Nine weeks into working from home, I’ve been trying to pick projects that are more involved or take more time, so I don’t end up with a 70-piece wardrobe and nowhere to wear it. Case in point, this kinda-pioneer, kinda-Japanese quilted jacket:

I had been saving some of my favorite clothing for YEARS thinking I might make a quilt. On the left is a yukata I bought right after high school, which I loved and wore to literal shreds along the neckline. On the right is one of the first wearable dresses I made back in 2007, in Japanese quilting cotton. It didn’t fit but I still loved the fabric.

The quilted jacket that didn’t really work was languishing in my closet and I’d outgrown my quilted Tamarack jacket. As I was digging through the stash to make all the masks, I saw the yukata and the dress together and it all clicked: New Quilted Jacket! I’d use the back and pockets from Unsuccessful Jacket and piece together the fronts and sleeves.

I did use a pattern–Simplicity 8298–but I pretty much eyeballed the placement of the different prints before I started:

I spent some quality time with a seam ripper breaking down the garments and then just pieced them as I went to fit the pattern:

I had batting on hand, leftover from the other quilted jackets, and used some chambray jacquard I picked up on our trip to Montana a couple years ago for the lining. Then I machine quilted the different pieces, going diagonal on the fronts and straight on the sleeves just for the hell of it.

The Medium in the pattern fit great out of the envelope, but I ignored their method of finishing the collar seam.  I also straightened out the bell sleeve near the end because it was taking it all from “world-traveling ceramics teacher” to “Mikado cosplay”.

But all’s well that ends well–this might be the garment that feels the most like “me,” if my essence were translated to clothing: Print mixing! Japonisme! Pioneer spirit! Mandarin collars! Celestial motifs! Navy blue!