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 fashion designers mixing patterns and textures to create artistic patchwork styles. Alexander McQueen latest Autumn/Winter 2020 collection was inspired by patchwork.
Alexander McQueen invited followers on social media to create patchwork using scraps of fabric found in there 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 is then made into 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.
For this challenge, I used my digital jacket block pattern as a starting point. Fabrics: green and brown velvets, red, white, grey wools and a check fabric.
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. This will be made into a half-scale patchwork jacket.
Once I print out digital block pattern and 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.
I positioned the fabric samples on the pattern template to decide where each colour and fabric will be.
Cut out your pattern pieces with a 1cm seam allowance and use tailors chalk to mark the wrong side of the fabric.
Cut one side of the back in check fabric, mirror that piece of check fabric and cut out the other side.
Fuse the back of the AM velvet initials with medium weight stay flex (fusible interlining).
Staystitch around the edge of the lettering in the seam allowance so the AM velvet initials stays in shape.
The AM initials wrap around the body from the front to the back. Use a velvet board and press your seams open.
Use the template or pattern pieces to check how the fabric patches are arranged on the front, back and sleeves ready to be sewn together.
Add shoulder roll and shoulder pads. I used scrap fabrics from my stash to make this half scale jacket.
1. Digital block pattern. 2.Transferred onto Manilla card for master blocks. 3. Half scale jacket toile.
Were you inspired to make a jacket?
Click image to download your digital block pattern