I made a jacket from a Kantha bedspread a couple of years ago. I’ve worn it a great deal. I get lots of complements on it.
Around that same time I bought a couple of yards of Kantha fabric from Marcie Tilton – I liked the patchwork idea and the colours of the assembled fabric. It arrived, I put it aside to make sometime in the future. Two weeks ago, that future arrived.
I am teaching a class to help folks streamline their garment sewing and to let them learn techniques that make their work more professional looking. I decided to use that Kantha cloth to make another jacket.
I laid out the fabric and as I attempted to place my pattern pieces I discovered three things:
- first, the quilting stitching had many obvious stop/starts (with loose thread ends) in strategic locations in the fabric and I wasn’t able to work around all of them;
- second, there was a bright green patch (completely out of tune with the rest of the patchwork) obviously sewn on as an afterthought to cover some flaw beneath; I was able to avoid it for the jacket
- third, the patchwork piecing was incredibly poorly done – I was able to cut out the jacket fronts and the sleeves with the lines of patchwork being relatively parallel with the length of the potential garment, but I was unable to find any location on the remaining fabric to cut the back on the straight of the patchwork. I cut out a jacket back with the lines obviously tilted off centre to the right (this was the least wonky placement I was able to find).
To contend with the begins/ends of the quilting threads I had to pull the quilting thread ends through to the back and fuse a layer of sewer’s dream across that area of the fabric in order to make sure the threads stayed put. The jacket I’m making is unlined so I’ve been binding all of the seams – I hope they’ll stay together). The welt pockets (you can see them on the front panels at the top) are, I hope, secure.
I was making the jacket as a demonstration for the class. I’ll finish it so the women can see the finished garment, but likely I won’t wear it with the wonky back – I have to see how obvious it is when I put the jacket on.
I wrote MarcieTilton.com letting them know I wasn’t happy with the fabric! The answer I got back:
The nature of Kantha is the beauty in its imperfections. Sounds like you did everything possible to make it work. I hope your wear the jacket with pleasure and that others enjoy your creativity.
Not a lot of consolation, there.
Last week I spent some time on Amazon looking at Kantha bedspreads and came up with a patchwork one that looked interesting – it said “silk”. The colours were bright and the quilting stitching looked close together and straight.
The quilt arrived two days ago
This is a much better quality fabric from which to make a jacket. Great colour variation, good stitching, not a lot of loose quilting thread ends AND the piecing is straight!
As soon as I’ve finished this current jacket I will cut out another from the bedspread (and who knows, it may actually be silk?)
I’m about to wash it carefully on gentle cycle in my washing machine and dry it in the dryer – I need to shrink the bedspread as much as possible so the garment will be stable once I’ve made it up. I need to go through my batik stash to find something to use for binding the seams; if I have nothing there I’ll pick up some at one of the local fabric shops.
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I think, once turned into the jacket, the back will fade away with your arms being mostly at the seam. But that’s just my opinion.
Lucky seamstresses that get a class taught by you!
As far as I was concerned the jacket was a demonstration piece from the get go – not likely something I was going to add to my wardrobe. When I cut it out, I added a bit of flare both front and back – now the jacket is done, the flare makes the back stick out! Not an impossible fix – means taking in the sides (removing the amount of the flare at least from the back and maybe a wee bit from the front). I’m leaving the jacket as is until Saturday when I meet the gals – so they can see the issue themselves and make suggestions – I want to see how they’d go about fixing the problem. Anyway, I will remove the flare when I cut out the new jacket from the Kantha bedspread. If you didn’t see it on, you’d think it was a decent job.