Kantha Jacket #3

King Size Silk Patchwork Kantha Bedspread

I started this jacket when I thought jacket #2 was a flop and hadn’t yet worn it. I bought this silk patchwork kantha bedspread on Amazon intending to toss the second one and make another from the bedspread.

This time I kept the back straight (taking out the fullness I’d put into Jacket #2). I did leave some fullness in the front – turns out to have been good decisions.

Kantha Jacket #3

I worked from the more “blue” end of the bedspread using the fabric as efficiently as possible – two fronts, one back, two sleeves, two cuffs, a collar, and two pocket backings (on the inside behind the pocket welts). I still have enough fabric leftover to make a second jacket!

I used very soft leftover kid leather pieces to construct the welts for the pockets. I also used leather on the inside of the collar. I debated about making leather welt buttonholes but I wanted vertical buttonholes so decided, instead, to machine stitch them. The “pocket” is formed by binding and stitching a rectangular piece behind the welt opening.

You can’t see the seams but every seam has been bound using a dark blue batik fabric. I used that fabric for the front facings. I also used a rather heavy weight interfacing on the front edge just slightly narrower than the facing so it doesn’t show but it gives a firm body to the front edge.

I’m happy with the colour arrangement both on the front and back.

Kantha Jacket #3 – Back

The construction of the bedspread is much better than the Marcie Tilton kantha fabric I used in Jacket #2. The piecing is straight, the quilt stitching is closer and for the most part straight (although there were spots where the stitching was a bit odd but I was able to avoid them). The cotton backing fabric shrank somewhat with washing giving a puffy texture to the silk top but that has pressed out to a large extent.

I’m very happy with the final result. Total working time – maybe 6 hours (spread over 2 days).

Now I’ve got to get going on the Christmas cakes! I’ve assembled all the ingredients, the butter has been sitting out over night, everything is ready to go. First, turn on the oven to 320°F, second get out my lobster pot and wipe it clean. Then weigh the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients in my largest bowl. Put them together, carefully spoon the batter into parchment lined loaf pans (just 3/4 full!) and let them bake for a couple of hours.

My apartment is going to smell heavenly.

Kantha Jacket – A Small Fix

Inside Patch

As I explained earlier, I had to patch the inside of the right front panel of the jacket in order to keep the quilt stitching ends from pulling out. As far as I was concerned that relegated the jacket to “demonstration garment” status – not a wearable muslin. But Saturday at class one of the gals suggested I put a pocket over the patch.

Good idea.

Here’s what I did:

Right Front With Pocket “Patch” Added

It’s not a beautiful fix – I couldn’t cut down the size of the sewer’s dream patch because of where the thread ends were located. I partially closed the top edge leaving a hand-size opening in the middle. Probably not a pocket I need to use – the two outside pockets are more than deep enough to hold keys, even my phone.

For now, the jacket feels “finished’.

I haven’t decided yet whether to remove the flare I put in when cutting the fabric – it’s not a complicated fix – just open hem finishing at the side seams, then open the binding on the sides, trim the sides sort of straight, rebind the sides and resize and restitch the hem finish. I want to wear the jacket with heavier clothing to see what that does to the flare when the jacket is on.

It’s never too late to make that adjustment.

Finished Kantha Jacket

Here’s the finished jacket – from the front, from the side, and showing the sewer’s dream patch on the inside of the left front (to hold the loose quilting threads in place).

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 (because of the wonky back as well as the other problems I encountered with the fabric itself).

When I cut it out, I’d added a bit of flare both front and back – I was being influenced by the Meiko Mintz Kantha jackets which I think are gorgeous (if expensive, when you calculate US$ to CAD$ with shipping and tax – they’re out of my league which is why I’ve tried making my own even if my fabrics aren’t as wonderful as hers).

From the front the jacket looks fine – I’m happy with it. However, from the side, the flare in the back is pronounced! I can also see I need the centre front to be a bit longer to align with the side seams (which, by the way, are actually vertical and not pulling to the back).

Not an impossible fix – it 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.

I will remove the flare when I cut out the new jacket from the Kantha bedspread – at least from the back. I may keep a bit in the front.

Kantha Jacket #2

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.

Kantha Jacket – Front

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.

Partially assembled Kantha Jacket #2

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

Patchwork Kantha Bedspread (Silk?)

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.