Saturday, November 4, 2017

Primitive Stars, ikat and slow stitiching a new jacket

Primitive Stars, ikat jacket (back view).
A jacket—particularly one with a minimal number of seams and pattern pieces—presents a vacant canvas for creative stitching, surface design, and experimenting with patchwork. For fiber artists and garment makers, what better reason is there for pulling out favorite fabrics, threads and treasured scraps and making one?

For my two previous jackets (see this blog post and the photo collage in this post), I used yarn-dyed wovens. These textiles are from Diamond Textiles [don't be fooled by the thinner, copycats] and I am still captivated by the rich, textured designs and the way the threads and stitches present themselves on these fabrics.

My recent jacket finish—just in time for Fall Quilt Market, I might add—combines one of Diamond Textiles' ikats, the blue-grey colorway from the Primitive Stars collection, and a few scraps of yarn-dyed and commercial print fabrics.

Three layers
As with most of my quilted wearables, there are three layers:
  • an outside fashion fabric (pieced or wholecloth),
  • a middle layer (typically flannel or muslin), 
  • a lining fabric, 
... that are stitched—or "quilted"—to hold the layers together. I learned this garment construction method from the Queen of Folk Art, and prolific maker of coats and jackets, Rachel Clark. This jacket has both machine and hand quilting. Here is an in-progress photo of the front right. The "white" fabric you see extending out from the edge of the fashion fabric is the middle layer of the "quilt sandwich."
Jacket front (in progress). The individual jacket pieces are
stitched and quilted and then the jacket is assembled. 
Machine quilting
The photo below is the jacket's outside showing the combination of a straight and decorative machine stitches. This process was manual and random. Sometimes I'd watch the color change in the variegated thread [40wt. from YLI] and switch to the decorative stitch to highlight the new color.
Machine quilting with straight and decorative stitches.
I do not mark the lines for quilting (who's got the time?? not I!). An advantage of using a yarn-dyed fabric is that the pattern or "print" is woven into the fabric and it's on grain. You can use the fabric's "print" as a guide for machine quilting with the walking foot.
Machine quilting (lining side).
When the season turns from summer to fall, think about sewing a jacket to wear in the cooler weather. The Houston convention center for Quilt Market was cool and a few evenings were windy and chilly once the sun went down. I was glad I had a jacket—especially one with a pocket!
Jacket front
Here is the follow-up blog post with close-ups of the hand stitching and other jacket details. Because people ask, here is the materials list for this jacket:

:: Yarn-dyed Primitive Stars blue-greyfabric [Diamond Textiles]
:: Multi-colored ikat [Diamond Textiles]
:: Fabrics from Great Wall collection [Midwest Textiles]
:: hand stitching with 12 wt. cotton Spaghetti and Fruitti thread [WonderFil Threads]
:: 40 wt. cotton variegated thread for machine stitching [YLI Threads]
:: cotton fabric for center layer
:: jacket pattern: "Raggy Jacket" by Four Corners Designs
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