Pat Coulter's

Online Coat Class

This coat done all in African Fabrics, was designed and executed by:

Barbara Bergstein of Teaneck NJ.

Thank you for SHARING with us Barbara!!!


What you will need - You need to gather fabrics. Search your stash first, and then fill in if necessary. You will need :

For information on purchasing the pattern, please email me! It is $10 incl. postage. OR  you may order it using PayPal, remember to send your shipping address with the order! (need to learn more about PayPal?)

The pattern has multiple sizes in it, and you may either Cut out the size you want, or find some SEE THRU stuff to trace it with. You can either be creative and find tissue paper, or go to the local Sewing store for a product for tracing patterns that is usually stashed over by the Interfacing....

............................................................................yeah, 'what is interfacing?<G>'


Do NOT feel you must use a formula like Lights Mediums and Darks.. You may use all darks, or all lights.

I tend to think of them as a theme. Vanilla, is all creams and off whites. Autumn, would be all greens, golds, rusts, and a touch of deep purple. Spring would be Pinks and lt Greens... Find what You will wear well, and design the color scheme to be pleasing to you.

When you array your fabrics, one or two may jump out and say YUCK!. Take them aside and tell them they will be in another project, not this one.

Find within your array of fabrics 2 or 3 "strong silent types", these are fabrics that are calm, not busy, and yet strong in color, not necessarily bright. These will be 'accent strips'.

You can look around this web page and see that there are solid looking strips going up and down..(Slimming) and these will calm the arrangement of other fabrics.

This is just a pre-discussion, as many have asked about colors, and fabrics.

Feel free to ask questions..


I have been asked about the batting. I use QUILTERS COTTON. It is new in the last 2-3 years. BattWoman (Norma McKown) on the QuiltArt List sells it via email. It is wonderfully soft. If your shop does not carry it, you can email Norma to send you swatches.. The difference is that it is 100% cotton, but Long Fiber Cotton, and does not have to be densely quilted. It reminds me of a baby's blanket. I will dig out Normas email address and put it at the bottom of this note.

Warm and Natural is a bit more stiff, due to the Poly scrim in it. I have not used others... so feel unable to comment.....

I am quoting one person here who felt the jacket

>..if it's worth repeating to the list.... that one of the features I loved about your coat was the "feel" and you made it clear that it was from washing it! I wonder, if I had not seen and touched the coat -- I would have thought that I have to take "great care" of the coat, and probably would have it dry cleaned to "keep it nice."

Norma McKown aka BattWoman's address

Question: Is this supposed to be all cotton fabrics or can we use anything?

Answer: I would use all cotton, just because it will all launder well with the cotton batt.... also there is no bearding etc... If you have a really spectacular fabric, and say it is a heavier weight, you might want to make a small swatch and quilt it up (a 3-4 inch square), then run it through the wash a few times.. I am doing that currently with a piece of Denim, experimenting on seams, I have two pieces sewn together, and they go thru every 'dark' load I do, to see how it is holding up. (Conclusion: a wide overcast stitch is the way to go)

Question: I have a stunning piece of fabric, and cutting into it will be hard....

Answer: I plan to allow the 'artists' in the group design their own fabric panels for the jacket. I DO plan to instruct how to make the coat that you see on the web page, and I think most of the people will be using those instructions.. But there are some out there, (and you know who you are<G>) who will just not be happy with 'rectangles'.... So we can let them go off and do their thing<G> and follow us when they feel it is necessary...

Question: What are others using for Color Choices...

Answer: Well, we are not quite up to the Jinny Beyer Color Class, but several have sent in their own ideas, to help others think about it... here goes...

I am thinking of shades of black and grays for a dressy coat, highlighted with some dark gold, oranges, dark teals, dark violets, and maybe browns. I have a rainbow like piece of fabric with these colors in it, and I can just see that in a coat. ... I'm going to do my coat with an "Under the Sea" theme. I've been collecting lots of fabrics with fish and other sea creatures. And lots of Blues and greens that remind me of the ocean... ...

I'm going PURPLE! When I started looking through my stash, I found all these purple - lavender - mixes (including some greens and other colors) fat quarters that I bought several years ago. Guess I'm living out the "When I Am Old I Will Wear Purple" poem, although I didn't realize I had reached that stage yet! 8-D ...

