I’m getting organized to do a day long workshop in February on taking a Kantha bedspread and turning it into a jacket. I’ve probably explained what a Kantha is before but I’ll do it here again:
Kantha (meaning: “patched cloth”) refers both to the tradition of producing unique, quilted blankets (making something useful and beautiful out of discarded items), as well as the craft and stitch itself (a small, straight running stitch in Bengali embroidery). Here’s a link describing the work: https://www.shopdignify.com/pages/what-is-kantha
I got my inspiration from Meiko Mintz’s wonderful Kantha garments!
Here is my latest Kantha – a heavily embroidered pieced silk bedspread (with beading I’m going to have to watch carefully as I cut and sew the fabric):
The Meiko Mintz jackets are large and flowing
I’d love to wear something like that but I look better in a more tailored shape. In any case, I have pulled a bunch of jacket patterns from my pattern collection to share with the gals enrolled in the workshop.
I wouldn’t make any of these jackets as they are, but they provide ideas (and sizes) for necklines, front openings, pocket placement, sleeve shape and fit that give us a place to start. I’ll be suggesting the gals check out the Peppermint “West End Jacket”– it doesn’t look like anything but the pattern has lots of potential. It’s actually free but you can make a donation to Peppermint (which I did). You can download an A0 version as well as the tape-together PDF download. I was able to have the A0 version printed on large paper. Much easier to work from.
Now I have to modify and trace the Peppermint pattern pieces. I intend making the collar wider and pointed, I will keep the front drop shoulder but delete the back yoke (keeping the placement of the shoulder seam), change the patch pockets to welt pockets, make the jacket a bit longer and compensate by adding a couple of extra inches to the front so the jacket hangs straight, add a bit of flare to the front (not the back – I want the back to hang straight). Next I will trace the modified pattern pieces in my size, cut them out and start to play with placement on the Kantha – I want to showcase as much of the elaborate embroidery as possible, avoiding beading where I can (removing beads if I can’t miss cutting or sewing into them).
I’ve sent the gals a blurb about supplies and other information they need so they’re prepared for our Feb 25th day. I’m looking forward to seeing what they end up creating!