In our fifth ambassador post we welcome Zuzanna who has made the most incredible Megan Nielsen Hovea Jacket from our striped seersucker. Over to Zuzanna:

The quilted jacket trend has been around for a while and I really wanted to have a go at creating my own. Gathering the supplies, however, seemed to me like a daunting task. I’m not a quilter. I have made exactly two quilts and struggled immensely to quilt them on my home sewing machine. Even though I’m pleased with how they turned out, they serve as playmats for my kids: thick and sturdy. I wanted my quilted jacket to be exactly the opposite: light and soft. The secret, it seems, lies in the batting. Lucky for me Backstitch stocks different types of batting and Alice (the owner) knows all about it. She recommended the bamboo/ cotton blend and I couldn’t be happier with it.

There are a few quilted jackets patterns out there but I had my eye on the Hovea by Megan Nielsen ever since it was released. It has a less traditional shape and many different views (for both quilted and unquilted jackets). I chose view E: a cropped quilted jacket with a collar band. I decided to line the jacket, instead of binding the seams. Firstly, I didn’t want bulky seams, secondly, I’ve never made a lined jacket and wanted to learn how it’s done.

The instructions were thorough and easy to follow. There are, however, many variations in this pattern, and many different techniques. For this reason the instructions are a bit of a mix & match, depending on which view you’re making and what finishing techniques you decided to use. I would strongly recommend reading the instruction booklet before cutting your fabric and maybe even marking the relevant bits with post-it notes.

There were so many fabrics to choose from! I was tempted by some beautiful floral quilting cottons, or even the ones with a faux patchwork print, but I decided that I want my jacket to go with most of my wardrobe and so I kept it pretty neutral. I chose the Striped Seersucker for the outer layer and the Spring Jacquard Lawn in Navy for the lining. I like the little pop of contrast the lining gives every time I turn up my sleeves or untie the jacket.

These are both stable cotton fabrics and they were a pleasure to sew. It was enough of a challenge to quilt and line a jacket for the first time – I didn’t want to raise the bar any higher by using slippery fabrics. It was also important to me to only use natural fibres.

The seersucker is such a versatile fabric! Here you see it as a jacket, but my fellow Backstitch ambassador Abigail used the very same fabric to make pyjamas! It would also make a fab shirt or a summer dress.

Pattern: Megan Nielsen Hovea Jacket

Fabric: Striped Seersucker: Light Blue; Wadding: 50/50 Bamboo/Cotton; Spring Jacquard Lawn: Navy

Size: Zuzanna measures Bust 92cm, Waist 77cm. Zuzanna made the size 10.

Adjustments: I sewed the side seams with a 2cm seam allowance, instead of 1.5cm.

Notes on construction: I basted the fabric and the wadding together before quilting. Heat erasable fabric pens were a godsend when it came to marking my quilting lines! I used a mix of the techniques explained in the instructions booklet, and not necessarily what was recommended for view E: I quilted my own fabric and then lined the jacket; I added lining and facings to the pockets; I didn’t interface the collar band.

Notes on future makes: I’d love to make another Hovea! For now, however, I’m planning a quilted vest, with the leftover batting.

About Zuzanna:
Originally from Poland, Zuzanna is a graphic designer living in south London with her partner and two little boys.