I've chosen a theme for my coat, and would like to know if I will lose the effect of the main fabric. The piece is a Marimeko print purchased in Helsinki a couple of years ago (hence sentimental value). It is a pointilist print in blocks across the width (selvage to selvage) of the fabric, each block blending with the next:

red yellow red-blue yellow-green blue green blue-red green-yellow red yellow

Class Begins!

The Incredible Jacket - Coat Class - Online Edition © Pat Coulter, 1997

Welcome to class! We have an amazing group here gathered to forge new paths in the Internet Quilting World. Feel free to print out the class information for your own reference. Note that it IS copyrighted, so I do not expect to see it reprinted in your guild newsletter!!!

I have been making this coat for about 2 years, and have found that the cut, while flattering, is also incredible because it fits everyone! In a recent guild talk, I challenged the audience to find me a person that my jacket would NOT fit, and I won.

The sizing is very generous. The 12/14 jacket I just spoke of has a hip circumference of 53" after washing. (Note: the pattern assumes you do not pre wash your cotton batt) We will talk more about the sizing in the third lesson.

You should all have received a note about fabrics.. Generally I recommend 100% Cotton, the same weight for lining as the outside. You may pick from your stash and supplement as needed. You will need a total of 4 - 4.5 yards for the outside, and 4.5 yards for the inside. The Lining fabric will show at the cuff and Collar area, so it should blend with the outside fabric, and may even be used in the strip cutting exercise below. You may try to piece the lining, if you have Two - 2 yard hunks.. You can stretch and squeeze it.. Using one fabric for upper front and lower sleeve, so that they are what show to the outside..(This is up to you.....) All seams will be covered using the lining fabric also.

Today's lesson is to MAKE FABRIC. We all know someone who has made the joke about Quilters cutting up good fabric into small pieces and then sewing it back together again...... SO !??!! We HAVE to do that... it is our nature!!

We are going to construct PANELS, from which we will cut the jacket parts. The Front and Back Panels are each 42" in vertical measurement. The width will vary based on your size. For example the 12/14 needs a 16.5" panel width for the front pattern piece. You may refer to the pattern, where the panel size is noted on the pattern piece.

There are many quilt artists out there, who have a need to make their own jacket panels.. not the typical rectangle thing... and at this point I will tell you that you are excused to go and do your own thing... Please continue to monitor the lessons, but you do not have to cut the strips etc..

Here is Maggie Thompson, one of my LIVE class participants

Showing off her finished Coat.

Cutting Strips

Cutting: First isolate the fabrics from which you want to cut accent strips. You will cut approximately 10-12 strips 44" x 1.5" or 44" x 2" for accents. These are the "strong silent" fabrics, rich in color, but not in 'action'. You may cut all from one color, or 2-3 from 3-4 colors.

From the remaining fabric you will need to cut about 45-50 strips of fabric from Selvage to Selvage, or close to 100 from fat quarters (22" wide). These will be cut in 3 widths, 2.5" 3", 3.5". KEEP THEM in Piles by their width. There should be now 4 piles. Accent strips 2.5" strips 3" strips 3.5" strips

Rectangle Cutting and Sewing: A rectangle is longer than it is wide. Therefore take the pile of 2.5" strips and sub cut them to be rectangles that are between 4" - 7" long. You will now take that pile of rectangles and split it into 3 piles next to your sewing machine. Pick up any two that do not match, and sew them end to end on the 2.5" edge. Chain piece the entire set of 2.5" pieces. Cut them apart, stack them, and again take them to your sewing machine, split it into 3 piles, and begin to sew them end to end. When one seam is done, flip up the rectangle on top, and sew the next set of 'two' to the edge of the last rectangle. When done, you will have a LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG strip of 2.5" rectangles, which you will now roll into a ball. Then take the 3" strips and cut them to be 5" -8" long, sew them into a long strip and roll into a ball. Then do the same to the 3.5" strips.

This should be enough to keep you busy for a week. Please ask questions, and I will answer them to the whole group.

If you plan to 'trace' your pattern (so that the sizes are there for other times) you might want to add "pattern tracing paper/fabric" to your shopping list. You can use anything that you can 'see through' and 'write on". 2 yards of 45" wide, or 3 yds of 36" wide, should do it.


