I caught the Kanthra Quilt fever from Stitchers Guild when they bought these beautiful quilts and made some amazing garments. Of course, I was at the tail end of the train/trend, but it took me a minute to figure out how to use the quilt in the very corporate life I was living.
When the seasons changed, I packed it and the coordinating wool away but it was always at the edges of my brain. The Tamarack Jacket brought it back to the forefront especially since this more casual style works for my lifestyle now.
Pattern Alterations ~
My challenge with this pattern line is that the largest size is an 18. Now that I'm a little smaller I can fit this pattern with minor alterations. However, if you wear a larger pattern size (26-32), you will need to make considerably more alterations than I did for this to work for you. Also, I have a "C" cup bustline so I didn't make any alterations to the bustline but if you are larger busted, you will definitely need to make some changes.
- The alterations I made were to give me a little more ease in the waist and hip area.
- Both the front and back piece were lengthened 2" at the lengthen/shorten line because I wanted to insure that the jacket covered my backside.
- I added a 1/2 inch to the side seam - starting at the underarm and going out the 1/2 inch merging into the side curve.
- I moved the pocket placement line higher cause I thought the pockets were kind of low.
- I changed the pockets from welt to patch because the jacket is unlined and I don't like the welt pocket bags just hanging loose on the inside of the jacket.
After measuring the sleeve biceps, I decided that I wanted to add a little just to insure that I had enough ease in the finished sleeve. So I added a 1/2" to either side by starting at the underarm seam and adding it through the body of the sleeve merging into the side seam.
As you can see from my pattern pieces above, I kind of free hand drew the alterations onto the pattern piece. I then went back and measured to make sure that I only added a 1/2" to each side.
One final flat measurement of all the pieces and I was ready to cut into this:
Construction of the Jacket ~
The actual jacket construction is simple. It is a basic jacket with only hooks and eyes for closures. However, if you quilt your fabric and make your own binding for the jacket's finishing ~ those are the time consuming processes and the new techniques to be learned.
Since I used the quilt I skipped the "quilting" step but I wanted a substantial binding so I made my own from a stashed remnant of black ponte. If anything was a challenge during the construction process, this was it. The ponte did not hold a press well so it was a slow go to get it made.
And being the rebel that I am, I did not apply the binding the way the pattern suggests. I stitched the binding onto the front at the first fold. Then I pulled the binding to the back, opened it up and pinned it to the back of the jacket.
On the front I stitched the binding close to the edge and using my duck billed scissors cut off the extra binding to clean finish the inside of the jacket. Sewing the ponte binding on as the pattern suggested would have made the binding to thick. The way I did it gave it a substantial finish but it didn't make the edges too heavy.
The pattern has great instructions on how to miter the corners. Following this some of my edges turned out great and some didn't but that was totally user error! Once the binding is added, you sew the sleeve in, then sew the side seams down and you're done!
Here is a picture of the finished jacket on Lulu ~
Please remember that Lulu is now bigger than I am and the jacket meets in the front on me. I'm trying to decide if I want to add some kind of toggles to the front of the jacket, as well as, some buttons on my patch pockets. Though I'm on the fence on that one since I love how the pockets blend into the fabric.
I also cut a pencil skirt out of black ponte to go with the jacket...cause believe it or not but I don't own one. As soon as my photographer, aka my daughter, is around, I will have pictures of me wearing the jacket up on the blog.
Next on my cutting table is the Grainline Studio Morris Jacket which thankfully I own the paper pattern for...cause as much as I wanted to make the Tamarack Jacket...I.can't.stand.taping.pattern.pieces.together.
...as always more later!