patchwork challenge
patchwork challenge

Patchwork dates back to around 5,000 years. The technique is used most often to make quilts, bags, wall hanging and clothing. It’s the art of sewing small pieces of fabric together to form a pattern or block to create a larger piece of fabric.

In recent years patchwork has become more popular and found its way to the catwalk with designers mixing patterns and textures to create artistic patchwork styles. Alexander McQueen latest Autumn/Winter 2020 collection was inspired by patchwork.

alexander mcqueen patchwork challenge

image: vogue.com

Alexander McQueen invited followers on social media to create patchwork using scraps of fabric found in their homes, taking inspiration from the tailor’s quilt coat and suit in the Autumn/Winter 2020 womenswear collection shown in Paris in March. Creative’s participated in the challenge and shared their projects on to social media tagging #McQueenCreators

The process of making a patchwork jacket or coat takes longer than normal because your sewing small pieces of fabric together to form a larger piece of fabric which becomes a garment. The pattern is printed on A4/A3 sheets, aligned together, then secured with magic tape and cut out as a whole.

The pattern of each colour patch is cut out using small paper scissors. When all the pieces are cut out they’re grouped by colour and matching fabric, followed by the motifs which are individually cut out.

Each pattern piece is laid out on the steamed fabric and cutting mat with enough room to allow for the seam allowance. Using a see-through ruler the seam allowance is marked on using chalk, then using a rotary cutter and metal ruler to cut out all the shapes. A pin is used to indicate the right side of the fabric, then cut out the motif patterns with a small seam allowance.

Using the template check how the fabric patches are arranged ready to be sewn together, working in sections to form blocks. Then the sewing commences using a straight stitch, clipping and pivoting methods for the corners. Press the seams open as you go, trim any corner that has the excess bulky fabric. The motifs are laid on the patchwork using the template to mark each placement.

alexander mcqueen patchwork challenge

For this challenge, I used my digital jacket block pattern, green and brown velvets, red, white, grey wools and check fabric to make a half-scale patchwork jacket.

patchwork challenge

I’m using a jacket toile made for a previous project to mark out the AM initials in cotton stay tape that wraps around the body.

patchwork challenge

Once I print out digital block pattern I draft the jacket with the style lines on the body and sleeves, this will also be my template when I’m sewing the pieces of fabric together to form the parts of the jacket.

patchwork challenge

Position the fabric samples on the pattern template to decide where each colour fabric will be.

alexander mcqueen patchwork challenge

Cut out your pattern pieces, use tailors chalk to mark the wrong side of the fabric.

patchwork challenge

Cut one side of the back in check fabric and mirror that piece and cut out.

patchwork challenge

Fuse the back of the AM velvet initials with medium weight stay flex.

patchwork challenge

Staystitch around the edge of the lettering on the seam allowance so it holds its shape.

alexander mcqueen patchwork challenge
patchwork challenge

The AM initials wrap around the body to the back. Press your seams open.

alexander mcqueen patchwork challenge
patchwork challenge

Use the template or pattern to check how the fabric patches are arranged ready to be sewn together.

patchwork challenge

Add shoulder roll and shoulder pads.

patchwork challenge

Just by using scrap fabrics from my stash, I made this miniature jacket in half scale.

digital jacket block pattern

Are you inspired to make a jacket?

Download your digital coat block pattern here

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