Q: Two questions, 1) why 3 piles? Do you mean short, longer and longest? Or split to three piles by color?

No three piles the 2 and one half inch pile ... the 3 inch pile,... and the 3 and one half inch pile... you will make 'loooong' strips that are all one width... they will be extreemeely long. I suggest you roll them into a ball, similar to the way you would roll yarn if you were a knitter<G> ... then you will have 3 balls the 2.5 the 3 and the 3.5 inch width

2)When you say to cut the sewn strip apart, Do you mean to cut rectangles 4 to 7 inches long again?

No, just clip the threads.... If you chain piece, they will all be attached<<<G>>> Chain piecing saves thread, ... just sew one pair after the other, with very little threak in between....

Thanks for asking!!

Question: When reading these instructions I understand that the rectangles in each width grouping are to be of various lengths. Is this correct? (ie each 2.5 inch strip is cut into rectangles of several lengths)

Yes, you should really randomize this... the 2.5 inch pile should have in it rectangles of every imaginable length.. from 4-7 inch lengths.. I DO NOT MEASURE but do use a ruler to be sure of the perpendicular-ness of the cut (what a word<G>) seriously, cut 4.5 inch, 5.25, 6.25, whatever catches your fancy..

The general rule here is to cut smaller sizes of stuff you do not like, or is truly tooooo dominant. Do not cut long lengths of dominant "ME ME" fabric. Although, one person I know did this with golden yellows and it is gorgeous

Therefore you should be guessing there are no rules on the lengths of the rectangles..<G>

DO NOT, repeat DO NOT prewash, or presoak your cotton batt.

there are several reasons.

First of all it is meant to shrink. It will shrink a lot. this makes it have wonderful texture.. Secondly, if you are using Quilters Cotton, it has no scrim to hold it together, and you will have a lot of facial cotton balls ... virtually a lifetime supply<<<G>>>

I hope you are all smiling at that image, and wondering what the Washing Machine Repairman would say....<G>

A few notes, yes you should STOP after making the Balls of fabric. If you are done with that, you may go drool on threads and think about how you plan to quilt this thing.....remember, no whining....

Questions on SIZE... my 12/14 After Washing is 54 inches around my hips. The sewn (before washing) size is 61 inches. (my hip size is not a discussion point here.. but it IS less than 54 inches)

The pattern for the largest size (22/24) (or 12/24 if it means I am a 24 but wish I were a 12<G>) has a sewn circumference around the hips of 73.5 inches. I do know there is a shrinkage factor after being sewn, and I calculate that at about 10 percent. so this 73.5 may shrink down as small as a 65 - inch circumference.

The following note was too funny,.... do we quilt our pool covers now....<G>???

> >Pat, feel free to copy any or all of this to the "coat people" While in Lancaster, Sue Brooks and I were talking about the coat and about my Iris Quilt. The Iris Quilt turned into the Iris Coat during that weekend. The Iris fabric (Hoffman) will be the lining. We carted a sample >to every booth, and I finally told her to STOP, shut up, look for fabric for herself...she has this marvelous color sense and kept saying, "ooh...look, see how this will look with what you have..." Needless to say, EVERYTHING >she touched was *perfect* !! I now have enough fabric to make four coats, a bedspread, curtains for our new trailer and a tablecloth. Today, we went to a local store's 20% off sale. She "ooh'd" and "Come Look'd" a couple of times, and I got out of there fairly cheap. Now about Sue's coat (snicker, snicker). She's been going back and forth between japanese-type blues and a denim theme. We meandered through the store, with Sue going back and forth and back and...oh, you get the idea. She picked up a few bolts, and a few more...and soon realized that she'd be going with the dark blues as a "base" and she eventually had about 28 bolts on the cutting table. She chose some lovely fabrics, and not only her color choices, but again -- that marvelous sense of color placement -- will result in a magnificent coat (and she can machine quilt like a demon!). Just to be sure we hadn't missed anything, we drove over to "our local" quilt shop, which advertises having about 4,000 bolts. Sue found a few more blues, and she went out to her car to get her previously purchased fabrics. She chose a few more cuts (I was certainly cheering her on!) and we started to joke about making a coat with a matching skirt with perhaps a purse and a vest. As we piled up the fabrics, I suggested that it might be a floor length coat, with a very long skirt and a train, kinda like a bridal gown (but in blue patches) Eventually, a patron asked, "What are you making?" I replied: "A coat. A skirt. A pair of pants. A cover for my pool. A tablecloth. Curtains for her house and mine. Jackets for Sue's daughter's sorority. And if there is any fabric left, we can make a warm coat for Garth, Sue's Golden Retriever." BTW: We found and felt the batting you recommended...bought a package for each of us, and we are now happy, happy, happy. The salesperson who helped us with the batting kept asking us if we were quilters, and each time we said "yes" she responded, "You want the thicker batting." We kept saying "no" and finally, I said, "I felt the coat with THIS batting and this is what we want." She shrugged and sold it to us. Sheesh..While paying, we met a woman who was buying fabric...she asked about the coat (of course, we were the noisiest people in the shop), and I asked her what she was making. She said, "I live in Malaysia and our American group is making a quilt." You meet the most interesting people in the quilt shops. Gwen > > >

