Saturday, May 30, 2015

7 Years in the Making

the front
In 2007 (yes, I had to look it up to remember how long ago it was) there was an exhibition of Russian quilts here.  I translated at some of the classes.  One of the quilters was showing jackets that intrigued me.  Up to that point, the quilted jackets that I noticed around were rather oversized bulky things that did not appeal to me in the least.  The "Russian" jackets were fitted, much more stylish.  Upon inspection, they were not really "quilted", but pieced together right on the lining with no batting (foundation piecing?).  I had to have a try.  Pieces of fabric were bought (cotton batiks - at least I had a definite idea about something!), fanned out on the table.  I'd squint at them, walk around the table, squint some more, put the fabrics away.  Buy more fabrics, lay them out, delete some, add some.  This went on for, literally, years.  Fast forward to 2013 - enough is enough - I finally decided that I could continue this process for decades and never put together this jacket.  Out came all the fabrics - I finally made choices.  What I had envisioned as being a "brown" jacket, ended up being more orange, but that's the way it goes.  The jacket pattern ended up being a combination of bits and pieces from various patterns, and I really don't remember what I stuck together.  My main goal was to have very simple pattern pieces to stitch on the patchwork.  I had some kasha lining, and that was my foundation.  Pattern pieces were traced, and then (another long process) I had to decide how to piece.  I had many brilliant ideas - log cabin, crazy quilt... it could have gone on again for years.  Another kick in the behind to myself, and I decided random width strips would do just fine.  If I didn't start stitching, I would manage to drag this out yet again.  I was so very glad when I finally got to the stage where I was actually cutting and sewing jacket pieces!
the back
For some reason the sleeves just refused to be fitted into the armholes.  I simply put in a few pleats at the top of the sleeves.  The collar needed a bit of pizazz...
so I pieced it from little squares (Seminole piecing?).
And then... don't know what happened... the sleeves turned out a bit short.  Never fear - there's always a solution - more little squares...
Oh - just in case you're interested - all the main seams were sewn wrong sides together, then bound and topstitched on the right side.  Nice clean finish on the inside.  Anything sewn right sides together was bound on the inside.

Edges all bound.  Needless to say - I was very happy when this jacket was all done.  There really was no need to make this into such a drawn out project, and I really have no idea why I become absolutely petrified when I dream up something like this.  Next time...


  1. Irene, it is so beautiful! I love the colors and all the details!

  2. I didn't think I even liked quilted jackets, but I love yours. So beautifully finished.

  3. Well some things are worth waiting for. Didn't the Sistine Chapel take 30 years to complete?

  4. Well some things are worth waiting for. Didn't the Sistine Chapel take 30 years to complete?

  5. Stunning !!!! the color choices... perfect.

  6. Wow, that is a gorgeous jacket. I admire your persistence. Anything that I started 7 years ago would probably annoy me so much that I would have abandoned or donated it to my sewing group.