Thursday, December 31, 2020

Kantha Quilt Wiksten Haori

 On these grey winter days, I find myself needing an injection of color into my wardrobe.

This jacket is certainly that! Colorful, loud, a little wild.

Tim says that this jacket has turned me into the quintessential Vermont hippie. I'm not mad about that. I've told you before that at least part of my aesthetic leans towards former elementary school art teacher moves to a farm in Vermont to pursue her pottery. This jacket definitely fits this mold! To keep the Vermont theme going I took these photos in front of my neighbor's weird, dilapidated lead-hazard of a barn, not an uncommon sight in Vermont. 

The (long) backstory is this: my mom and I had been discussing quilted jackets/coats, and I mentioned really liking the texture and colors of kantha quilts (Bengali patchwork with running stitch quilting). 

I also mentioned that I had seen some interesting kantha quilts at Ocean State Job Lot (the weirdest store ever, in my opinion, but my mom loves it). She and I had been there to look for components (silvery textured sponges for her accessories and shiny silver duct tape to cover her rainboots) of her Miss Piggy (from Pigs in Space) Halloween costume a couple years back, and I made the mistake of not taking a closer look at the quilts. 

After that conversation she went back to Ocean State Job Lot, found a couple cool-looking quilts, and bought them at an insane discount (probably during Silver Salute week, which is her absolute favorite; the woman loves a discount), for purposes of making jackets. Thanks, Mom!

One of the quilts she got me had a very thin batting- almost like a layer of gauze. As such, it still had lots of drape, perfect for an oversized coat like the Wiksten Haori. Plus bright, fun colors and prints and lots of texture and contrast from the white running stitch quilting. 

I like my first Wiksten Haori in look, but I hate the feel of the polyester fabric I used - this washed cotton quilt is so much softer and more pleasant to wear!

I went with the same size and length for this Haori (XL, longest length), but I cut the collar at half width because I find I don't love the fold over collar. I skipped the patch pockets because it seems like a bit much, but I may go back and add them later; we shall see!

I tried to place my pattern pieces in ways that took advantage of all the prints on the quilt. I wanted to use both sides of the quilt, but it seemed to have right and wrong sides- the piecing on the back side is much more sloppy, with some raw edges. Almost like they were doing french seams or felled seams, but rushed through it. So the back side was less usable. 

I bound the seams of my jacket with bright green bias tape on the insides; love how they look! I also ended up hand stitching the bound hems down since I didn't think my machine stitching looked right on the exterior of the jacket. 

I also hand-stitched the collar down because I'm shite at stitching in the ditch, and, again, thought that visible machine stitches looked out of place on this otherwise organic looking jacket. 

I adore my new jacket. So much personality and cheerful color! And very soft, cozy and oversized, which is basically the requirement for all my clothes these days.

Definitely going to get a lot of wear out of this one!


  1. Gorgeous jacket. On occasion, Marcy Tipton features Kantha cloth in her webshop. Never could appreciate the beauty of the fabric until now. It's always great when someone shows me another way to look at something.

  2. I love this. Back in my “flirtation with hippie” days I used to make jackets reminiscent of yours. I still like them. Maybe in the new year I will make one again I like the idea of a gauze between the layers. Perfect for not adding bulk.

  3. Thanks for sharing!
    I have also bought not one, but two kantha quilts at Ocean State Job Lots.
    Your post may be the inspiration I need to get started on mine.

  4. I used to also be terrible at stitching in the ditch, but I had to practice it a lot in school this past term & now I'm super-good at it. I've found that it helps me to move my needle to the middle position & line up the seam with the middle marking on the throat plate. I place my hands on either side of the seam & pull gently to open up the seam just a little bit. I try to keep my eye on the seam & not the needle, & I sew a little more slowly than usual. After years of absolutely laughable stitching in the ditch, I got full marks on that technique in my final evaluation, so I guess I finally figured it out!

  5. Get some colorful thick socks, wear your clogs and you are good. Totally a VT vibe. I have a kantha, all blue, and I think I am shamelessly copying you. Yours looks great.

  6. I would wear such a thing must see about making something like it! The softness of a well-loved quilt is such a lovely wrapper!

  7. You should add the pockets, you know that inner former art teacher will be picking up feathers and pebbles. Gorgeous jacket!

  8. I missed out on getting the pattern as it was pulled just when I tried to buy it... since then, I have tried 3 other patterns that looked similar but one compare to this pattern. Yours & your Mom's are just what I am looking for. Would either you or your Mom consider selling my your pattern? Thanks