Question: I notice the measurements on the pattern are not as you have marked (both vertical and horizontal). Is this the drafting co. problem? Is it going to make much difference?

Answer The pattern will be actually 42" cut in length. The instructions(you are reading ahead, ... ahem<G>) will have you make panels to be 44" by ____ The reason is that you often will have irregular edges... and the extra 2 inches allows you to 'place' the pattern piece... and to move around for 'artistic' effect... seriously, it is to allow for error<<<G>>>

Queston Also, for the life of me I could not figure out why we were to put the strips/sets of strips in 3 piles by our machine. At first I thought it was for 3 sizes, but I have more than 3 sizes per roll. What is the logic behind this?

oh, well lets visualize this... cut all your 2 and a half strips into rectangles...take one big pile of them to the machine. You want to randomize them... If you cut the pile into 2 piles, there is a chance that it will be pretty 'regular' in color distribution.

ie, blue to yellow, blue to yellow.. blue to yellow, red to green , red to green , red to green, purple to green,

So, if you take it and cut it into THREE piles you can do Blue to Yellow, Blue to Green, Yellow to Green, Blue to Red, Blue to Purple...

just an increase in the randomizing process.

um, your balls, and you should have THREE of them, will be named the 'two and a half inch wide ball" the "Three inch Ball" and the Three and a Half inch ball"

NOW, a question for YOU (yes YOU!!!) Does ANYONE have Experience with the shrinkage rate for THERMORE???


This is the Elvis Coat made by Lynn Johnson of Jersey Shore, PA

It was exhibited in the Rock and Roll Exhibit at the

Quilters Heritage Celebration 1998

Construction Time!

You are going to a) construct panels for each pattern piece OR b) construct a panel for the front/back and another for the sleeves.

The difference between the two is that a) allows you to be anal retentive about the placement of colors.. b) Lets the strips fall where they may..<G>

The key numbers here are the height of the panels. For example the Front/back panels will be cut to 42 inches but I suggest you cut strips 44 inches long. This allows for irregular sewing, etc... You will cut approximately 8 strips from each ball to assemble these panels. For the Sleeve Panels, you will cut lengths about 2 inches longer than your sleeve panel. I believe it is 24 inches. (CRS is hitting me big time here. )

The sleeves are extremely WIDE, each sleeve is 30 inches ACROSS. so I usually make a panel about 55 " wide, and lay one out UP and the other nests in Upside Down.. Hard to draw this /\ \/

Do one panel (set) first, i.e. the front/back, and leave the balls to be used later for the sleeves.

After you have cut the strips... lay them out either on a design wall, or on the floor.. you are now looking for placement, so that the DOMINANT rectangles are not Next to each other.. you may carry this step as far as necessary, flipping strips 'til nothing is near each other, or just squint your eyes and if you like it stop.

YOU WILL NOT LIKE IT at this point<<<G>>>>

Now you must introduce the Accent strips.

Place them in the melee of all the chaos.... it will really calm down the crazyness!!

(people like a formula here. ... no formulas... <G> at least one in each sleeve, at least one on each front, three or more in the back, )

Now, you can SEW.. (this IS the fun part) .. using a one quarter inch seam. I usually put the strip being ADDED on the bottom, being lightly anal about making the seams on the already sewn part go the way they already are going...

Press after each seam.... (no quilt police watching you)

I recommend a walking foot at this point as the strips do tend to skew, the top one stretches.... Causes a curve...

