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Create a Hexagon Patchwork Jacket

Turn to a traditional technique for a contemporary garment
Threads #225, Spring 2024

One of my sewing goals for the past year has been to do more hand sewing, which is how I found myself making hexagons out of all my linen scraps one summer evening. My initial plan was to simply assemble the hexagons into a quilt. However, as I made more and more of them, I started to get attached to the idea of building them into a wearable project—a patchwork bomber jacket, to be more specific.

The hexagons are made by folding the edges of a fabric circle to meet the center and securing the folds into place with a few stitches. I find this technique clever, so I wanted to construct the entire jacket around it and stay as loyal to it as possible. This meant that I would make up the pattern pieces that were required for the jacket using full and partial hexagons, rather than assembling the hexagons into a large rectangle of patchwork fabric and cutting the pattern pieces out of it.

Author Nisan Aktürk in her unquilted patchwork jacket
Author Nisan Aktürk in her unquilted patchwork jacket. She used fabric scraps to create the many hexagons that make up the design.

This project was one of the most time- and labor-intensive special garments I’ve created and I adore how it turned out. All the fabrics come from remnants, scraps, and past projects that were no longer being worn, so I feel like this is a perfect display of my sewing adventures. Plus, the entire piece is made of hexagons, often referred to as hexies. I love their modular design. The garment is infinitely repairable, too. If you get a stain or a tear across any hexagon, you can easily swap it out for a fresh one. The modular pieces also enable you to lengthen or shorten the sleeves or the body…

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