Jackets, I think, are my favorite thing to add embroidery to. This might be a fairly obvious statement, given that we’ve done a fair share of embroidered jackets like the ones here, here, and here. For me, it’s the perfect canvas; the best example of a wearable, durable surface that really lets you showcase your favorite stuff. It’s thicker than a tee, which lets you add more and varied designs, and it’s also a heck of a lot easier to show off and wear around than a quilt or a wall hanging. Yeah, people might look at you a little odd for wearing your wall hanging. Best just leave that one at home.
It should come as no surprise, then, that we’ve seen our own share of amazing stitched jacket examples from customers, and it was only a matter of time before a gorgeous Parisian version came along after the very popular Parisian Love Letter collection was released. Urban Threadster Gail created this jacket from a pattern, and it ended up winning her an award! You just never know where your next creation might go.
Gail joins us to talk about what went into this embroidered creation…
What started this project?
I wanted to enter a project into a “wearable art” challenge at a local quilt show. I had never entered anything before and thought this would be a fun project.
Did embroidery inspire the jacket or did the jacket inspire the embroidery you chose?
I always wanted to make a jacket that was unique. When I saw your “postcard pillow” for the Parisian Love Letter design pack I got inspired to make a jacket using the same designs.
Where did the jacket design come from?
I used Vogue Pattern V2827. It has been sitting in my pattern collection for a few years and I always dreamed of making it. I did a sample jacket out of similar material (but less expensive) first to make sure it fit me properly. Once I was happy with the results I then cut the material I wanted to use for the final project.
Talk us through the embroidery… which designs did you use? How long did it take to embroider it all?
I used all the designs in the design pack. I duplicated 1 design 3 times on the jacket – once on the back waist and then again on the cuff of each sleeve. I thought that would give it some balance. I stitched out 21 designs and it took a week to complete the embroidery. I took time to print out the designs off my computer and printer then I cut the paper down to just outside the embroidery design area. I then placed those paper designs onto the jacket pieces – prior to construction – so that I could visualize what the jacket would look like.
I started with the sleeves first, and I loved the results so I continued with the rest of the jacket. This pattern has multiple front and back sections so I sewed those together first and then I sewed the shoulder seams together but left the side pieces un-sewn. This way I could embroider the front, back and shoulder areas with ease. When all the embroidery was complete on the front, back and shoulder I then sewed the side seam together then embroidered the side embroidery designs.
Any challenges along the way?
I had some challenges with the lining of the jacket. I had never done a lined jacket before. I did an OK job but I know I could do better.
What advice would you give someone trying to create something like this?
I would recommend doing a sample of the embroidery on the same fabric that you are using for you project. I did that and I was happy with the results. Just cut a piece of your fabric before you do any cutting of pattern pieces. It would not be fun if you weren’t happy with the results once you had spent some hours stitching seams together!
I would also say, personalize a label on the things you create. I embroidered my name onto a piece of fabric and just sewed it onto the back of my jacket. I think it looks nice and really, you should be proud to show off the things you create.
I hear you won an award with this jacket, congrats! Did you start this project with the contest in mind? How did people react to it and all the embroidery?
I actually had a different contest in mind. The original contest was for a “quilted wearable art jacket”. After I was almost done the jacket it occurred to me that I had no traditional quilting in this jacket, and I was trying to think of how I could add quilting to the jacket somehow. I thought of maybe quilting the collar or somehow quilting the sleeves but then decided to not add any quilting at all as I was afraid it would take away from the embroidery and stylishness of the jacket.
I entered the jacket anyway to the contest and won an “honorable mention” ribbon. I was ecstatic about winning a ribbon – it was the first time I won anything. A few ladies from an embroidery group that I was a part of mentioned entering the jacket into the “Calgary Stampede” contest. I was glad I did. They did a great job displaying the jacket and I was so happy that I received a 2nd place blue ribbon. I have had many compliments on the jacket and all the embroidery. I love it.
What’s your next project going to be?
I have three young daughters and have a list of things I would like to make for them. I have been thinking of what I could do with the Dark Fairytales design pack; I am trying to come up with something creative for that.
Thanks so much for sharing this jacket and your process with us, Gail! I know you must just look fabulous in that jacket wherever you go, and your skill with sewing and design is really an inspiration. I can’t wait to see what you do for your lucky daughters. Perhaps more prizes are in your future!
Do you want to have your project featured on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at email@example.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!