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How to make a quilt coat- A little Bedazzling

 Related topics/ essential pre-reading:

So how do we actually make a quilt coat?

First off, a few disclaimers :-) :

  • The tutorials assume we are using a "normal" coat pattern (i.e. not one that is actually for a quilt coat like the Tamarack). If you are using a quilt coat pattern such as the Tamarack, you should follow the directions included in the pattern as they may have a different way of doing things.
  • The following terms are used interchangeably:
    • Quilt coat outer/ quilt top
    • Quilt coat lining/ quilt backing
  • The tutorials assume an understanding of standard quilting terms and concepts including piecing, quilt sandwich, basting and binding 

If you haven't already, check out this IGTV video which gives you a high level overview as to how a quilt coat is made- it will provide you with some good context and background!

For this quilt coat, we are going to start with the "bedazzling". There are no limits to what you can do to bedazzle your coat! I have included instructions and measurements for how I bedazzled my first quilt coat. You should use these as a rough guide only- the measurements for the larger background pieces that surround the bedazzling part may need to be altered to fit your individual pattern pieces. 

For this step, we are just focussing on bedazzling the fabric- cutting our quilt coat pattern pieces will happen in the next step. 

Arm #1

For the first arm, I had strips of fabric around my wrist. 

Arm #2

For my second arm, I had strips of fabric around the wrist and a little extra square near the top of my arm!

Front pieces: no bedazzling - the focus is on the pockets :-) 

Pockets: I put a little sawtooth stars on each on

The back: Just had a few rectangles :-)

Now we have added our bedazzling, it's time to turn them into pattern pieces. 

To turn all of our bedazzled fabric pieces into quilt coat pattern pieces and get them cut out and quilted, we have two options:

The short answer:

  • Option 1: Cut out our pattern pieces first (from our bedazzled fabric pieces), and then make your quilt sandwich and quilt 
  • Option 2: Turn your bedazzled fabric pieces into  mini quilt sandwiches including basting and quilting (each is slightly larger than each of the pattern pieces) and then cut pattern pieces out of the mini quilts

Essentially, you can either cut your pattern pieces first and then quilt sandwich and quilt, or quilt sandwich and quilt first, and then cut your pattern pieces. 

The longer answer:

Option 1.

  • Lay out your pattern pieces on each of your bedazzled pieces of fabric and secure with either pins or fabric weights.
  • Cut the pieces out.
  • Take each of these pieces and create individual quilt sandwiches for each piece with a piece of batting and backing (quilt lining) which are slightly larger than the pattern piece.
  • Baste and quilt as desired.
  • Once each piece is quilted, you can then cut the batting and backing fabric to the same size as the pattern piece. 
  • Don't forget your pocket pieces! You should make these the same way as your other pattern pieces. 

This is a relatively simple way of making a quilt coat.  However, you need to be careful when you are quilting in case it distorts the edges or changes the shape. 

Option 2: 

With this method, we will make lots of mini quilt sandwiches using the bedazzled fabric pieces BEFORE we cut the pattern pieces out

  • Baste and quilt each bedazzled piece of fabric as desired.
  • You can then lay your pattern pieces on each of your mini quilts, and attach with either weights or pins and cut out each piece. 
  • Don't forget your pocket pieces! You should make these the same way as your other pattern pieces. 

Out of the two options, this one is probably slightly easier but not as efficient from a fabric perspective!

 Cutting out the party on the back piece after it is basted and quilted

Not adding pockets? You can skip this step!

So you thought we were ready to assemble- but first we need to do a few things to our pockets (which you hopefully cut out as part of the instructions above. Before we start assembling our quilt coat, we need to insert and finish our pockets ! 

Option 1: Square or rectangle pockets:

If you are adding pockets that are a square or rectangle (eg not the super large pockets) we need to bind these before attaching them. To do this, we will essentially treat each pocket like a mini quilt and bind it like you would a quilt (you are basically making a pot holder!). You can either machine sew on both sides or machine sew on one side and hand stitch the other. Once you have bound it, you can then sew it onto the front pieces of your quilt coat- make sure to add extra stitches at the top to give it some extra strength. 

Option 2: Extra large pockets:

For the extra large pockets, we only need to bind the top edge as the other edges will be covered under the quilt coat finishing steps.

Once you have bound the top edge of each of your pockets, you can then attach them to your front quilt coat pieces before assembling your quilt coat. 

Once you have all your fabric pieces cut and your bound pockets attached (if applicable) , you are ready to assemble. For those nervous garment makers, don't be- this is one of the quickest steps in the whole process!

Patterns often suggest you use a  5/8" or even larger seam allowance. To avoid bulk in your seams, I would recommend using a 3/8"  seam allowance.

The only instructions you need to follow in your pattern are how to attach each of the pieces to each other. You can generally disregard any instructions about hemming, interfacing, clipping etc- our binding process will cover off on all of those steps nicely. 

We are almost there! You should now have something that looks like this (with pockets)- a functioning quilt coat, but with lots of unfinished seams 

(Sorry - this is of another quilt coat- I forgot to take one at this stage of the original!) 

Click here for the final steps on finishing your quilt coat. 

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