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Thread: How to Make an Easy Patchwork Jacket

  1. #1
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Start by choosing a sweatshirt that's a little too big. An old sweatshirt is fine, even with a design on it. I chose a sweatshirt a size bigger than I normally wear.

    Lay the sweatshirt out nice and flat, front side up.

    Lay a ruler across it and mark the center between the sleeves, at the armpits and near the bottom.

    Turn the ruler so that it is along all three marks and draw a line down the center of the sweatshirt.

    Now slide a cutting board between the front and back (so you don't accidentally cut the back) and cut the front open along the line.

    Here are the three places I marked the center
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    Then I drew a line down the front
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    Here is the front cut open
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  2. #2
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Cut the ribbing off the bottom edge. You can take out the stitching if you want to, but I just cut it off.

    I am very lazy about cutting the ribbing off the sleeves, I just push a ruler up against the seam and run a rotary cutter along it.

    Cutting off the bottom ribbing
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    Using a rotary cutter to cut off the ribbing on the sleeve (I don't really cut like that! I just held it for the picture)
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  3. #3
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Find the crease line on the side, under the sleeve. It's always been nice and straight for me and I just cut up to the seam on it. I have also used sweatshirts that have a seam down the side that can be cut open.

    Cut open the sleeve, either with a rotary cutter, scissors, or by removing the threads.

    Than you have a big, floppy, chopped up rag.

    The side crease
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    Cutting the sleeve seam
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    Sweatshirt cut open
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  4. #4
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Now you need at least 5 fabrics. I'm having a blue day so chose these from my stash. I always llike to use one with a wee bit of glitter or shine. You need half yards or two fat quarters if you are using 5 fabrics.

    A variety of patterns and lights and darks helps. The first jacket I made was really bright with primary colors. The one for my mother in law was more toned downs in greens, browns and golds.

    Press the fabrics and stack them in as many layers as you like to cut.

    My blue choices
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  5. #5
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    You will need approx. 8 inches WOF for the binding, or you can use packaged binding.

    A couple of the fabrics I chose are 2 yard pieces so I chose one for the binding.

    Now it's time to just cut the fabric into random pieces. I just use triangles, rectangles and squares. I stacked 3 folded fabrics (6 layers) and cut 3 different width strips. I think they were 2 inches, 3.5 inches, and about 5 inches. I then cut the strips into smaller shapes. Next, I'll do the other 3 fabrics I chose. I don't necessarily cut it all right now, I can always cut more later if I need it, but I like to have a big pile to start with.

    My first 3 fabrics cut into shapes
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  6. #6
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Once all of your pieces are cut, just toss them in a pile in on the table. Ok, if you MUST, you can organize them.

    Lay a section of the jacket out flat and select random pieces of cut fabric. Spray the pieces lightly with a temporary adhesive and place them on the jacket. I start in the front at the bottom, but there is no particular reason to do this. Do try to get the pieces pretty close to the edges, even hanging over is ok, you can trim them later. Resist the urge to make everything straight!

    Putting pieces on the sweatshirt
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  7. #7
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Now for thread. You need lots. I used nearly 600 meters on the brown jacket. The variegated was very nice, but I'm using one of my big embroidery spools this time so I don't have to worry about running out.

    Bobbin thread: The bobbin thread will show anytime the jacket is open, so keep that in mind. I am sewing on a dark blue sweatshirt and I don't want to have to keep winding blue bobbins so I am going to use black prewounds.

    You can stitch the edges with a simple zig zag, or you can use decorative stitches. I did my very first jacket using an irridescent thread (which broke often) and lots of fancy stitches. You really couldn't see the fancy stitches very well and it was quite hard to maneuver around all of the corners so now I just stick with a zig zag.

    Hmmm, which thread do I want to use?
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  8. #8
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Ok, I decided on the medium blue thread. I set my zig zag stitch length at 1.0. There will be some fraying so I wanted the stitching to contain it somewhat.

    I start by running a straight stitch around the outside edges, there's no need for zigzagging since those edges will be either in the seam or under the binding.

    Be careful not to stretch the sweatshirt while you are stitching the pieces on.

    I straight stitch along the sides of any pieces on an outside edge that won't show
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    Here's what my zig zag stitches look like
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  9. #9
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    Now, just keep adding pieces and sewing them on until the entire jacket is covered.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    What a great tute. Thanks.

  11. #11

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    One of the clearest and best turorials I have seen!!!!!!
    Thanks so much.
    auntmarie

  12. #12
    Senior Member quilter64779's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tutorial.

  13. #13
    Super Member mountain deb's Avatar
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    I know what I can use all those sweatshirts for, now. I have been looking for something, now by jove 'I think I got it".I have lots of batiks or is it 30's, naw the Hannah colection or ........I will make them all. Oh no, may ahve to get more sweatshirts, the ones I have are dark and some of the ideas are light fabric. Oh what a dilema.

  14. #14
    Super Member sondray's Avatar
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    Thanks, I've been wanting to try this.

  15. #15

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    Do you have a picture of the finished sweatshirt?

  16. #16
    Super Member luv-e's Avatar
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    uglycook, Thanks you for this. Can't wait to try it

  17. #17
    Junior Member mimistutz's Avatar
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    I'd like to see a picture also!

  18. #18
    Senior Member EdieClay's Avatar
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    WOW! What a wonderful guide to creating a jacket! I have been wanting to do something like this, but had no idea how to start. I love the idea of using all my remnants. Could you talk a little bit about how you sewed it up and how you did the binding? I have never does this before and need the extra info. Thanks so much for taking the time to show us step-by-step how to make a jacket.

  19. #19
    Super Member New Quilter's Avatar
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    I am a novice at quilting, but always "ooh" and "aah" whenever I've seen one of these completed...your directions are so clear, that I now just might be inspired to get out my 'stash' of sweatshirts that I've been saving for this project....thank-you...Naomi

  20. #20

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    I'm also curious on how you finished up the seams so they don't ravel. The sweatshirt jackets I've made were never cut open at the side and arm seams. And I only added piecing to the front. I'm assuming since you cut the sleeves open you also pieced on them also?

  21. #21
    Junior Member K.P.'s Avatar
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    I'm assuming form the pics that the only sweatshirt ribbing you left in place was around the neck, correct? How did you bind down the front and did you add buttons/zipper? I'd love to see a picture of the finished jacket. Also, did you add a fold-back cuff on end of the sleves or just binding? And I'm assuming the binding around the bottom was just straight binding, correct?

  22. #22

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    The only thing you forgot to add was, buy sweatshirt 1 size larger than normal, wash sweatshirt before cutting up. My camera batteries are dead, or else I'd send you a picture of mine.

  23. #23
    Super Member UglyCook's Avatar
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    I'm glad you are finding this helpful. I will post more pics of finishing this jacket as I do it. I do have pics of a couple of others I made and I'll add them.

    This is the very first jacket I made
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    and a more current one
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  24. #24
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    I tried to print off your instructions, but the right hand side is chopped off....................

  25. #25
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    Beautiful! I am going to make one for the 4th of July! Thanks for the instructions and the inspiration!

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