So your panel for the front will be 44 tall and between 15 - 18 inches wide (depending on size) the Back will be 44 tall and between 28 - 35 inches wide

Sleeves are 24 tall? and 30 wide each, or 55 wide

When done you may cut out each panel. Use the pattern piece to cut only the top fabric

you can make a special piece for the collar, and the pockets may come out of some of the waste, or else make a pocket panel....well 2 pocket panels<G>

Next class we will layer and quilt... get to work..

I am hearing more stories about Fabriholics using my coat as an excuse to buy every yard in sight.... yeah.. go ahead, and blame me.. just do not pass out my phone number to your hubby....

One tip, for cutting the 44"strips.. I use a ruler or tape measure to mark the 44 inch mark on my table. then take each ball, and just stretch to that point and cut, drop that strip on the floor, then cut the next.. then cut the next... Remember to not cut them all.. only about 8 from each ball.. the remainder will be for your sleeves.

Also, if you want your Collar to contain a certain strip, or a certain color, be sure to set it aside. One nice idea is to put some of your lining in both the jacket AND the collar.

Some who have tried on the jacket feel the cuff is too full. I did one where I had to skimp and scrimp as the fab was in short supply, and I tapered the sleeve about three quarters of an inch in on each side. this did make a nicer sleeve, and I had also shortened it,(short on fabric...<G>) and so it does not have a cuff.. I will try to recreate this on drafting paper in the coming days, so remind me if I do not give you an accurate report.. I know how I did it, but it was so bass ackwards I can not begin to tell you...

Laying Out....

(this is what we called "getting a tan" in Pittsburgh...... I am going to "Lay out" tomorrow......)

I have tried many ways... this is the best of all of them...

Use the pattern piece to cut out the panel... ie. cut the 2 fronts from your panels..Focus on what will be in the center front of each panel.. reverse it or flip the pattern or whatever, to come up with a pleasing layout.. be sure to cut one LEFT and one RIGHT...

Cut one back on the fold (be sure that the strip seams are parallel with the fold, not crooked) and that you do not have a 'yellow stripe' down the center of the back.. If you have a bright stripe, try to place it off center by a lot....

Now, lay your backing fabric out.. face down.. either pin it for tension on the edges,,or tape it if you are on a table. Lay the cotton batting over top, pat it flat..... Now lay the pattern piece face up, preferably using the 44 inch width of the fabric to be the top to bottom .. if you have a directional fabric you may want it laid out the 'other way' but the most efficient use of the fabric is to lay the 42 inch top to bottom front and back going across the 44 inch width..

this is where a diagram would help, but I think you can figure it out.. and if not, you will have fabric enough for whatever layout you choose..<G>

there is lining leftover, but in really odd shapes..

NOW, cut a full inch bigger than the pattern all around... the pattern should be pin basted.. safety pins.. or whatever, hand basting....whatever...

Machine Quilting the Panels

Ok, I know many of you are still assembling the panels. But then there ARE those over achievers who want to know WHEN I am going to move on. So, if you are not ready for this, just be sure to file it in a safe place for when you need it.

You will now take one Piece that you have cut from a panel ... lets say the Left Front. and you have sandwiched it, so that there is a layer of cotton batting, and the Lining (face out) ... you are ready to machine quilt.

Smooth both sides, be sure you do not have creases, Use safety pins or hand basting to hold the sandwich together. You do not want it to move, altho with Cotton Batting, it is less likely to shift.

I usually use thread to match my lining in the bobbin, and the thread you want to show on the outside on the top of the machine. Fill Two Bobbins, and that is your daily quota. Once you have quilted two bobbins, you may quit for the day <G>.

Do you know how to CLEAN your machine. Now is a good time to do it. A good brushing out, a drop of oil, and a new needle will all make machine quilting go better for you. (some also recommend a Wine Cooler.....) Clean your machine every two bobbins, and change the needle about every 6 bobbins. There are Quilting needles for regular thread as well as Metafil/Metallica needles for metallics. Try them if you have trouble.

My preferences for the top thread are: a) a machine embroidery thread. b) sulky SLiver metallic(comes in all colors). c) Madiera Super Twist metallic.

