Hello everyone! I’m so excited to share my process for the creation of The Coat of Many Colors, especially since it got so much positive feedback! And, well as part of the Battle Of Blueberry Park I WON! Stephanie and Kelsey both did amazing on their projects, so it was a stiff competition!
But onward to the production of this jacket! I used Simplicity 1283 as my base pattern, and crazy quilted the Pre-Cuts from the Blueberry Park Collection. I used one 10″ Layer cake, and two 5″ Charm Packs, and it was so much fun to stitch together so let’s get started!
So what I did first was make several stacks of the pre-cuts, in no particular order, so that I could slice them randomly and still get variety in my prints. Long story short, I made sure there were some of every print/color in each stack and spliced them into strips of all different sizes!
After my strips were sliced, I jumbled my pieces in a pile of what looked like scraps and laid the strips out one at a time, in a row, not thinking too much about what I was selecting. This is why I put them in a pile together, so I couldn’t really see what I was choosing. Projects like this one are so amazing to me, because so much beauty comes from this kind of free creation. I love not having to follow patterns! (Sometimes I choose to follow patterns though, for the good of a garment!)
When I had a few rows laid out, I made little piles and jumped on my sewing machine! The piles made it so that I could easily sew them together in the most time efficient manner!
When my rows of strips were stitched together, and I had no scraps left to work with, it was time to iron! Oh, and I forgot to mention that I decided how long to make the rows of strips by laying the back piece of my jacket pattern out next to these rows. I laid the strips out until the strips passed the length of the back of the jacket pattern piece by maybe five strips. Those extra five strips allowed my to have my 1/4″ seam allowance on each strip!
I ironed all of my seams one way, because I figured once I began crazy piecing things together the bulk of the seam allowance would end up being evenly distributed throughout the inside of the jacket. You’ll see what I’m saying soon enough!
When everything was all pressed, it was time to slice this large rows into more strips! But this time going the other way. This is going to make my end result fabric look like a bunch of little squares and rectangles, without me having to piece together a bunch of squares and mini rectangles! How cool!
I cut my strips into pieces that measured 2″,2 1/2″, and 3″ wide. These were also cut randomly, and I did not keep track of what I was cutting and in what color, I just made sure that there was somewhat of a variety in size of each color. For example, if I felt like I cut a lot of 2″ strips, I then cut a few more 3″ ones to balance it out and so on.
This is when I laid them out to stitch together. Once again, the way I determined how wide to make my pieces was based on what pattern piece I was working with currently. If it was my sleeve, I would not make my piece any wider than the width of my sleeve, because the width of my sleeve is all that I needed to make that sleeve.
Once my strips were stitched together again, it was time to press! Notice how I said press…
In this situation it is best to press your project, instead of sliding your iron around on it. Because there are so many seams in this area, when you press it everything usually goes where it belongs. When you iron something like this, you get a whole lot of weirdness happening. So all you have to do is press and steam, steam, steam! Steam was my best friend with this project!
When everything was all pressed, that is when I laid each individual pattern piece out to cut. I cut each sleeve out, one at a time, because I was trying to use as little fabric as possible; I only had so much of it pieced together! But you see that extra piece that is being chopped off at the top? I used that in my other sleeve. All I did was square it up, not worrying about what I was chopping off and where, and added it to the piece I was using to cut my other sleeve out of!
It is very important to remember that when you are cutting pattern pieces out individually, like I was doing here, that you make sure to FLIP you pattern for the opposite side. When I cut one sleeve out, I FLIPPED my pattern piece over so that when I cut the other sleeve out I had a mirrored effect instead of two left sleeves. That is an easy mistake to make, and believe it or not, I’ve made that mistake a few times! I made sure to do that for all of the other pattern pieces as well, like the front and back pieces of the jacket.
This was truly so much fun, and not as hard as it looks! I just continued to slice, piece, and stitch my way along until I had my two front pieces, two back pieces, and two sleeves all cut out.
When all of my outside pieces were cut, it was time to choose the lining. I decided to go with a black and white fabric full of words!
This pattern did not actually call for a lining, so what I did was instead of using facings and all that the pattern was calling for, I just cut the same pieces I cut out for the outside of my jacket out of the lining fabric as well. However for the sleeves, I chopped off an inch at the bottom of the sleeve, because I wanted the lining part to go a little bit inside of the actual sleeve. Let me show you what I mean.
Once the lining was cut out, I put the pieces together separately from the outside part of the jacket, but waited to stitch the sleeves to the body of the jacket. I also slimmed down the lapel of the jacket, because I wanted it to be skinnier to accomplish that modern blazer look I had envisioned! (I used Bosal Fashion Fuse as my interfacing on all pieces of the lapel to give it some body). I also stitched the sleeves together at the bottom part where the cuff was.
I made sure to top stitch the lining so it stayed where it needed to stay. I removed the accessory tray on my sewing machine to do this with ease! (most sewing machines let you do this!)
Voila! My lining was just a bit smaller than the outside fabric since I cut off that inch, thus allowing the outside of my jacket to go a little on the inside. Exactly what I wanted! And now to piece the rest of the jacket together! So I stitched the back pieces together at the back seam and the front pieces to the back piece at the shoulder seams. Then I stitched the side seams of the front and back of the jacket together and the lapel to the outside part of the jacket where it needed to go.
A little tip from me would be to leave a hole on the side seam of the lining, so that you can stitch the bottom of the jacket and still be able to stitch the arm holes together by pretty much turning the jacket inside out through that little opening! Try it sometime, it make for a professional finish! I completed the construction of my amazing blazer, and would you just look at all that glorious color that came out of just a few Pre-Cuts!
I am so satisfied with the way this Coat of Many Colors turned out, and so honored to have been a part of a fun challenge at The Sewing Studio! Please be sure to check out Stephanie’s Color Wheel Quilt and Kelsey’s Raw Modern Table Topper!
- Blueberry Park Collection Pre-Cuts (One 10″ layer cake, and two 5″ charm packs)
- All Purpose Sewing Thread
- Black and White Modern Quilting Cotton
- Universal Needle
- Scissors and Thread Snips
- Rotary Cutter and Mat
- Rotary Cutting Ruler (I highly recommend Creative Grids Rulers!)