I recently made the Nova Coat by Papercut Patterns which is a wonderfully unique geometric cocoon style coat. I wanted to make it when I was a beginner sewist and I am glad I waited until I was a bit more experienced - a beginner could probably bumble their way through with some tears along the way but as an intermediate sewist, I was only mildly confused along the way. Since the pattern pieces are very geometric, it was a little hard for me to keep track of what shape matches what pattern piece - perhaps labeling each pattern piece could prevent confusion. Papercut Patterns has an excellent online Sew Along that I referenced a few times and there are also a ton of video sew alongs alone since this is such a popular pattern.
Me in my finished Nova Coat, selling the same fabric that I am wearing!
Anyways - I want to talk about sewing with the super-popular Quilted Cotton Jacquard that we carry in the shop, from Merchant & Mills. This fabric is actually like a double gauze but just a thousand times heavier than a typical double gauze (it's 14.75 oz/yd² to be exact). It reminds me of a double gauze because it's actually two layers of fabric and super thick cotton yarns sandwiched in between the two layers. Because it has two layers, a lining is optional. This makes it ideal for patterns with bias binding where you can skip the lining - perhaps the ST Side Tie Top or the Kindling Quilted Jumper from TAUKO no. 8.
A local sewist Sue showed me the gorgeous Tamarack Jacket by Grainline she was working on in our Quilted Cotton Jacquard in the Moody Blue colorway and she actually managed to use the jacquard for the binding of her jacket but she expressed that it was not the easiest choice. Using this super thick fabric as a binding is a way to guarantee perfect color match but it's so thick and bulky to work with as a binding. Sue recommended using a hot iron to press the fabric as flat as possible before pressing it into a fold over binding. She also hand basted it in place and used a lot of extra pins for support before sewing it down. Finally she gave it a good press after sewing.
Here's some photo's of Sue's binding and hand basting stitches (in progress) and welt pockets which she said were tricky (but not impossible) with this thick fabric:
Here are my top tips for sewing with Quilted Cotton Jacquard:
1. You can serge your raw edges before washing - this fabric frays like crazy.
2. Press any major creases out before cutting but know that it probably won't be perfect since the fabric is so thick and crinkly. I washed my fabric and hung it to dry and that was enough to keep it pretty flat.
3. Use heavy weight pins to pin the pattern pieces to the jacquard and cut with your best sharp fabric scissors. I do not recommend trying your rotary cutter here - the fabric is just too thick.
4. I pre-serged all of my seam allowances. Sure you could do this later but this fabric frays like craaaazy and I didn't want to even try serging two or more layers together since I don't want my serger to hate me. No serger? Just do a wide zig zag stitch on the edges.
5. I got away with using Gutermann Sew All thread on my project but a heavier thread probably isn't a bad idea if you have on laying around, especially for topstitching.
6. Use a walking foot if you can - this fabric is super bulky and you will thank me later when your walking foot can navigate all of this bulk, especially when joining multiple layers!
7. Use a heavy sewing needle in your machine. Bonus points if you put heavy needles in your serger if you have one. I was using a heavy sewing needle and still managed to snap it in half because I was sewing too fast over 4 layers of the fabric on one of the jacket sleeve cuffs.
8. Take it slow! No one likes to break sewing needles and you don't want to torture your sewing machine so slow down your sewing speed.
9. You may want to increase your stitch length to at least 3mm and play around with your tension on a scrap fabric.
10. Press with your hottest setting on your iron - this fabric is thick but is 100% cotton so it can take some heat! Use this to your advantage.
To line it or not line it?
It's totally up to you - I decided to line my Nova Coat because I wasn't sure how I would bind it / face it without a lining since this pattern was designed to be lined. I lined my coat with our Sandwashed Cupro which was quite a luxurious & dreamy choice. Sue lined her jacket with a satin so that she could slip it on and off more easily. This is a good idea if you plan to wear your jacket over long sleeve shirts and want it to be easy to take on and off.
Sue also made a crew neck sweatshirt! She used the Quilted Cotton Jacquard in the Ahoy colorway. She opted to not use a lining since the fabric is double sided and she paired it with our Merchant and Mills ribbing. This crew neck sweater is just adorable and looks so cozy!
Keera of @keerascherbakov said, "This quilted cotton jacquard was a total splurge but I instantly knew what I wanted for this coat. It feels like I'm wearing a blanket and the weight is wonderful. The parka is not lined in the instructions, but the simple boxy pattern pieces make it sooo easy. I used a cotton print for the lining and edged the facings with bright pink for a pop of color that looks so cute and extra 💕 the hood is nice and deep and shaped well." Read her post for details on her make.
Keep an eye on my sale section and IG stories to be the first to hear about discounted Quilted Cotton Jacquard remnants. The Jacquard comes to me from Merchant & Mills in 5 meter stretches so there are always remnants leftover after I cut the orders. If you manage to collect some remnants of various colors, I think it would be so fun to make a color block-ed garment. There is a new pattern called the ME2058 by the super talented Handmade Millennial (@handmademillennial) and the pattern is actually designed for color blocking! Handmade Millennial used the Merchant and Mills Quilted Cotton Jacquard in the example garment on the right. I love this idea because you already know how the color blocking will work so there's no guesswork involved. Sometimes I feel a little daunted by trying to figure out a color blocking design from scratch.
What would you make with the Quilted Cotton Jacquard??