Hi, friends! Welcome back to Stylishly Good Vibes!
I made a jacket out of an old quilt!
After seeing one that Julie D. O’Rourke made (@rudyjude on Instagram), I wanted to give it a try myself. I knew I had an old quilt from when I was a kid, so I tracked it down and got ready to get started. Thank goodness for my Mom who supported and offered advice during this entire project!
Instead of explaining every step of the process, I figured I would touch on the highlights in case you decide to make this quilted jacket as well.
To preface, I’ve been sewing since the 6th grade, so I know my way around a sewing machine. If you’re not a strong sewer, that’s okay! I would recommend starting with a fabric you don’t care about so you can learn as you go without worrying about messing up.
What you will need:
Tamarack Jacket pattern from Grainline Studio
1 twin size quilt
3 packs of single fold .875″ wide bias tape
Sharp scissors (You need to have a pair of fabric-only scissors for cutting the quilt!)
Hand-sewing needle, thread, and pins
How I got Started
To start, you’re going to need to buy a pattern. I originally bought a vintage one that I found on Etsy, but the difference in sizing from U.K. to U.S. made it way more complicated than it needed to be. So, I searched the web for another pattern.
I stumbled on the Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio and was instantly in love. My mom and I discussed the details of this particular pattern prior to buying it to make sure the process would be more seamless. Grainline Studio has TONS of patterns available, so I knew they were going to be my best choice for this project.
This pattern was $16 and you can print it at home. So easy and convenient! The pattern and instruction manual combined use a lot of paper, so make sure you have enough before you start. You will be taping all of the pieces together to make the pattern, so stock up on masking tape as well.
As I mentioned before, I had this quilt already. I’m sure you could go to any thrift store and find a similar one. This quilt has batting (filling) and a back side, so I wasn’t really concerned about what the inside of the jacket would look like.
Before I cut the quilt, I pinned all of my pieces around it to make sure it would work. I had a pretty decent amount of the quilt leftover, which was great for what I decided to do for the pockets.
The Sewing Process
When it came to the sewing, I think I only used the last 5 pages of the 31-page instruction manual. The other pages either weren’t relevant for what I was doing or I already knew how to proceed so I didn’t bother reading.
If you have experience sewing on a machine, this project should be fun—albeit stressful at times. I struggled the most with attaching the bias tape and the sleeves.
Bias Tape Tips
When buying bias tape, save yourself the hassle and buy the .875″ wide single fold bias tape. Joann’s has a ton of color options to choose from. If you go any smaller than that width, it’s going to be difficult to attach onto a quilt that has batting. I spent about 45 minutes trying to attach .5″ wide bias tape—only to give up and buy the wider tape.
I hand-sewed the ends of the bias tape because my sewing machine kept getting stuck on them. As long as you know how to make a solid stitch by hand, you’ll be golden for the areas your machine may have difficulty going over.
The sleeves were the last big step of this project and definitely the most painful. I was still confused after reading the instructions, so I looked up a couple YouTube videos. Unfortunately, those didn’t help either. I ended up sewing a small seam at the top of the shoulder first—connecting the sleeve to the bodice.
From there, I sewed the seams around the arms, then the armpit, then down the sleeve hem. That method worked well for me because if I messed it up, I didn’t have to take out ALL the seams, just the one I messed up.
Another thing! Make sure that you backstitch frequently. This is a garment you’re going to be wearing and moving in, so you want your stitches to be as strong as you can get them without a commercial machine.
Is this quilted jacket perfect? No, but I never set out for it to be! This was more of a practice round for me so I could get a feel for the pattern while refreshing my sewing skills. I’m pretty damn pleased and proud with how it came out! The Grainline Studio’s pattern was also amazing to work with, so I’m very glad I found it!
If you decide to make a jacket like this, please let me know! I would love to see your creation! As always, if you have any questions about this project, feel free to reach out!
Until next time!