To begin, lay out your jacket. I will be working on the center panel on the backside, so that is what I have face up.
You can either measure the area with a ruler, or you can create your own paper pieced quilt block based on the jacket itself. Alternatively, you could use a quilt block that you have made already. If you are paper piecing, simply place your paper over the jacket and run your finger along the seams that you want your block to be inside of. This gives you a good perimeter to work with, especially if your jacket has curves seams like the one I’m working with.
Now trace over your lines with a pencil and draw out the pattern you’d like to follow. I am making flying geese, so I divided the area into three sections, and then marked out the proper order for sewing the pieces.
Cut your fabrics to fit in the area you want, and do be generous. Paper piecing is pretty accurate as far as being able to sew nice crisp lines, but it is less exact when cutting fabric and laying it out. You’ll see what I mean here in a moment. You’re actually going to line the fabrics up UNDER the paper, and then sew directly through the
paper and fabric following the lines you’ve drawn. The trick to doing this is to take piece 1 and place it centered in the one area. You can hold your paper up to a light source so you can see the lines through the fabric. Line up piece two along the seam that joins 1&2 face down on the first fabric. If you are confused here, definitely look at the photos because this is a sewing method best learned through seeing versus reading.
Steadily hold those fabrics still under the paper and slide them under the presser foot on your machine.
Use a shortened stitch length, and then sew along the line between piece 1 and 2.
Trim off the excess fabric like so:
Continue stitching each new section in this order until you are finished. It should look something like this on each side:
You’ll want to make sure your design fits prior to cutting, so double check now. If you are happy, trim up your fabric and set it in place.
Now its time to applique! If you are working with an already made quilt block, this is where you want to get started. I began by stitching in the ditch around my geese so I wouldn’t have fabric bagging away from the jacket. Then I used my machine’s applique stitch to stitch around the perimeter of my block just inside of the jacket’s seams.
If you are going to use ribbon, switch back to a straight stitch. Tuck under the raw edges, and then stitch down to the jacket.
Et viola! You are finished! Though I suspect this may just be the first of many custom touches.
Its a great start, and already my boy’s jacket has gone from ordinary to so much fun!