METHOD ONE - Free Motion stippling Drop your feed dogs (usually looks like a darning logo or hash marks ###) Put your Free Motion Quilting foot on (darning foot, looks like a circle) (some machines, particularly Kenmore, tell you to darn without a foot...ouch! you can buy a generic darning foot...)

You will now test your tension on a test sandwich of muslin/batting/muslin. Adjust your tension so that none of the bottom thread shows on the top and none of the top thread shows on the bottom.

Put fabric under needle, lower presser foot. Cycle one full stitch, so that the bobbin thread comes up to the top, ... pull the fabric forward, and pull the bobbin thread and the top thread, so that you are holding them steady in your left hand, Return the needle to the point where the first stitch was made.

Now, Stitch 8 - 10 times in place, holding those threads so that they do not go to the backside to form a glob.

If your machine has "needle down", you may engage it now.

Move the fabric in small squiggles, if you think of a wandering drunk, it may help.

When you are about an inch away, you can cut the beginning threads.

Your machine should be running at a moderate speed, not too slow. your hands will make the stitch length by how fast they move in relation to the machine. This is an acquired skill, and if you do not catch on, keep trying on other muslin samples.

squiggle, squiggle.....

Now look at the back, and the front, How is your Tension? does it need adjusted.??? continue.... If you find that you HATE the thread you are using, NOW is the time to change. You will need 3 spools of sulky to do the coat. If thread is breaking, try loosening tension, a New Needle, or Sew Slick on the thread. all will help a bit.

Now, try to quilt your name. this is a good challenge.

If you are not getting the 'squiggle' use a pencil and paper to create a fill in doodle,and try to replicate it in thread...

keep squiggling til you are happy, and then move on to the real thing... !

Work from the center of the piece to the outer edge... in a circular way, just squiggle around what you have already squiggled..<G>

When done, anchor threads by taking 10 stitches in the same place.....

METHOD TWO - THE INTERMINABLE TRIANGLE This is a design that 'just happened' in an effort to have an overall quilting pattern, that could not be criticized for being 'not perfect', or 'not parallel'...<G>

I will talk you thru it, and those of you with the pattern will see the diagram on page 3.

Use a Walking Foot, and do NOT drop the feed dogs.

Using muslin, draw up the bobbin thread, as outlined above. backstitch 2 stitches Stitch forward one inch, needle down, pivot one third, stitch forward one inch, needle down, pivot to close the triangle... stitch forward, but do NOT touch the beginning point, just go on past it by one inch, needle down, Pivot, and stitch Towards the second point of the triangle, but do not touch it, just go on by the outside, and pass it by one inch.

continue, until your triangle is about 5-7 inches across. backstitch to anchor. Cut threads.

This makes a Rolling Triangle. It ends as a triangle, tho you really do not know where it will end. YOu can do many of these, but you will end up with irregular unquilted shapes... THIS requires a Fill design, which is the same as the triangle you just did, except you start with the OUTSIDE and aim inward.

Lets draw an irregular rectangle, on the muslin, just for an illustration. the sides of the rectangle should be 3 4 5 and 7 inches...well, not Exactly<G> just make it a non parallel, and odd shaped four sided object. Stitch around the edge of all four sides, when it comes to Close the Rectangle, do NOT close it, instead NEEDLE DOWN, PIVOT, and aim to a point One Inch in from the next corner. Do Not touch the edge, needle down Pivot, and aim for one inch in from the next corner.

This makes a rolling rectangle... it is fun, but very time consuming to do..

I STRONGLY recommend using the machine Stippling for your first jacket.

Final Assembly Step -

Ah yes, Pockets and Collar.....

these are done 'envelope style'... that is, put the Top and Backing RIGHT SIDES together, and put the batting on the bottom.. sew a 1/4 inch seam...

On the Collar, sew the three outer edges, leaving the neck edge open. Clip corners and flip open.. press, then quilt it ... set aside for assembly

On the Pockets, Top and Backing RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, and batting on the bottom, a 1/4 inch seam.. leaving open about 4 inches on one side for flipping. Clip 4 corners, turn right side out, and quilt it , or Edge stitch it, being sure the edges are turned in nicely.

The pockets will not be attached until AFTER the jacket is WASHED. this way the shrinkage will not have the pockets become breast plates...

I am hearing REAL progress reports.. some are fiddling with threads, and some are almost done quilting....

