Quilted Gown and Doublet

As a long-arm quilter and seamstress, I often try to find ways to “up my game”. This time, I combined both loves to create a Quilted Gown and Doublet for the faire that was a great success.

 

This will be a bit longer post than normal, but the subject is worth the time.  I have never heard of someone quilting plain fabric and then creating this type of garment.

 

Below I outline how this concept was conceived and executed.  I hope you like it!

Quilted Gown and Doublet

Long-Arm Quilting

As so many of you know, I am a long-arm quilter. I do lots of Quilts of Valor, my own projects, and those for clients. Over the years, I have spent a great deal of time working on my custom quilting skills.

Below are a variety of quilts with custom long arm quilting.

Custom Garb Creation

Years ago, we visited the Scarborough Renaissance Fair. It took only one day and we were hooked. From then on, I worked to create our own looks. This included gowns, surcoats, doublets, and other creations.

Check out some of the garments I have made below:

Putting it all Together

Each time I decide to make another garment, I look for ways to improve on design, functionality, or look. Then one day I thought “Instead of buying interesting fabric, why not make it!?”
 
I wanted to ensure that the design would add texture without being overpowering. The goal was to provide rich designs and interesting motifs that read well from a distance and looked great up close.
 

Feathers it is!

My love for feather motifs in custom quilting is pretty evident. As a focal element, you can fit them in anywhere and then use the background fill of your choosing.
 
As a tip to beginners, the more you do, the more amazing your work will look.  The background fill I decided on was a McTavish design. It had the texture I love with a vintage feel.

Quilted Doublet

The first part of this experiment was the Doublet.  

To begin, I placed the black fabric top and bottom on my HandiQuilter Avante’ long arm. I then inserted Hobbs 80/20 batting between the two pieces.
 
With this all in place, I then traced each piece, using arrows to indicate the top or other directions. Then the only other mark I made was to sketch one line for the spine of the feather. As soon as the feather was started, the chalk would disappear and I could so my fill as I pleased. It was important to go over the outside lines of each piece. This allowed me to adjust later when I pinned down my pattern and did my cutting.

It was also helpful to use preview plastic to decide the orientation of the feathers. I flipped them up and down and side to side until I had a finished design that my husband liked. He was, after all, going to be wearing the doublet!

Quilted Doublet Pieces 2

The pieces come off my Avante’ in one sheet. Then I am able to pin my pattern pieces over the finished cloth to cut out the individual elements.

Doublet front quilting with buttons

The front pieces of the doublet above show how seamless the design looks when I overcast my quilting.

Quilted Gown

After creating the doublet, there was no question that it had to have a gown to match. The gown had some unique challenges. The pieces were very large and could not be quilted at one time. Instead, I had to roll my fabric back and forth as I created what would look like a continuous feather.

Quilted Gown Front Start

The process worked so well. As you can see from the images above, the design comes out in stages until it is complete.

Much like the doublet, the gown elements were designed to compliment the overall look.
 

Looking Fabulous

It is times like these that I appreciated the amazing photographers at Faire. The images Mike Morgan captured made me so proud!

Do you think outside of the box?  

If you want to see more projects 
  1. Join the Facebook group Sewing and Quilting with Robyn.  Here you can not only see what I am up to, but also share your own projects!