Finished: Tamarack Jacket and Lark Tee

Hello readers!

Today I have a project that I’ve been obsessed with ever since Jen of Grainline started hinting at her new pattern on Instagram. I’ve always been a bit partial to a quilted jacket (not so much the puffer jacket variety although they have their place), but the perfect pattern had never presented itself. Until now, that is.

I finished my Tamarack a few days ago, and yesterday I convinced Ben to join me on a walk around our neighbourhood  to take some photos. Our blog photography is still firmly embedded in the experimental stage (i.e.  no idea what we are doing) but I think we got some cool shots.

Tamarack jacket

Tamarack jacket

Lately my sewing has been pretty frenetic, with a lot of quick projects being pushed through my machine. Which is great, lots of new clothes and all, but I really enjoyed slowing down and taking my time on this jacket. I’ve had a bit of spare time over the last week so I was able to take my time with the quilting and binding that this pattern requires.

For my fabric I looked to my stash, which I must admit has become a bit overwhelming. I’m making a concerted effort to sew from it instead of buying more fabric (not entirely successful) but I did find the fabric for this jacket in my existing collection (do I get a gold medal?). For the outer I used a really beautiful linen/silk blend. It has a subtle irregular woven stripe parallel to the selvedge, and going the other way are lovely silk slubs, raw silk style. I had been hoarding it for who-knows-what and I’m so happy I used it for this. For the inner I used a gorgeous silky Liberty lawn that I ordered from Shaukat a few months ago. I think that these photos show the colours the best:

Tamarack jacket

Tamarack jacket

I went to Spotlight to find batting, and ended up getting both wool and cotton batting because I couldn’t decide. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up making another of these jackets so I don’t mind having extra on hand. After quilting a couple of samples I chose the wool batting, as my outer fabric has some body and I felt like the wool batting had more drape and softness. I didn’t find it puffy to work with but it probably depends on what thickness you get, not sure if there are thickness options but mine was reasonably thin. Some of the loft flattened out with pressing, too. I quilted straight lines about  2″ apart, using my *new and amazing* walking foot. The guide that it came with meant that I didn’t need to chalk many lines on my fabric – I just set the guide to my quilting width and used that for each new line.

Tamarack jacket

In keeping with my relaxed sewing pace I chose to bind all of the inside seams using bias binding cut from my inner fabric, including the pockets. This pattern calls for lots of binding and I would recommend practicing on some quilted scraps, which I didn’t, because it tested my skills at times. The instructions are great but when binding two layers of quilted fabric, as I did on the inside, there are some serious turn-of-the-cloth issues to contend with. You’ve been warned! Here’s an inside shot, although the colours were hard to capture indoors:

Tamarack jacket

While I’m here I might as well show you another Grainline project I sewed up recently, which is the Lark tee. Now that I’m not buying any RTW clothing, making tshirts is a necessity even though knits aren’t my favourite thing to sew. This was relatively pain-free though, and as usual I am a mega fan of the fit of Jen’s patterns. I used a cotton knit for this tshirt and chose the boat neck + 3/4 sleeve combo. It’s super comfy! My overlocker and I are not best friends right now but once we’re back on good terms I’ll definitely be making more. My one comment would be that this pattern is longer in the body than I expected, which is great for tucking in, but next time I’ll shorten it a smidge. I am about 166cm/5ft 4″ for reference.

Grainline Lark Tee

Grainline Lark Tee

 So there you have it, two Grainline slam dunks that I am super pleased with!

Do you have any plans to make a Tamarack? And how many quilted jackets is too many? Because I know I’ll be making more….

Have a good week!

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33 comments

  1. Hi Bella,
    Beautiful work. I just love the jacket and your careful sewing pace really shows in the details. I am still searching for a good tshirt pattern and may try this one based on your comments. I am pretty busty and have a hard time finding patterns that work.

    1. Thanks Diane!
      You might also like the Burda tshirt pattern 7970: http://www.simplicity.com/p-7067-burda-style-shirt-dress.aspx
      It has a bust dart, which is great for shaping, and it could be a good candidate for an FBA if that’s an adjustment that you make often. I blogged about it here:
      https://hollyannabella.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/new-favourites/
      I’m pretty sure I adjusted the neckline to more of a boat shape for that version. I’ve also made a dress version that I love (not blogged).

  2. I was thinking your T was cute too so I’m glad you also included it. The jacket is so perfect. You have inspired me to give it a try. I do wish I knew where to find outer fabric like that, but Ill wing it. Jen should start giving you free patterns because you are a great advertisement.

    1. Haha wouldn’t that be great! I found this fabric at The Fabric Store here in Auckland, I think I’m a bit spoiled for fabric options around here.

  3. Gorgeous, I love your fabrics! I’m still searching for sone for my Tamarack, I can’t decide on a colour…can’t wait to get started though. My first Lark was super long too, I took 3″ off the bottom!

    1. You’ll enjoy making this! I took your advice and splurged on a Bernina walking foot. So worth it! I know, colours are tricky… I almost used a grey linen/cotton, which I think would have looked cool dressed up with a fun brooch.

  4. Bella, I am surprised how quickly you put together this jacket. It is just gorgeous and the workmanship is beautiful! I do hope to make one myself soon – just need to find the right fabrics!

    1. Thank you Melissa! I’ll admit that I was waiting for this pattern to be released so I was quick to get going on it! Enjoy your fabric hunt, that’s often my favourite part (and also why I’ve ended up with such a big stash).

  5. This looks awesome! Was looking forward seeing the end result after your teasers on Instagram 🙂 Really want to make this as well, just need to decide on what colours….

  6. What a beautiful jacket! I’ve been debating whether to make it – I like the Gorman quilted jackets that came out a while ago and the Tamarack is pretty similar. But sort of the wrong time of year here in Melbourne. It is getting hot! ps I’m a classical musician too (piano). Yay for musos who sew!

    1. I tend to ignore the weather when sewing whims strike! It’s not too hot here yet so hopefully I have a few more days of wear. Agreed, hooray for sewing musicians!

  7. Bella, this is so fabulous! I’m actually not a big fan of the quilted jacket look, but good lord girl you are selling me… or maybe you are just way more cool than me. Whatever it is, you are working it and what beautiful finishing. It looks so professional!

    1. That might just be the nicest comment ever, thank you!!
      I can understand your lack of enthusiasm for quilted jackets, they can venture into 60s housecoat territory quite rapidly. I think it’s all down to the fabric and styling. I definitely wouldn’t wear this with rollers in my hair!

  8. Gorgeous! The guts look just as pretty (if not more) than the outer. I bound my seams too but it’s not as neat as yours! I imagine it won’t be my last Tamarack either…

    1. Thanks Katie! Got to love Liberty for making just about anything look good. I am absolutely itching to make another one, I feel like this pattern is the perfect combo of coat and cardigan.

  9. Your jacket is gorgeous! I’m working on a tamarack as well and considered liberty for the lining, but chickened out since it would be seen less. Way to go for it!

    1. Thanks Karin! I agree, using Liberty for the lining was a rather luxurious choice, but since I wear the jacket open most of the time it can often be seen. Also I think I made the decision to use it before I could think twice! Trying to combat stash anxiety 🙂

  10. Oh my gosh, this is so nice, I love it!! I can’t wait to make myself a Tamarak. Definitely going to have to resist the urge to rush and take my time with the quilting and binding. It looks great!!

    1. I found the quilting and binding quite meditative so I enjoyed taking my time on it. Also I find that sewing a little chunk each day helps with anti-rushing. I often have the same tendency to speed through with excitement!

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