I will give final assembly instructions on Wed or so.. and then we will just have Questions...

Some are concerned that the Panel size does not match the Pattern size, and the Panel is only a guideline, for say a good size to aim for, and you won't be frustrated and disappointed.... you can ignore it....

Some have asked the shrinkage rate on the Quilters Cotton.. I am thinking the sleeves go up about 2" .. so I say 5-10% but I have that question in to the EXPERT , and as soon as she lets me know.... (ahem) I will let you know...<G>

The answer is in... the actual predicted shrinkage is 1%, tho Norma says "maybe 2%" at most.. I guess I am just dreaming.. Cause it seems to move...<G> I love the lumpyness after it comes out of the dryer...<<<<G>>>>

so thats the scoop on Quilters Cotton.

Coat Assembly

I did not want you to think I had forgotten you guys.. I know some are still quilting, but the ones who promised not to whine are out there biting their tongues<G>.

The assembly is pretty easy... easy for me to say..

Start by trimming the excess batting and backing, and maybe straightening any waves in the side seams or the straight edge of the sleeves..... You need to make some straight grain binding strips. Cut about 8 strips 1 and 1/4 inches wide. sew them end to end to make a LOOOOONG strip. (these are estimated on the cross grain of 44", but if you have lengthwise grain, you may use that also... you can always cut more if you run out)

Take this strip to the ironing board, and press under 1/4 inch on the loooong edge... making a binding strip with one Rough edge and one Folded edge.

You will now take a front and the back, and match up the shoulder seams... Pin the seam with 3 or 4 pins.. Then pick up the binding strip, and lay it along the seam, with the rough edge where the seam edges are. This binding will be included in the seam when you sew it. So repin, to include the binding, and then sew the seam using a 1/4-inch seam allowance (or a little more). Open the seam to check the outside, and make sure all the edges are properly caught in the seam. While it is open, lay the coat so the lining side is up, and just lay the binding out flat, so that the binding covers the seam. You will stitch this binding down.... I prefer to use the edge stitiching foot on my machine, but if you would rather do the stitching by hand, or with your favorite foot,... whatever.. Just stitch it down.. BE AWARE that the Bobbin thread should match the OUTSIDE of the coat at this point.

Now do the other shoulder seam attaching the other front.

Next you will attach the sleeves. There is a gentle ease in the sleeve. I fold the upper edge of the sleeve in half to find the mid point, and pin that to the shoulder seam.. then the ease the rest. Remember to apply the Binding when you sew the seam. Open it, lay the binding flat and stitch it down.

Next you will do the Underarm seam. Match the sleeve seams and pin to the wrist and down to the bottom edge. Apply the binding. Sew the seam. Now this one is a bit different. You will not be able to sew the binding down inside the sleeve with the machine. You will have to do this one by hand, and I would advise also that you do the HUMP under the sleeve also by hand.

Next will be the edge finishing. For now, you can spend your time getting those 6 seams going

Three questions. 1) what is the HUMP under the sleeve?

The hump is not to be confused with any other anatomical part of your body.. it is where the sleeve seams meet under your arm.. it is a LOT of seams coming together, similar to a pocket corner on your bluejeans.. sewing the binding down there by machine is going through approximately 12 layers of seams...

2) isn't this binding a little wide - i.e., 1-1/4" with 1/4" turned under = 1", less 1/4" in seam = 3/4" to lay flat and stitch down over 1/4" seam allowances??,

No, not really, 1/4 is folded under, 1/4 is in the seam.. and the rest lays over the bulk of the seam.. so while it seems like it is 3/4 inch it will somehow shrink down to about a 1/2 inch . I also believe in Santa Claus.

3) When you stitch the binding over the seam attaching the sleeve to the garment, should you sew on the garment or the sleeve?

Oh gee, I knew there would be someone who asked this.. um, well, if you always have the Sleeve on top, and the body on the bottom, and the BINDING on top of the Sleeve... then the seam will always go up to the body when sewn down... but believe me, I would not worry to this level of detail.. Just use thread that blends<<<<G>>>>> ... oh I AM bad about stuff like this.. But what happens is you end up doing it the way it fits in your machine the best, and having the sleeve on the bottom would be like totally awkward for me....

