and the exterior squares. Here are some things I learned by making this jacket:
  1. quilting bias cut fabric means that you eliminate all the give of bias cut fabric.

  2. when the instructions say that 18" squares are your right size, cutting 17" squares is not a good idea.

  3. too tight jackets like this can be made wearable by wearing a tight bra and/or shirt underneath and then adding a zipper. It will fit snuggly but not be uncomfortable

  4. raw seams on the interior make a jacket like this un-reversable.

  5. when you are quilting squares like this together is probably better that the fabrics be cut a tad larger than needed so you can square it up before actually making the jacket.

  6. if your zipper is heavy duty and a tad long, your can still use it in this type of relaxed neckline... just don't zip it all the way to the top.

I got a lot of compliments on this jacket from sewers and non-sewers alike. I don't think they were just being kind as it did look rather good on me. Although I made it for Christmas I know I can wear it during any cool weather here. One other thing I did was to shorten the sleeves to about elbow length as the full length version was a bit tight at the wrist for me.

I hope your new year has begun on a positive note that will carry through the rest of the year. We can only hope!

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