The ‘Bagpuss’ coat!

Hi friends,
2013 finished on a creative high with another self drafted make. In parallel to the Brasilia Dress, last year I drafted 2 other patterns: a simple base coat for numerous customisations and a raglan shirt.
The coat shape is a slightly A line with waist shaping. This is the first “muslin” version of this pattern and I can already see changes I would like to make. Instead of a peter pan collar I feel this shape will look better with a round neckline in a longer length. Maybe 2 fabrics contrasting?

The pattern haven’t got an official name yet. The blog post reference is mainly due to the fabric.

This was kindly nicknamed based on a children’s TV program (BTW, I never ever watched) during a tea round by my fellow. I cannot record his exact words but think about a very British ironic punt regarding my coat looks at that stage…

The coat making journey was a long one: It started during the summer when Annie gifting me this beautiful Amy Butler pink linen blend.  Excited to use for a summer jacket/coat I cut the fabric. Unfortunately lack of planning got the best of me and I was too busy with other deadlines.  The  cut coat was forgotten. When I had more time the winter months already arrived and I had to make a choice. Was this to become an UFO parked till next summer or would I try to be creative and make it winter-friendly!
Stash digging, I found a fluffy fleece and some red linen. How about if I quilted my coat using the fleece as the warming factor.
When deciding on quilting ready cut patterns you need to think how that will affect the overall fit. Does the pattern ease would allow for an average 5% shrinkage? When you quilt fabric, it tends to reduce overall size. That is why you will only cut the backing after you quilted everything. I had already cut the pattern so the quilting could distort the shaping. Not sure if my math was right but I decided that it was worth the risk! How relieved for me to know it worked well.  Other details of this coat: The quilting was spaced 5 cm crosswise, instead of button holes I went with poppets and the seams were finished with hong kong finish using ready made bias from Brasil.

Tips for quilting a garment:
  • Quilt your fabric before cutting the pattern.
  • If you want to quilt just one layer of fabric and wadding (fleece or underlining), Bare in mind the type of fabric that will be in direct contact with your pressure foot. To avoid it getting caught, add a light layer of muslin, layering: your fashion fabric, wadding and muslin, to avoid the wading getting stuck. It didn’t happen on my project because I quilted all 3 layers, including the lining.
  • Blend the thread to the fabric. I have quilted many large projects and know how to fold and control it under the machine and even than sometimes I get distract and the line aren’t as straight. If the thread colour blends well, tiny misses will be unnoticeable.
  • Quilting (walking foot) is your best friend.
In another news:
I’m a contestant on season 3 project sewn: Loads of secret sewing going on right now and a quieter blog.
The 2014 international craft swap will be open early April: I am working on the details and themes.
There will be another large sewing meet up in London in May.
Happy sewing!
  • A great success!!!

  • I love your coat! It’s so nice to see the quilting done on a different type of jacket than a Chanel style one. The shape is great on you too!

  • I like everything about this coat- would make one in a heartbeat!

  • This is beautiful, Rachel!!! I love the color, print and shape!!

  • Your coat is gorgeous! LOVE it!

  • So cute, Rachel!

  • Very pretty, I like how you quilted it and the fabric is beautiful.

  • I enjoy reading about your first steps into drafting your own patterns. I hope to join you some day, one day. And, good luck in Project Sewn! I can’t wait for this season!

  • I love this! What a clever save for winter. Although it would have made a lovely summer jacket too. I just made my baby daughter a lined cotton cord jacket with bamboo wadding for the warmth factor. From past experience, I know the bamboo will hold its shape beautifully with machine washing but after seeing this, I think quilting it would have made it look even more special. I love the look of quilting.

  • I absolutely love the quilting and it gives me an idea for some fabric in my stash. Thanks! ~Teri

  • This looks amazing! I love the fabric you’ve chosen & the colours and pattern on the fabric do remind me of Bagpuss! Thanks for all the tips for using quilting on garments.

  • Your little quilted jacket is adorable! I’ll look forward to seeing your other versions.

    I must take inspiration from you and make a jacket myself (I might wait until it gets colder first though)

  • woowww i like it too much…it really came out high quality… hi from north cyprus :))

  • I love that coat, it is gorgeous. You are so clever. Best of luck on Project Sewn 🙂

  • Kim

    Gorgeous coat! I’ve been waiting for this post, after seeing all the sneak pics on instagram 🙂 Good luck on project sewn, this is going to be an amazing season with all the contestants!

  • Looks amazing Rach! Totally amazing that you drafted that yourself! I love how unique it is with that fabric

  • That is such a lovely coat/jacket – such a nice idea to quilt it. I bet it is SUPER cosy to wear! And the fabric is lovely.

  • Love it!

  • Great jacket, Rachel! It looks so warm and comfy. I think you were very brave quilting after you had cut your jacket – i don’t think I would be. 🙂

  • First of all: congrats for being a Project Sewn contestant <3
    Then, on the coat: such a wonderful project, I love the fabric, but the lining is a shade of red… delicious!
    …oh, and thanks for quilting tips!
    Hugs from Italy,
    MammaNene @

  • Beautiful jacket and such a smart idea to turn it into a winter garment. Love the bright color for dark winter days 🙂

  • So very beautiful! I love it!

  • I think it’s gorgeous! Love the quilting!!

  • Wow, it turned out beautifully. I love the pop of the red quilted inside, too!

  • I love this! I think it’s absolutely gorgeous!

  • It’s beautiful! Love that collar peter pan … well, I really love everything about this coat!

  • Oh wow, this is beautiful! I especially love the collar! 🙂

  • I never thought a quilted coat would be something I would like, but this is beautiful!

  • This is beautiful Rachel! Good luck in the competition and I’d love to meet you in May!

  • I love the Bagpuss reference…I can totally see it…in a very good way! Bagpuss is much loved. This is a beautiful coat.

  • You should watch Bagpuss on youtube

  • Anonymous

    Beautifully done, Rachel! Can be applied to any blouse pattern? I love it!

  • Beautiful work!

  • Wow, terrific coat Rachel!! Congrats on drafting it yourself. And, I really like how you quilted it.

  • Gorgeous coat!

  • This coat is great. If you’re making a pattern and change the collar, please include this collar as an option.

  • Oh, meet in London sounds fab! And what a perfect Winters coat x

  • I love the coat as is, though I might nip the waist in a bit for myself as I am only 5’3″ and very sensitive to looking like a fire plug. No collar and longer would also be a nice look for someone taller than me.

    Using some random fleece in the quilting is brilliant! I have several yards bought when the kids were little that I thought I’d never use, but now I know what to do with it.

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