Tamarack Society Sew-Along: Supplies & Resources
I'm so excited about how many of you are excited about this sew-along! So many beautiful Tamarack Jackets are about to be born and I cannot wait. I'm sure you can't either so our first Tamarack Society post is jam packed full of info to get you started gathering your supplies, calculating your yardage if you're making changes to the length of the pattern, as well as a round up of our previous Tamarack related blog posts. Let's dive in!
I wanted to start out with the general supplies you'll need in order to work smoothly through your Tamarack Jacket. There are quite a few supplies that are standard when making quilts, but not so much garments so by running through them all here you can easily double check that you have everything you need on hand before you get started!
1. Tamarack Pattern: You can find the pattern here.
2. Fabric: You have a few options for your fabric choices, explained below. Determine the proper yardage to use with your size with the chart on the pattern.
- Using the same fabric for the shell and lining: follow the Single Layer yardage requirements.
- Using different fabrics for the shell and lining: follow the pre-quilted requirements and order that quantity of each fabric. We’re using two Carolyn Friedlander prints from Robert Kaufman for ours.
- Using pre-quilted fabric: follow the pre-quilted requirements.
3. High quality quilt batting: My favorite battings are made by Quilter’s Dream. I use the Quilter’s Dream Cotton Select for my cotton jackets. If you’re into the idea of wool, I’ve used this one for our wool version. You want to make sure the batting is high quality so that it doesn’t shrink in the wash and the fibers stay together and don’t clump into a lumpy mess over the life of your coat. High quality battings also allow you to quilt further apart and get more creative than the lower quality alternatives. You’ll need a twin size if you’re buying by the package, or if your local shop has it by the yard, you can use the pre-quilted yardage quantity for your size.
4. Thread: I use regular poly thread for this. Typically when quilting you want to use cotton because you want the fabric to be stronger than the thread. Since I pre-wash my fabrics and the batting won’t shrink I want to make sure my thread stays as I’ve put it as well and doesn’t shrink and wrinkle the stitching lines. It’s a great look on quilts, but I don’t totally love it on my clothes.
5. Snaps: I used Dritz Heavy Duty 5/8″ snaps for my Tamarack sample. They come in multiple colors (brass, silver, black and more) and they’re relatively easy to set provided you have the tool necessary. Some packs come with the setting tool and some don’t so make sure you double check if you don’t already have one. If you just need the setting tool, you can grab one here. Make sure the snaps you’re purchasing look like these, the snaps with the prongs won’t hold through this many layers of fabric.
6. Marking Chalk: You’ll need chalk or your favorite removable marking pen to both trace out your pattern as well as trace your quilting lines onto your pattern. This is my favorite chalk tracing pen but use whatever works for you! Make sure you don’t use a Frixion pen to trace your quilting lines. The markings disappear with heat but are known to come back in cool weather…aka when you’re wearing your coat!
7. Pins: You’ll need 2 kinds of pins.
- Quilter’s pins: These are thinner and longer than regular dressmakers pins. You’ll be pinning through a TON of fabric so you’ll need something thin and flexible enough to get the job done. I love these Clover Flower Head Pins because they’re extra long and thin enough, but not too thin that they bend out of shape and end in the garbage with one use. I’ve had my box for years and they’re still going strong.
- Safety pins: These come in handy while quilting your fabric, you’ll use them to pin baste your quilt sandwich in place so things don’t slip while you’re quilting. You can use whatever regular straight safety pins you have laying around, or if you’re into sewing supplies or think you’ll be doing a lot of quilting you can purchase quilter’s safety pins. These are slightly curved and are much easier to take in and out of the fabric.
8. Hand Stitching Needles: We recommend 2 kinds of hand sewing needles, a longer quilter’s basting needle to put in the initial basting lines that you’ll use to mark your quilting lines off of and mark your welt pockets, and a regular hand sewing needle to slip stitch the binding in place.
9. Bias Tape Maker: If you’re making your own bias tape you might want to consider a bias tape maker. These are super easy to use and come in a variety of widths. You just pull your bias strip through it while ironing the fabric as it comes out the other side. For the Tamarack you’ll need a 1″ bias tape maker which will result in the 1/2″ double fold tape you need.
10.Walking Foot: This is going to be a lifesaver for this project, I promise. A walking foot will reduces the tendency of the top layer of fabric to move through the machine at a slightly slower rate, and ensures that your fabric doesn’t slip around and pucker or become misaligned.
11. Regular Machine Foot: There are parts of the welt pockets that are slightly difficult to get accurately sewn with the bulk of the walking foot, so your regular machine foot comes in handy for that. I love my 1/4″ foot (which BERNINA calls the Patchwork Foot) because of the accuracy it provides but I recommend using whatever you’re used to.
12. Scissors: I’m not much of a rotary person, but the scissors I find most useful for almost every project I make are my Gingher bent handle shears, embroidery scissors, and thread snips. I couldn’t sew without them.
13. Rulers: For this project I use all three of the above measuring tools. My trusty measuring tape for laying out my pattern pieces on grain, and the clear plastic rulers for marking my quilting lines.
14. Wonder Clips: I forgot to add Wonder Clips to the top supply photo but I can’t bind a quilt or a Tamarack Jacket without them! They’re small spring loaded clips that hold your binding in place, the benefit being that you won’t be holding a handful of fabric with pins stabbing you as you sew the back of your binding in place. Wonder pins are also great for fabrics you don’t want to puncture like leather and vinyl.
Lengthened Jacket Yardage
If you're planning on changing the length of your jacket I've got an easy way to estimate the yardage of your pattern, shown below. For my jacket I think I'll be adding around 10" to the length so I'll be using that as the example here.
You can see above the original layout of the pattern pieces according to the pattern instructions. I've marked the 4 pattern pieces that need to be lengthened with +10 as a visual of how much extra fabric I'll need. Since the front and back pieces are cut next to each other in this layout you'll only need to add 20" of extra fabric, rather than 40".
Above you can see what the pattern pieces look like lengthened. For this layout I originally needed 4 yards of fabric. If I add the 20" to account for the lengthened pattern pieces that takes me to 4 5/8 yards of fabric. So that's my new yardage! If you're shortening your pattern you can do the same math but in reverse, subtracting the amount you're shortening the pattern, or you can just use the original yardage.
Tamarack Sew-Along Resources
If you want to get a jump start or check out any sew-along posts from the official sew-along a few years ago you can check out our Tamarack Sew-Along here. You'll see links to and descriptions of every Tamarack post we've made so far!