Since starting Patchwork & Poodles in December 2018, I don’t end up doing very many “just for fun” projects anymore. This is something I’ve heard from my other pattern designer friends and believe to be a common trend. There’s just so many things to sew for the business that projects without a business purpose take a backseat and more often than not, just don’t happen at all. Except for this lone star quilt coat. I’ll tell you all about how I decided to make it and the modifications I made to the Patchwork Chore Coat pattern. That way, if you want to, you can make one just like it!
One Saturday in September, after a two hour nap (life without kids 😉 ), I had the urge to create a new quilt coat using a lone star pattern as my inspiration. I wanted to make it now. So I rummaged through my fabric stash and came up with using Essex Linen in white and leathered for my star. I found I didn’t have enough background fabric, however, in any Essex linen color, so at 7pm on a Saturday night I rushed out to Hobby Lobby to buy some. I was making this quilt this weekend and nothing was going to stop me! Back home with Essex linen in Denim by the yards, I was ready to work.
As a side note, I said to Jason that I was running out to Hobby Lobby before they closed so I could make a quilt tonight and he just goes “okay have fun”. HA! 9 years of marriage and nothing phases him anymore.
I started cutting fabrics around 9pm and by 2am had a completed quilt top to show for it. Woohoo! Time for bed. The following day and weeks that followed, I turned that lone star quilt top into my quilt coat!
Shop Related Products:
Lone Star Quilt Coat:
Everything about this coat was intentional. It was a project I took time over, thought about the details, and changed my mind when I needed to. For example, I knew I wanted the entire back to be a lone star motif. This meant that my original lone star quilt needed to be big enough to cut an entire back piece without running into the background fabric. I also wanted the center of the star to be in the middle of my back or higher. I ended up making a lone star quilt with 6 diamonds per row (36 per point). Because I couldn’t find a pattern that was exactly what I was looking for, I ended up making this up as I went. Maybe it will turn into a tutorial for this blog someday, who knows!
From the beginning, I wanted to keep the front of the quilt coat pretty plain. I had been looking at other coats made with lone stars and I really wanted to avoid having points like arrows highlighting certain *ahem* body parts. (not attractive). The best way to ensure that didn’t happen was to keep the front plain. However, I knew that I wanted the back of the sleeves to follow the lone star motif. That way it wouldn’t look weird to have the entire back white/yellow and the rest of the coat blue. It would make a nice continuation of the pattern.
I cut, basted, and quilted the back of the coat and the front of the coat. Once those were done, washed, and cut out to shape, I then decided on what to do with the sleeves.
Wanting the lone star motif to carry over on the sleeves but only on the back posed other problems – mainly, how to cut them so that they didn’t show at all on the front. I decided to cut the sleeves with 1″ of background blue fabric showing on the top back of the sleeves (at the shoulder). I held my breath while cutting and constructing, but thankfully I’m happy with the result!
To construct the lone star quilt coat, I used the panel approach, cutting each pattern piece into individual quilt sandwiches and hand-quilting them with Aurifil 28 weight (#2021). Although 12 weight is my usual go-to for hand-quilting, I wanted to have thinner stitches to add texture instead of contributing to the design. 28 weight proved perfect for this. I talk about the panel approach in the Quilt Coat Course as well as within the Patchwork Chore Coat pattern itself.
I kept the hand-quilting diagonal to tie the whole coat together, but varied it between the back (which follows the lone star seams), the front (45 degree diagonal grid), sleeves and pockets (45 degree diagonal lines) and the collar (1″ diagonal grid). It added nice texture and interest without clashing or competing against each other.
I made three major modifications from the pattern for this version of the Patchwork Chore Coat:
- Added Length
- Faced the center front instead of binding
- Big pockets
This coat is a size Medium, and I chose to add 5″ of length to the bottom of the coat. I have a blog post on adding length to your coat here.
Facing instead of binding:
Originally, I wanted to do snaps instead of buttons for this coat so I chose to face the front center edge instead of bind. However, because of the bigger pockets, the edges where the pockets are ended up being really thick, and I was worried that the snaps wouldn’t get locked together correctly. Instead, I’m going to add toggles to my coat, I just haven’t found the right ones yet!
And finally, bigger pockets! I had a vision for deep pockets and decided to draft some. Originally, I wanted to add more of the lone star design to them, but really struggled with the shape of the pocket and the amount of lone star to show. I have very narrow shoulders, so I tend to stay away from a design that is very ‘bottom focused’ or bottom heavy. Finally, Jason suggested that I just show one strip of the lone star motif as a way to tie the back of the coat to the front without too much design. It was perfect! Because I used the lone star as my guide for drafting pockets, these are definitely more angular than I would have drafted them if I wasn’t using the lone star motif (45 degree angle versus 60 degree). Nevertheless, I love the final look of them and they definitely are deep! I can fit quite a lot in them!
If you want to make bigger pockets for your Patchwork Chore Coat, I recommend drafting them first in paper. I used the Front pattern piece as the starting point for shaping the side seam, and added seam allowances to the top edges (the two side and bottom edges line up flat with the Coat Front piece). I recommend deciding how high you want the pockets to be and using that as a starting point. This will depend on the size coat you’re making, the length of the coat, and the height of the wearer!
I basted the pockets to the Coat Front pieces with 1/4″ seam allowance before starting coat assembly. When sewing the coat together, the side seam of the pocket got attached when I sewed the side seams of the coat. The front center seam was attached when I faced the front center seam (or if you’re binding, when it is bound), and the bottom edge when the binding was attached.
This shows you how customizable the Patchwork Chore Coat really is. I didn’t change anything major to the coat – keeping the original shape and look of the coat, and was able to create something new and unique!
As with all my Patchwork Chore Coats, the inside of the coat is as pretty as the outside! Every seam is bound flat against the coat for a really professional and smooth finish. The coat is super comfortable to wear, without any bulky seams rubbing against your skin. I chose to follow the theme from the outside of the coat and hand-bind all the inner seams. Most of my previous coats I’ve bound by machine. I used a whipstitch to bind, meaning you can see all my tiny stitches all over the inside of the coat. I love it! It shows the time and labor that went into making this lone star quilt coat.
For a final touch, I added a tag to the inside of the coat using a scrap of white Essex linen and designed a motif the size of a business card. I wanted to write Patchwork & Poodles but settled for P&P as it was shorter ;). To the tag I also added the size of the coat and part of a lone star as a nod to the outside of the coat. I hand-embroidered the tag with 3 strands of Aurifil Aurifloss in #2140 and #2745.
Lone Star Quilt Coat Details at a Glance:
Fabrics: Exterior is Essex Linen in White, Leathered, and Denim. Interior is a quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby
Pattern: Patchwork Chore Coat in View A, modified by adding length, different pocket shapes, and facing the front center seam instead of binding it.
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Machine: Pieced, quilted, and constructed on my Janome MC6700P