Friday, January 4, 2019

Textured Tamarack Topper

Loving my last project of 2018!

I didn't get to take photos of it until 2019 (short, grey days here in the north, and please excuse the snow on my pants and the back of my jacket), but it was worth the wait, for sure.

This is a modified version of the Grainline Studio Tamarack Jacket in a stunningly textured, loosely woven cotton fabric from the Smuggler's Daughter. Susan from the Smuggler's Daughter sent me this fabric to play around with, and after seeing all the inspiration from the recent Tamarack Society "sewalong," I couldn't help but pair the two together.

This jacket-weight fabric is really gorgeous... black, navy and cream cotton, woven in a varied stripe pattern. The yarn has different thicknesses, so it's got a really lovely hand-woven feel to it. Frays like crazy, though, as you can imagine! I love the structure it gives to the jacket, though.

I don't see this particular fabric on the Smuggler's Daughter website anymore (UPDATE: she still has some of the fabric!!), but the shop has a ton of beautiful fabrics perfect for a coat or jacket, as well as some really unique designer fabrics and eco-friendly fabrics, too.

I'd made the Tamarack jacket before, a few years back, but struggled mightily with the quilting aspect of it and, honestly, had a bit of a grudge against the jacket. I needed to make another to redeem myself and cleanse my palette.

For this version, I wanted my Tamarack to be more of a topper than jacket... a longer but lightweight jacket you wear inside over a t-shirt or blouse, rather than for warmth. To achieve that look, I sewed up the older version of the Tamarack, which is meant to just meet at center front, rather than overlap. I sized down a couple sizes to a 14 for a closer fit and lengthened the whole thing by 11 inches.

I underlined all the pieces with some flannel-backed satin from Joann. I serged around all of the edges so the main jacket fabric wouldn't fray. Then I quilted the two fabrics together, with horizontal quilting lines along some of the darker stripes. The quilting doesn't really show from the outside because of the texture of the fabric, but it helped things to stay smooth as I sewed the coat up.

The edges of the jacket are bound with bias strips of the main fabric. It looks beautiful, but the fabric was teetering on the edge of being too thick to use as binding! If I could go back, I might not choose this finish because of the bulk, but in the end, I love how it looks with those diagonal stripes! I continued the binding up sides and along the under arm seam because I thought it looked nicer than stopping 1 inch above the notches at the hem.

I'm so happy with this Tamarack topper! I think it goes great with jeans and a t-shirt (paired here with my favorite Birkin Flares and my Jade Tee) as well as over a dress or pencil skirt for work. Versatility is key for me and this fits the bill.

Thanks to Susan from Smuggler's Daughter for the stunning fabric!