This is the step by step of preparing the bog coat for long-arm quilting. If you don’t know the basics of bog coat construction, you’ll need to bone up for this post to make any sense at all. Because this post has a lot of pictures, they are thumbnail size. You’ll need to click to see the enlarged version of the image.
Because the fabrics and batting I purchased were all pretty close to the same size, layering and trimming was pretty simple. Press all three layers, stack them with the fabrics right sides together and the batting against the fabric that will be the main outside fabric. Trim the selvages and square up the cut edges. Once you have the stack of fabric and batting trimmed, pin the edges to keep everything aligned while you’re cutting and sewing.
Using 45″ width fabric , the 45″ will be the vertical measure. Purchase the amount of fabric you need to go around your body or to go from wrist to wrist over your shoulder, whichever is longer.
For determining how deep to make the sleeve cut, I do not follow the standard bog coat construction. Physically, I have more real estate in the front than in the back. It’s a girl thing. Instead, I measure from underarm seam to underarm seam across my back at underarm level and add 2 inches. That’s the amount I leave intact across for the back of the coat. The extra in the part that has been cut to make the sleeve I will put to good use in the front covering said real estate.
Insert stabilizer between the fabric layers on both sides of the sleeve cut and between the fabric layers at the front edges, matching the edge of the stabilizer to the edge of the fabric and extending the stabilizer ½” beyond the end of the sleeve cut. Pin in place. When the garment is turned right side out for quilting, the soluble stabilizer will be sticking out of those seams.
The goal isn’t so much giving the quilter something to grab as it is to prepare the seams for construction after the quilting is complete. The bottom, front and neck can be bound. Binding the yoke and under arm seams would create bulk and the result wouldn’t be reversible. I’m hoping this technique will allow the fabric seam lips to be slip stitched together inside and out to create a completely reversible quilted garment.
For the sleeve cut I’ve stitched from the outside edge in, then across ¼” from the end of the slit and back out the other side, as if sewing the box for a welt pocket.
The batting in the seam allowance needs to be trimmed away to reduce bulk. I didn’t grade the seam allowance. There’s only a scant ¼” of fabric in the seam allowance, not enough to trim and expect the seam to hold together.
Clip the inside corners of the sleeve cut almost to the stitching so the fabric lays smooth once the garment is turned right side out. This is the same thing you’d do for a welted pocket.
Remove all the pins holding the layers together and turn the coat right side out. Make sure your iron is set to no steam and press the seams. Don’t touch the stabilizer with the iron, it can melt and distort.
And finally, before it goes off to the quilter, the pieces of stabilizer sewn into the sleeve cut need to be sewn together ¼” from the seam allowance. This “repairs” the cut making the cloth entire and allows it to lay flat for quilting. Sew these pieces together so the excess stabilizer sticks up on the side the quilter sees while working. This gives a visual guide so no quilting is done beyond the seam.
When the bog coat comes back from Karen I will trim the sleeves to the right length, trim the front to match the yoke and hand sew the under arm and yoke seams before adding binding. Because this coat is reversible I want to sew the seams to allow a button hole in the seam allowance to allow the bottom edge of the sleeve to be turned up into an accent cuff.
For the next bog coat using this technique I will trim the sleeves to ¾ length and the front to the proper length before sewing in the stabilizer. Once the coat is turned right side out and pressed, I will baste stabilizer to the remaining raw edges using soluble thread to give the quilter something to grab. No trimming should need to occur after I get the coat back from the quilter. I want the next coat to have a cheetah pattern quilted in a border around the edges which can only be done if the garment is trimmed to size and completely stabilized. I’ll have to mark the front and neck openings so the border continue around those edges.