Tamarack Jacket

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The Tamarack Jacket has been on my ‘To Make’ list for forever. I first planned it in early 2017.

Originally I had planned to modify the sides, but then decided to make the pattern as is to prepare for another Tamarack I’d been asked to make for a magazine (won’t be able to share that one for a while).

My motivation kinda pooped out after I finished quilting all the pieces and it sat in my WIP pile for a couple months.

The welt pockets felt like a big hurdle to overcome, which might be why I set the whole thing aside once I got to that step. But Grainline’s Inserting the Welt Pockets post made it really easy to understand.

The lining was leftover from my Timber Quilt. Its former life was a Calvin Klein bed sheet and I think it’s the perfect greenish brown. The exterior fabric is also a thrifted sheet.

I was inspired by Bella Zilber to use buttons instead of snaps. Her monochrome version is perfection! I was nervous that my machine wouldn’t be able to make the buttonholes through so many layers, but I added them before the bias finish (so everything could evenly feed under the foot) and they turned out great! I also used a ton of Fray Check and didn’t cut the holes open for a few days. They’re really sturdy now!

I really wanted every seam to be encased in bias tape, but once the side seams were sewn up, I discovered the underarm seam was too bulky to comfortably wear. I took off the bias tape from the shoulder seams and serged the sleeve top and sleeve opening, which drastically reduced the bulk. I think the silhouette is just a little too fitted to have a complete bias finish on the inside.

I’m pretty pleased that even though each piece was quilted independently, it all sorta lined up in the end. I also can’t tell that I accidentally made one section on the sleeve a half inch longer than every other piece.

This project made me understand the pleasure that can be found in hand sewing. It also made me want to take off the binding on my Timber Quilt and redo it (we’ll see if that actually happens). When you hand sew you can get near perfect corners!

I need to reassess if hand sewing the welt pockets to the jacket is the best option because after a week of wear, both pockets have come undone. Otherwise, even with the weird Frankenstein finishes on the inside, I’m so proud of this make! I wore it every day this week and know even after its novelty wears off, it’ll get a lot of use.

I doubt I’ll get around to this anytime soon, but I’m envisioning making a slightly cropped denim version with straight side seams, a 1″ grid quilting pattern, a zipper, patch pockets, and a collar.

Tie Front Shirt No. 1 Hack

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Yesterday morning, I was fondling fabric in my stash and inspiration hit. It hit so hard, I couldn’t do anything else until I worked through it.

The idea was pretty basic, but was engrossing enough that I forgot to eat or brush my teeth until 2pm. Gross, or awesome – I can’t decide.

It’s a pretty simple hack. I cropped and straightened the original curved hem, then just drew lines until I had a tie shape I liked. I made sure to square off from center front and the side seam for about a 1/4 inch before swooping down. I made the XS size and cropped it by about 3 inches. The tie length ended up being around 13-ish inches, I think.

I managed to cut the back piece so that the stripes don’t match up, but I’m going to blame that on the small amount of yardage I had… it totally wasn’t because of that. GAH!

Initially I wanted a snugger fit around the waist, but I actually like how it hangs away from my body.

I didn’t want to fuss with a tiny hem on the ties and decided to use a hem facing. To do that, I traced the bottom portion of the shirt front and back pattern pieces. The facing comes up about 3 inches from the bottom hem and ties (see last picture).

I assembled the shirt as instructed, but used faux-french seams for the sides. To finish the hem and ties, I sewed the front and back pieces of the hem facing together and pressed the seams open. I then pressed the top edge a 1/2 inch down toward the wrong side and pinned the facing to the shirt right sides together. I sewed around the bottom edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, clipped the corners of the ties, and turned everything right sides out.

I gave it a good press, then edgestitched the hem and the top of the facing to the shirt.

I had to use another fabric for the hem facing and bias neckline finish, but I kind of love the contrast. It’s leftover fabric from this Maya Top, which is a little heftier than the main fabric. It adds some structure to this squishy cotton-linen blend from Stonemountain. I think it also helps the ties not stretch out of shape. And it’s a thrifted tablecloth!

This pattern is great right out of the envelope (see here and here), but is also such a fun base to hack. I’ve turned it into a dress, an Ace & Jig-esque top, and now this fun top!

I have a feeling this will get a lot of wear this summer, but let’s be honest – I’m going to wear it under sweaters until it warms up.

Have you made a Shirt No. 1 yet?