Some final thoughts... I did not clarify that when the binding is sewn into the seam, the rought edge is next to the seam edges, and THE BINDING IS RIGHT SIDE DOWN.. so that when flipped, it will blend with the lining.... Which brings me to my other point.. I did not mention that the Binding was to be cut from the LINING FABRIC you have leftover..(Now you know why you have leftover lining<G>)

Last things first as I always say....

Subject: Binding the Coat

You are almost done. I think about another 1-2 hours of work is left for you.

I want to first apply the collar to the coat. So, I will fold both the collar, and the coat 'back' to find the centers. then lay the collar on the coat, as it would lay when you wear it. (the underside of the collar will be laying on the outside of the coat, in other words both pieces are 'right sides up') Pin from the center out. The collar will fall about 3 inches short of the lapel edge.

Baste the collar in place using a large stitch on your machine inside the seam allowance (1/8 inch or so). (Who here remembers the Six Stitch from Home Ec?)

Now, you will begin to apply the binding on the lower BACK of the coat. Start by folding in (I like to use a diagonal fold here, as if you were wrapping a package) the binding, so that the beginning edge is also a fold. Sew the binding right side down to the Right side of the coat with the 'rough' edges aligned. When you get to the corner, you do not backstitch .... instead be sure to STOP WITH THE NEEDLE DOWN, LIFT THE PRESSER FOOT, ROTATE THE COAT, ALIGN THE BINDING TO GO ALONG THE NEW EDGE, PRESSER FOOT DOWN, SEW.

This is true of the four corners (two lower front, and the lapel area) you will encounter. Finish the seam by sewing past the first folded end, and turn the final edge down using a diagonal fold, backstitch, and sigh. You are wrestling a lot of fabric here ladies.. this is WORK...<G>

When you approach the lapel area, remember this is the most visible part of the coat, it will be near your face, sew with care. Also, when you get to the shoulders, it takes some encouragement to the coat to lay nice and flat so you do not get puckers... I sew about 2-3 inches of binding at a time, ending needle down, and align the next section... This is not a good step to bother 'pinning' as the binding has to fit as you turn the corners.

Ok, now, you will turn the coat so the Lining side is up, and you will stitch the binding down. When I do this, I expect to see a tiny portion of the exterior of the coat at the edge. In other words I do not want my binding to show to the front.. I would rather have coat show to the inside.

When you approach the corner, your goal is to miter the binding. This is done best with some patience and pinning. I sew the first edge to the stitching line, then backstitch, needle up, and then arrange the next edge to form the miter. I do this all by machine, but you may also want to do it by hand, depending on your machine, and your skill level.

Once again, the neck area is crucial.. The lapel area will be most visible, while the area under the collar will not...<G>

The final step is to wash the coat. (my DH had the nerve to call my most recent gorgeous creation my 'Chairman Mao jacket' as it is a bit stiff before the washing step. He is history)

Wash the coat and pockets.. Do not attach the pockets til after the coat is washed, so that any shrinkage may occur, and the pockets will be at the most comfortable position for you.

You are done... this has been a truly remarkable experience for me having students from all over the world... I hope you will share a photo of your coat, (preferably with you IN it<G>) by sending the photo to me to be scanned in for the QuiltArt bulletin board.

I will still be answering questions as they come to the list, and am thinking ahead of 'what to teach next'... I value your input, and hope that you will let me know whether you would like another 'wearable' or a 'quilt type' project for the next class and I am formulating a project based on Symmetry... (oh what am I saying... next class....<G>)

I will be traveling around to lecture and do workshops, so if I am at a guild near you, I want you to stop by and say HI.. preferably with your Coat on...<<G>>

Coat Closures

You all are wondering if ANYONE has been keeping up to date with the instructions.. Well here is the Over Achiever of the class.... and she brought up a good point.. how to Close.. Well, Buy Frogs is the easy option, Make button holes and sew on buttons is next, and then there are those who would like to make frogs..<G> well, just send me a SASE and I have a page on frogs.. really, this is not necessary, but if you must......

Here is our first finishers note:

> >You're right! When it came out of the dryer, the coat was super-soft and gorgeous. I'll just sew on the pockets now, and hunt through the old buttons for three of the same size. If I can't find frogs, or if I don't decide to use loops, I might ask you to send your frog directions. I LOVE IT, LOVE IT LOVE IT!!! :-))))) >Celia


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