Very selfish sewing - I've resisted the urge to try the Tamarack jacket for almost a year. But Jen Beeman has been posting so many nice versions lately, letting folks know that the pattern now includes a button front option. I thought I'd just give it a go. And I thoroughly enjoyed the quilting process and the sewing while I'm waiting for the arrival of some new fabrics (my stash is pitiful these days. I've done a great job of 'sewing it down').
The lines or the jacket itself are very nice, particularly the hi-low curved hem. In fact the latter is my favorite part.
Both my fabrics are straight from the stash. Nicely aged. I didn't have enough of either to do the entire jacket, so I decided to piece the inside. No, I did not do this in time for Halloween, but the combo does look 'seasonal'. Both are cotton quilting fabrics, and, coincidentally, both have metallic details.
About the batting:
I used a piece of low loft poly quilt batting that I robbed from a quilt project that's been in progress for about 4 years.
And I cut it just as I would cut fabric: I pressed it on my poly setting to get rid of wrinkles, laid the pattern on top, pinned it, and cut it out. Jen suggests laying each cut fabric piece on top of a largish piece of batting and using the fabric as a marking guideline for the batting. IMHO, too much work.
If your batting is stuck to itself, wrinkly, and so on (it can be really wonky coming out of a package, e.g., a twin-size quilt bat), toss it in the dryer on low heat for a short time. It will be so much nicer.
Marking the main fabric for quilting:
I used 3" spacing, because my ruler is 3" wide. Years of quilting have shown me that using the width of a ruler to mark quilting lines (not going for some fancy spacing) pays off. Easier.
And there are no quilting police out there to say otherwise.
Here's a fabric-batting-fabric sandwich, post-quilting. On the left, the batting is a bit squished out. Cutting batting is imprecise, don't be dismayed if it doesn't fit the fabric precisely. On the right - a piece that's nice and trimmed, ready for construction.
A note: I wouldn't even try machine quilting without a walking foot. I pinned and thread-basted all my pieces, and had zero slippage between the fabric layers.
I used black lawn for my binding, since I had so little of my main fabric. To answer the unasked question, I have an aversion to packaged binding. If you do use it, I suggest you give it a wash and dry in a lingerie bag before you use it. It comes full of finish, is very stiff, and is not preshrunk.
To ensure an even width when I turned it to the inside, I butted the binding all the way up the edge of the fabric and used a 1/2" seam.
Pinned in place:
On to the jacket - Emile is doing the honors today. First the inside:
And one more of the outside.
The whole time I was working on this, I was thinking of ways to change it. Sleeveless and long as a topper, with a collar (which would change the vibe of the jacket completely), with cuffed sleeves. In a floral print, in pieced linen solids and prints, with a rounded corner at the front neckline, maybe not quilted at all... Because as it is, I really won't wear it - I'm much more happy in unstructured styles, and I'm not likely to wear something that reminds me even remotely of a suit jacket.
But I do love that hem... Ciao! Coco