Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket – having some fun…

Very selfish sewing – I’ve resisted the urge to try the Tamarack jacket for almost a year. But Jen Beeman has been posting so many nice versions lately, letting folks know that the pattern now includes a button front option. I thought I’d just give it a go. And I thoroughly enjoyed the quilting process and the sewing while I’m waiting for the arrival of some new fabrics (my stash is pitiful these days. I’ve done a great job of ‘sewing it down’).

The lines or the jacket itself are very nice, particularly the hi-low curved hem. In fact the latter is my favorite part.

Both my fabrics are straight from the stash. Nicely aged. I didn’t have enough of either to do the entire jacket, so I decided to piece the inside. No, I did not do this in time for Halloween, but the combo does look ‘seasonal’. Both are cotton quilting fabrics, and, coincidentally, both have metallic details.

About the batting:


I used a piece of low loft poly quilt batting that I robbed from a quilt project that’s been in progress for about 4 years.

 And I cut it just as I would cut fabric: I pressed it on my poly setting to get rid of wrinkles, laid the pattern on top, pinned it, and cut it out. Jen suggests laying each cut fabric piece on top of a largish piece of batting and using the fabric as a marking guideline for the batting. IMHO, too much work.

If your batting is stuck to itself, wrinkly, and so on (it can be really wonky coming out of a package, e.g., a twin-size quilt bat), toss it in the dryer on low heat for a short time. It will be so much nicer.

Marking the main fabric for quilting:

I used 3″ spacing, because my ruler is 3″ wide. Years of quilting have shown me that using the width of a ruler to mark quilting lines (not going for some fancy spacing) pays off. Easier.

And there are no quilting police out there to say otherwise.

Here’s a fabric-batting-fabric sandwich, post-quilting. On the left, the batting is a bit squished out. Cutting batting is imprecise, don’t be dismayed if it doesn’t fit the fabric precisely. On the right – a piece that’s nice and trimmed, ready for construction.


A note: I wouldn’t even try machine quilting without a walking foot. I pinned and thread-basted all my pieces, and had zero slippage between the fabric layers. 
I used black lawn for my binding, since I had so little of my main fabric. To answer the unasked question, I have an aversion to packaged binding. If you do use it, I suggest you give it a wash and dry in a lingerie bag before you use it. It comes full of finish, is very stiff, and is not preshrunk. 
To ensure an even width when I turned it to the inside, I butted the binding all the way up the edge of the fabric and used a 1/2″ seam.
Pinned in place:
On to the jacket – Emile is doing the honors today. First the inside:

And one more of the outside.  

The whole time I was working on this, I was thinking of ways to change it. Sleeveless and long as a topper, with a collar (which would change the vibe of the jacket completely), with cuffed sleeves. In a floral print, in pieced linen solids and prints, with a rounded corner at the front neckline, maybe not quilted at all… Because as it is, I really won’t wear it – I’m much more happy in unstructured styles, and I’m not likely to wear something that reminds me even remotely of a suit jacket.

But I do love that hem… Ciao! Coco 

22 thoughts on “Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket – having some fun…

  1. Absolutely! and I think with more relaxed body. It's one width from the armscye to the hem – kind of like a tube. Which is kind of how it felt!

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  2. Thanks, Pao. I like the inside almost more than the outside! and I really like the black/gold print. Honestly, the jacket is currently morphing into something else – but I'll use as much of it as I can.

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  3. Thank you, Theresa. It's definitely too warm for here, but it was an interesting project. I enjoy Grainline's drafting so much, it's often just worth the price of the pattern to get at the elements for use somewhere else.

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  4. thank you, Jane. Well, it's already on its way to being recycled 🙂 the binding is mostly off. I get weird with projects I don't like, they bug me if I let them hang around!

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  5. thank you, Irene, and I thought of flannel. I think it would at least be less warm 🙂 If I were to make it again, I don't think I'd use any kind of 'batting' – all the versions I have seen are a little stiff looking. Another alternative would be lighter fabrics, like the synthetics that are used in quilted parkas. Again, not for me, but might be interesting in a cooler clime.

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  6. Oh, this is a lovely jacket! Wonderful ideas for future uses of this pattern. What if you used something else for the batting layer – say cotton flannel(?) – that would give you a drapier look?

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  7. I've looked at this jacket too, but honestly, as fluffy as I am the last thing I need is a layer of quilted fabric over me! I love the shape though and could see this as a top or interlined as a light and maybe a bit longer jacket. Nice make Coco.

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  8. Ah, but, this is so pretty, Coco! And I'll bet you look lovely and not-a-bit structured in it. I have been watching the posts on this pattern too, thinking, nah, not my style, but now…I may have to give it go. Thanks for the detailed post.

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  9. The fabric is so very striking. I don't think it looks at all like a suit jacket, so I do hope you get to wear it often. But then again, it's probably too warm for much action in Florida. I luv the idea that you pieced it as needed. And all your alternative ideas sound enticing. Let's see what you do next.

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