I suppose if I’m going to write post after a year’s hiatus, it ought to be a good one that goes right back to my roots. So today I’m sharing all about a coat made out of a smattering of Anna Maria’s fabrics.
To begin with, about a year ago I realized I had too much fabric. I was taking stock and I was unhappy that I had beautiful fabrics that I wouldn’t use in the near future if I considered practicality. So I grabbed several bundles and offered them up for sale on Instagram.
A long time client snatched up three of them, but had an idea. She wanted a quilt coat made with these fabrics. I am always up for a good creative challenge, so we talked a little about the coat and what she liked. To my shame, and in the busyness that came with my work, I forgot about the coat plans. She reached back out, and finally the quilt coat was born.
To say this was a creative challenge would be a slight understatement, not at all because it was a bad project. It was simply a feat to marry 60+ prints with the beautiful lines of the duffle style coat my client had chosen. Find the pattern here! This became my main goal- to highlight both the beauty of Anna Maria’s prints and the lovely elements of the coat itself.
After much consideration, I decided to do a quilt-as-you-go chevron style patchwork because one of my all time favorite makes has this design. I use it all the time- and if you haven’t seen my Right Turn Bag, you’ve got to check it out so you see my inspiration. Both the front and back body of the coat have this style of patchwork and quilting.
This created a great base for pockets that have a little more flair. I sewed an economy style block for each pocket, and they are quilted with a crosshatch design. I wanted the pockets to match because it would be easy for the coat to look chaotic, so I tried to ground the prints well by staying organized in my approach to each element of the coat.
The other places that I added more “exciting” designs were on the sleeves and hood. Again, I was very intentional in wanting to include many prints, but also a design that would complement the coat. I chose a flying geese design and “grounded” the patchwork with Anna Maria’s quintessential leopard print. To do this, I actually traced out two outer sleeve pieces (one for each side), and drew out my own foundation paper piecing design which I stitched directly onto those paper pattern pieces. After removing the papers, I layered the outer sleeves into batting and quilted them individually.
I used the same method for the hood.
For both the under sleeve and the hood sides, I chose single prints and quilted them. This seemed like a great place to feature larger pieces of fabric so that the patchwork could shine. For the under sleeves, I chose the scenic print from Fibs and Fables in the green/blue colors. And for the hood sides, I used the leopard print again. w
I also chose to use a single print for the top yoke because the body was already patchwork, plus the print I chose is large scale and has great details that shine in this bigger section.
The lining of the whole jacket is the same leopard print featured on the sleeves and hood. I’ve said it before, but it’s been an Anna Maria classic almost from the beginning of her fabric career. It acts as an interesting basic and I do feel that it works so well with the menagerie of prints throughout the coat.
The facing for the lining is quilted, and once again features that beautiful scenic print from the Fibs and Fables collection in a different color way.
In all, there are more than sixty prints from Fibs and Fables, Mod Corsage, and Dowry. I spent somewhere around 20+ hours from planning and cutting to the actual sewing, assembly, and hand finishing. I thoroughly enjoyed the unique challenge of making this coat, and my greatest wish is that it will bring joy to the wearer every single time she reaches for it.
Here’s to more project sharing!