Making your own quilted fabric
Do you like the quilted look we see on garments around Fall and Winter? I love it, not only because I started my sewing journey making quilts, but also because clothing, like jackets or sweatshirts look that much comfy and warm and unique!
I have seen some quilted jersey knits, but not a lot, and mostly in solid colors. In this experiment/tutorial I explore quilting my own fabric from La Fabrica Shop. I used 230gsm Cotton/Lycra Jersey Knit from the Cool + Wild Collection that I ran last month. I used a small piece of Cousteau Bubbles since it was an experiment. I also used a piece of white 10 oz Cotton/Lycra Jersey knit. Both have the same composition 95% Cotton and 5% Lycra, 4-way stretch.
I also used a contrasting thread. I would have liked to use aqua or that bright yellow/chartreuse from the print, but I had none that match perfectly, so I picked a dark grey. Don't take this decision lightly, the color of your thread will be a major component in your finished garment and can bring new life to "meh" fabric or make already cool fabric look fabulous.
1 piece of jersey knit fabric to use as the front/outside part*
1 piece of jersey knitfabric to use a backing/inside part*
* Make sure these two fabric behave the same, like similar stretch. I personally wouldn't pick a woven for backing as it wont stretch with the front.
1 coordinating thread
pins or clips
1. Select your fabric and line them up.
This is the fabric I worked with. I looked carefully at the grain and lined them up. I used pins to keep them together.
2. Find the middle of your fabric and make two tiny marks on top and bottom.
Try to make these marks line up to the grain of your fabric and your cutting mat as a guide. This will help you to avoid shifting or misaligned lines.
3. Start drawing your quilting guides.
Now that you have the center of your fabric lined up to your cutting mat (a grid), start drawing your lines for sewing. Your cutting mat is made up of perfect 1 inch squares, and our guides will be also 1 inch apart. For this, line up your ruler on a 45 degree angle. This is easily achieved by lining up the ruler to the corners of your squares. (see circles). Start marking your lines starting at the center and towards the ends. Use the width of the ruler to make this lines or you can use a quilter's ruler for this too.
Once you've completed on direction ( \ \ \ \ \), turn your ruler and do the other direction (/ / / / /). Like so...
4. Now, sew over your lines!
Decide which is the TOP and BOTTOM of your piece of fabric. Starting from the middle of the fabric (around the two tiny marks you made in the beginning), sew your lines with a straight stitch and always from TOP to BOTTOM. Do not zig zag, sewing from top to bottom then bottom to top. Since you are working with stretch material lets try to always work in the same direction.
Do not stretch your fabric as you sew. Just let your sewing machine do its job and just guide the fabric following the guides you made. This is your chance to make mistakes and learn. So play with stitch length, tension, speed of your needle, etc.
Continue the same way towards one end.
And then again from the middle towards the other end of the fabric, always from top to bottom.
Now that you have one direction of the quilted lines work on the other direction. Again, from the center line, towards each end and always top to bottom.
And Ta-da! This is how it looks from the front...
And from the back...
Of course, practice makes perfect, but I think this experiment was a success! I can't wait to use it in a garment. If you dare to try it and want something thicker I think this could work perfectly using a stretch French Terry too, either CL and FT backing, or the other way around. Just make sure your FT is not 100% Cotton, as that one has very little stretch.
I was slightly worried that the stretch of my test sample would be compromised or that the stitches would pop, but not at all. The stretch remained and the now quilted fabric moved and stretched the same as before.
The quilted look will get enhanced after you wash and dry your final garment, giving it that fluffy quilty look I so love.
I promise to post whatever I make with this technique. Until then, fun sewings!
The Cool + WILD Collection Ore-order is now over BUT you can still get some yards on retail when they arrive to the shop, around mid-September. Don't forget to stay in touch by joining my FB group at La Fabrica Shop.