Introducing the Tamarack Jacket
I think some of you may have had an idea that this was coming, but today we're excited to unveil the newest Grainline Studio pattern, the Tamarack Jacket! I'm personally really excited about this jacket - I wore the version with wool batting nonstop when I was in Berlin and loved it, and this past week the cotton version (pictured above) has been my every day go to jacket.
cotton-linen shell / wool batting
The Tamarack Jacket pattern comes with instructions for the two quilting designs shown here, horizontal lines and a diamond pattern, though there is plenty of room for customization with your own quilting pattern. We highly recommend taking the time to quilt a test piece of fabric large enough that you can see how the fabric and batting will react to the design. Wool batting is much loftier than cotton which will result in a more puffy coat. We found that wool batting lent itself to lines further spaced apart that allowed the batting to puff as it wanted.
cotton chambray shell / cotton batting
Cotton batting is much more dense than the wool batting making it significantly less puffy. The flatter nature of the cotton batting lends itself to more intricate quilting patterns which may get lost in the puff of the wool. I definitely felt like I had much more opportunity for creative quilting on my samples with cotton batting whereas with wool it seemed like anything more than simple lines were getting lost amongst the puff of the batting.
I strongly recommend purchasing high quality quilt batting as well as pre-washing your fabric before you start quilting this jacket. Most high quality quilt batting will resist shrinkage when washing which makes the higher price tag worth it for me. Since you're sewing more than one type of fiber together into this jacket, you'll want to reduce any chance of shrinkage as much as possible. There's no guarantee the shell and batting if given the chance to shrink, would shrink at the same rate - in fact, they will almost certainly shrink at different rates.
Now let's talk about the design features of the Tamarack! First off, it was drafted with fall sweater wearing in mind. The dropped shoulders and armholes allow for the often bulky arms of sweaters to fit nicely without bunching, while still maintaining a slim fit through the sleeves.
The Tamarack is finished with bias binding and uses a really smart corner technique borrowed from quilting that I think you'll enjoy. Finishing the jacket with binding cuts down on both time and bulk - since the quilting of the jacket takes the longest we wanted to make sure the construction of the actual coat was straightforward and easy. I also like the way binding looks better than sewing the coat wrong sides out and flipping it. It can be hard to press perfectly along the seam line so using binding just keeps everything nice and neat.
The jacket closes with coat weight hooks & eyes applied to the wrong side of the jacket. We really liked the streamlined silhouette this provided.
The welt pockets are another part I find quite nice. The opening of the pocket is perfectly sized for your hand but the interior pocket is quite roomy allowing plenty of room for a smart phone, keys, etc. I hate when pockets don't fit my phone and keys since they rarely make it to my bag so this was a must.
We also walk you step by step through the insertion of the welt pockets in detail so if you haven't sewn this type of pocket before have no fear, we've got you covered. Welt pockets are a lot easier than you think, I promise, but if you're worried, you can always make the coat without them or add your own patch pockets.
That's it for now, you can check out the Tamarack Jacket over in the shop. I'll be wearing mine at Camp Workroom Social this weekend!