Where do you look for inspiration when you create your garments? If you’re like me you look to the runway each season, to see what ideas you can borrow or knock off. I loved, loved, loved Proenza Schouler’s Fall 2012 collection, maybe because it relied heavily on brocade (and you know what a brocade addict I am). I already had some orange silk brocade from Mood NYC in my stash as a starting point, and I knew I wanted to make a quilted jacket. One of McCalls’ newer patterns, 6644, was designed to be used for quilted fabrics and I thought it could go more high fashion in spite of the homespun-looking jackets McCalls used to illustrate the pattern. (Word of advice: Train yourself to look past the pattern fashion photos and rely on the line illustrations to pick a pattern. You’ll open yourself up to lots more pattern possibilities that way.)
Above, my finished jacket. I love the combination of colors and textures in this jacket, and it’s very cozy. I just bought a pair of cream trousers to wear with it. Actually, I call this my Hurricane Sandy jacket, because the storm struck right in the middle of the jacket construction, we lost power for almost three weeks and I ended up hand-sewing large parts of it. This jacket and the generator lent to us by a friend of my husband’s, were basically the only good things to come out of the storm.
The construction details:
• McCalls 6644, as mentioned above. I recommend only using this pattern as a guideline for the end result. It had a gazillion pattern pieces that you’re supposed to use to cut all the trim and contrast pieces. I am a less-pattern-pieces-the-better kind of girl, and I ended up throwing those pieces away and just measuring and cutting my own pieces with a quilting ruler and rotary cutter.
• Orange silk brocade and navy silk brocade, with velvet ribbon and velvet trim. All from Mood NYC. These two fabrics aren’t available any more, but here’s a link to all the brocades we have at MoodFabrics.com.
• Interlining was quilted poly satin (see photo below). I could have used plain batting as well, but I like the thickness and weight that resulted from using quilted fabric as the sandwich layer. All quilted pieces were basted first to the orange brocade pieces, so the brocade and the quilting could be “merged” and treated as one fabric while sewing.
• Machine-quilted in rows the navy contrast areas, as directed by the pattern.
• Lined the interior with navy silk charmeuse, using the matte side (so sorry I forgot to get photos of the inside!).
• Lots of hand basting to mark the trim placement and to hold things in place before stitching. Worth it for precision. Plus it was post-Sandy apocalypse time and I had no power anyway!
My Mood colleagues made a big fuss over this jacket when I wore it last week. Do you know what the Mood sales staff really likes? When customers come into the store wearing the clothes they’ve made from fabric they bought at Mood. They love to see how the fabric they handle day in and day out translates to real fashion. Try it sometime. Or, if you’re nowhere near our NYC or LA stores, post a photo of you wearing your Mood creations to our Facebook page or tweet or Instagram it. We love it when our fans share!