I was really happy to see that the Tamarack Jacket was going to be part of the Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection. It’s a great transitional layering piece and exactly what I need for chilly mornings when I am out walking my dog. I had plans to make the coat last year, but the temperature dropped before I was able to start and I missed my window of opportunity.
I learned a lot on this project! It was the first time I’d done anything involving quilting, a walking foot, or cotton batting. I used 1.8 metres of fabric for the outside (Essex Linen in Espresso) and the lining fabric (Kona cotton). I made a straight size 6 – my usual Grainline size – and was able to get away with a crib-sized piece of batting rather than a twin. It feels a little big, but I am happy to have a size that I can layer sweaters under (anything that helps me put off getting out my winter coat is a win in my book.)
I opted to keep things simple by using the horizontal quilting instructions and choosing hook-and-eyes for closures. I’ll save the snaps and the diamond pattern for my spring version. I found the Grainline sew-along post on bias binding to be very helpful and kept it open on my laptop as I worked.The process was surprisingly straightforward. The result is so clean and neat and felt like sewing magic. (Quilters! I had no idea about those corners!) I went back and forth on the welt pockets, but I think I will add them in after all.
While I love this jacket, it helped me realize why I make garments and not quilts. I find the actual quilting to be quite stressful – all those lines to keep straight. I also had a hard time seeing my chalk lines under the light of the sewing machine and I ended up with blue hands. Next time I will hand-baste over light chalk lines (you can still see a faint echo of the chalk now and if anyone has any suggestions on getting it out I would love to hear them). I would also use heavier thread. I increased my stitch length, but depending on the light, you can’t always see the quilting.
The jacket itself is warm and cozy and I will admit, worth the straight-line stress. It came out looking pretty classic, but it also holds up well after a visit to the dog park, too. I love the look of the bias binding against the tweedy linen and the curved hem.
Project: Essex Linen Tamarack Jacket
Total Cost: $116
Pattern: c/o Indiesew
Fabric: $90 (includes batting)
Total Time: (includes cutting out the pattern) 14 hours.
Size: Straight size 6
Fit adjustments: none. Next time I will size down and do a narrow-shoulder adjustment.
What to work on: unclenching my jaw while quilting would be a good start!
Thank you so much to Allie for inviting me along on the blog tour. You can see the other projects using the links below!