Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Patchwork Polly Vest- Making a Patchwork Textile


Your tutor today is Pearl Red Moon who is an Australian textile artist and independent pattern designer.

My art has always been influenced by Asian textile traditions and this fabric embellishment tutorial comes from my admiration for the traditional Korean technique of patching clothing, known as pojagi or bojagi.

The tutorial will be split into 2 parts. Today I’ll give the step by step instructions for making a piece of patched textile that will become the front of the vest. The second part of the tutorial on July 29th will be the instructions for making up the garment and a link will be given for the vest pattern as shown above.

All the patchwork in these lessons will be done with a serger, though there are other alternatives. For example you could use a wide zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or french seams. Traditional pojagi was done with french seams.

The patchwork can be done with all the same the fabric or with up to 7 different ones combined. You can use knits, mesh or woven fabrics and even combine different types together in the one piece. The pictures below show a vest made all in a black fine mesh and another made in olive stretch knit with contrasting red serged seams. The 2 pictures at the top are vests made with 7 different fabrics mixed.

The serging stitch is going to be on the outside of the garment and become a decorative element, so remember to serge on the right sides of the fabric when joining the patches and strips.


* For the front vest: knit or woven fabric, 1 colour or up to 7 different fabrics, these are cut into rectangles 15cm wide x 85cm(6”x34”)

* Back vest: make in a solid colour, you’ll need a piece of fabric of minimum dimensions 80cm x 90cm(32” x36”)

* Thread for serger, in a complimentary or contrast colour for your fabrics

* use a ball point sewing machine needle if you’re using knit fabrics

The most efficient way to measure and cut the rectangles is to make a paper pattern piece measuring 15cm x 85cm (6” x 34”) or you could just mark these dimensions directly onto the fabric. Mark and cut out 7 pieces of fabric Stack each rectangle on top of each other as they’re cut, matching the cut edges as closely as possible. If your fabric stack is too thick to cut through easily, just do 2 stacks with less layers

Section and cut through all the layers to make the patchwork pieces as shown in the diagram above.

Keeping the pieces in rows mix all the pieces randomly so that different fabrics are placed next to each other. Each row will still have the 3 sections of different size in it. Wrong sides together put in a single pin to join the 3 sections in each strip and join by serging them together. Do all the strips, the wide and the narrow. The serging stitch will be on the right sides of the fabric.

Now lay all the 14 strips out on your work table and arrange them so that the fabrics next to each other are different, as much as possible. The strips can be turned around so that the sections that were 25/10cm(10/4”) start at opposite ends. Wide strips and narrow strips can be placed together as you wish, the rows don’t have to be thick/thin/thick/thin.

When the arrangement is satisfactory pin with a single pin to join the sets of strips together at one end only. Do this with wrong sides of the fabric together, so the serging will be on the outside of the finished garment. Line up the beginning of each strip along one side only.

When the strips are arranged pin wrong sides together,
matching along one side only. Serge the strips together
beginning at the same side every row.

down as its possible the strips won’t all be exactly the same length, especially if a combination of knit and woven fabrics was used. It won’t be a problem if one side is uneven with long and short strips.

Steam iron the piece of fabric from the back, setting the heat no higher than what is recommended for the most delicate of the fabrics used. Its possible your piece of textile may be a little warped or uneven but this won’t be a problem.

The patchwork fabric is now ready to have the pattern piece cut from it.

Join me on the July 29th for the garment tutorial! 

1 comment:

  1. Looks good and yes I am going to try this a great way to use up my scraps after Patchwork when you have those lovely bits left over and dont know what to do with them


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