WEEK 1 - Hacking and Cutting

Hi everybody! and welcome to Week 1 of the Quiltsew Along for the Quilted Nutmeg Jacket :)

Thank you for coming and I hope that the previous post was helpful and that you have all your materials ready to start. This week, I am sharing the changes I made to a couple of pattern pieces so that you can decide if you want to do them too but mainly, it is all about cutting the fabrics for the outer shell of the jacket :) Shall we start?

NOTE: I will be using inches generally along the quiltsew-along and particularly during the cutting of the fabric for the outer shell of the jacket and block piecing stages. I recommend not changing them to the metric system as it can get tricky. Some parts offer both imperial and metric systems :)


The main changes I made to the original layout and to the design of the Nutmeg Jacket have been:

  • To the two front bodice pieces: as I didn't want to use regular buttons or doing buttonholes (I was worried about how it would work with all the layers involved), I cut the part of the front placket with the folds as shown below. I finished the raw edge with bias tape and used snaps or press buttons instead (I will show you this at a future step).

Front bodice change 1

Front bodice change 2

Technical drawing change bodice

If you prefer a normal button placket, buttonholes, etc... leave the piece as it is but consider the bulkiness of the placket when doing buttonholes.
    • To the sleeves: I slightly lowered the crown of the sleeve between the gather point marks at the top of the piece, creating a more gentle curve. I wanted to avoid as much gathering / need for easing as possible as it would be harder with three layers of material.

      When making the sample, I realised though I should have lowered it even more, as I had to do a bit of easing anyway. I think it looked OK in the end :)

      I also changed the bottom of the sleeve getting rid of the gathers completely and taking in each side about 1 1/2''/4cm, as well as straightening the bottom of the sleeve.

      Sleeve changes

    • Last, the pockets: instead of using the patch pockets that are, in the original design, linked to the jacket version, I decided to go for inseam. I realised when doing a mock-up of the patch pockets, that they were going to disturb the design at the front too much and I wanted to leave that part free so as to showcase the blocks in all their glory! The pockets are French-seamed (I will share the tutorial at some point during the quiltsew-along).

      You can opt for patch pockets, inseam, both or none! Whichever you prefer.

    NOTE: The original back bodice pattern piece is meant to be cut on the fold but in this case, we need to create a piece of outer shell with our blocks that covers the whole back as if it is one piece. You can trace a mirrored back piece and tape it to the one you have printed out.


      Now, let's get cutting! Unlike with dressmaking, I actually enjoy cutting for quilting. It is a more manageable task, with (usually) smaller pieces to deal with and made easier with the use of a rotary cutter, proper quilting rulers and a cutting mat. Yes, sometimes you will have to cut MANY pieces for a specific quilt (or a jacket, hehe), but there are techniques to do this faster and more efficiently.

      For my Quilted Nutmeg Jacket, I created a list (that you can replicate) with all the pattern pieces, number of pieces needed for each of them and exactly how much material I used. You can find it HERE ready to download (take your time to read the document as there are lots of numbers). Of course, this is for my size, the specfic blocks I wanted to create and the fabrics I was going to use, but hopefully, it will give you an idea of what you need to do for yours.

      My design is made out of 3 1/4''x3 1/4'' solid squares and 3 1/4''x3 1/4'' 9-patch blocks (before sewing. When sewn, they will be 3''x3''). The 9-patch blocks are made out of 9 little squares with a measurement of 1 1/2''x1 1/2'' each (these need to be trimmed down to get the 3 1/4''x3 1/4'' desired measurement, but I will show you this later on).

      In total, I needed 202 solid squares and 202 9-patch blocks for all the pattern pieces. I know it sounds like A LOT and wel... it is! (that's why you can choose bigger squares and not going for the 9-patch) but I think it is worth it :) As long as you are organised, it will be ok.

      Here you can see some pics of my cutting process.

      Nutmeg Jacket tutorial cutting 1

      Nutmeg Jacket tutorial cutting 2

      Regarding cutting techniques and tips, here you have a little list:

      • Get yourself a nice rotary cutter and a cutting mat. They help a lot! The pieces will be cut with much more precision than with regular fabric scissors or dressmaking shears. You can also use your rotary afterwards for cutting jersey and knit fabrics or for other quilts you might want to make in the future.
      • If you think you might be into quilting, I would strongly recommend getting a 6'' x 12'' quilting ruler and a set of square rulers. They also make the job much easier.
      • Cut your fabric in strips using the WOF (width of fabric) in the desired length and sub-cut. You can also place several WOF strips one on top of the other to get several pieces cut at the same time. This will shorten the time significatively.
      • Place post-its on top of the pieces already cut as you go to know what are those for and to which pattern piece they correspond.
      • And mainly, breath, take breaks and stretch, and no worries if it takes you more time. This quiltsew-along is no going anywhere! and the post will always be available :)

      Nutmeg Jacket tutorial cutting 3

      Now that you have all the information, you can proceed to cut all the pieces for the outer shell of your jacket, ready for next week. We still don't need to cut the lining and wadding / batting as it is best to do the piecing of the blocks and then cut them based on those.

      Thank you for following along and see you next week!

      PS. You can contact me at any time on Instagram or by email at hi@cocowawacrafts.com if you have any doubts.

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