Tamarack Jacket


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 machine 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.

8 Replies to “Tamarack Jacket”

  1. I am totally in awe of your jacket! Tell us more! Did you hand quilt the pieces? What kind of filler did you use? How did you decide to place those lovely quilting lines?

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for your kind words! I machine quilted the pieces (I don’t even want to think how long that would have taken to do by hand) and I used whatever cotton batting was available at my local Joann’s. I wanted the quilting to mimic the lines of a geometric quilt, but on solid fabric, so honestly I just drew lines on a flat sketch of the jacket until I had a design I liked! I used an erasable pen and machine quilted over the pen lines. To keep the pieces from distorting too much, I first quilted the horizontal lines starting at the center of each piece and then moving outward. I then went in and did the vertical lines, but still moving from the center outward. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you! Your jacket is an inspiration. I have 2 cotton quilted jackets that were purchased many years ago and they get so much wear that one more is certainly a good idea:)! I love the feel of being clothed in a quilt. And soft worn sheets is pure genius for the fabric.

  2. Just came across your article and it is the prompt I need to continue with my own project. I have collected my materials and bating done a few sketches but today you have given me renewed enthusiasm. Thank you so much.

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