Category Archives: Coats and Jackets

Quilted Blue Stars Tamarack version #2

Hot on the heels of the wearable ‘muslin’ version of the Tamarack jacket I decided to make a second version, again using a pre-quilted fabric.

Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studios

This time the fabric was originally a quilted bedspread bought from Dunelm during their pre Christmas sale along with a king size duvet cover set that will be used for wearable ‘muslins’ later in the year. I particularly liked the ‘vintage’ denim blue colour and the quilted design of stars. This blue bedspread is crafted from 100% polyester for a durable finish and is machine washable for easy care. 150cm x 200cm (59″ x 79″) for sale at £35.00

Contrast fabric for binding

For the contrast binding I purchased 1 metre of quilting cotton for £6.00 reference 2397 Henna Moire Stripe © by makower from New Threads Quilt Shop sale fabrics.

Changes: As before I added the small dart to the front armscye. I used the curve of the bedspread as the front hem edges of the jacket and cut the remaining hemline straight. I reduced the width of the sleeves from the elbow to wrist. I had thought that I would hack the close-fitting round neck into a V-neckline but in the end decided against it.

I cut some of the contrast fabric into 2 inch wide bias strips but also used some for the label backing and lining the patch pockets.

Hanging loop and label

As I wanted a really neat finish to the insides, all raw edges were neatened using the Hong Kong finish except the sleeve seams which were bound completely as I may wish to turn back the cuffs.

Bound set in sleeve seam, Hong Kong finish shoulder seam and bound neckline

The neckline was also bound in the contrast binding so that and the pocket tops are the only contrast that you can see from the outside. I hesitated for a while regarding the front closure but decided to utilise some of the Pink buttons from my stash.

Refashioned Bedspread into Tamarack jacket

Although it may seem like a lot of work this jacket did not take particularly long to make due mostly to the fact that it was already quilted! I am very pleased with the end result and can’t wait to wear my new jacket!

Project no. 6 completed 30th January 2023

Tamarack Jacket by Grainline

I have had the original pattern in sizes 0-18 for this quilted jacket a very long time! It has always been my plan to make a version to replace an original quilted jacket bought from Orvis which now sadly is too small.

Tamarack Line Drawing

According to the website the Tamarack jacket was designed with the transitional seasons in mind, it is a warm and stylish quilted coat perfect for spring and fall layering. Follow one of the two quilting designs included, or design your own to make your Tamarack totally original to you! You’ll stay toasty thanks to the inner layer of cotton or wool batting, while the roomy welt pockets will keep your belongings safe and your hands warm.

As it is a long time since the size 18 would fit, my first task was to grade out to a 22, even up the hem so that the back length is the same as the front. I reduced the bodice length by 2 inches and the length of the sleeves by 1¼ inches. Next I had located some pre-quilted and lined jersey fabric bought by weight from Abakhan Fabrics at least 13 years ago. This is really making from my stash with a vengeance!

Quilted & lined Fine Jersey Fabric

I basted the cut out pieces together and discovered that as per usual the shoulders were too wide so reduced them by ½ inch grading back to the armscye notches. In order to remove the gaping at the armhole I needed a small dart from the armscye to my bust apex. These were quickly completed and I moved on to the welt pockets. It is a long time since I constructed welt pockets so the instructions from Grainline were invaluable, as was the youtube video sewalong.

I had to wait for the delivery of the gingham fabric that I had chosen for all the bias binding so now was a good time to take a break. The gingham fabric which was sold as linen-look cotton was a little disappointing. A very loose weave so I do not think the fabric was top quality but it would serve on this first wearable toile.

The instructions for making the welt pockets were comprehensive and apart from the fact that sometimes I was stitching through 3 layers of quilted fabric (i.e. two outers plus wadding fill for each layer) the construction was straightforward.

First welt pocket completed

I decided to neaten the raw edges of the pocket bags and along the top of the internal welt seam with the contrast binding.

Neatened raw edges of the pocket bag

The next step was to overlock all the edges that would not be covered by the bias binding. Once that was done I completed the remainder of the construction.

Personalised Label

I applied a small ‘facing’ with my personal maker’s label to the centre back along with a hanging loop. The bias binding was stitched right sides together before hand slip stitching to the reverse and finished with top stitching from the right side. I made 5 buttonholes and used some neutral-coloured buttons from my stash.

Completed Trial Version of the TAMARACK

Conclusion: I love this jacket and will definitely be making another. There are a few changes for the next iteration. I will lengthen the sleeves back to just ½ inch shorter than the pattern. Next time I will curve the front edges, may well change to a rounded V-neckline and apply poppers rather than buttons and buttonholes. If I decide to repeat the welt pockets then I will apply a lining to the front bodice pieces to conceal all the ‘workings’ and pocket bags.

Project no.3 completed 21st January 2023

Sorrento Jacket #2

Having already made a toile using ‘landfill’ fabric I was now ready to make another Sorrento jacket and this time it would be lined. Alterations to the pattern based on findings of the toile version: reduce length of the bodice by 1 inch. Reduce length of sleeves by 1½ inches.

Taking a note of Sian of Kittenish Behaviour’s vlog where she made her Sorrento jacket 2 sizes smaller than the measurements chart suggest, I have downsized from the original 22. I cut as size 20 at shoulders grading back to a 22 at the waistline. I shall wait and see how this works out before I ‘gung ho!’ and downsize to an 18/20 with a new length of floral printed suiting.

Also following Sian’s vlog I drafted a pattern for the lining by combining the various panels, overlapping at the seams to remove the seam allowances of 1 cm. For the main part this was fairly straightforward although I did find some difficulty with the shaping that is included in the panels.

I cut out the jacket from just 1.5 metres of Gold/Mustard stretch denim that I bought from Hot Pink Habberdashery. The lining was cut from this fabulous cotton lawn print purchased some time ago from Minerva.

In anticipation of the Sewcial Retreat organised by Purple Stitches, I prepared as much of the straight sewing of the various panels, pockets, pocket flaps,waistband tabs and the lining as possible including the continuous lap placket in the sleeves.

I wound several bobbins in the Terracotta thread and ensured that I had sufficient top stitching thread for all that was going to be required.

As I have made the jacket before I familiar with the various processes and continued with the construction with confidence. This pattern has been excellently drafted. All the notches match up and it is a joy to sew.

Rather than use metal ‘jeans’ buttons, this time I decided to use some ‘Bone’ coloured buttons from my stash. Also where appropriate, I used the keyhole buttonhole style e.g. the pocket flaps, the waistband tabs and cuffs of the sleeves. On checking the illustrations I noted that the buttonholes on the front bodice should be horizontal but due to the width of the front bands and as I don’t intend to do up the jacket, I worked the buttonholes vertically.

I estimate that the construction of this jacket takes me about 12 hours of concentrated sewing. Although at times I became a little overwhelmed with the project, vowing that I will not make another, by the end of the afternoon I had a completed Sorrento jacket of which I am very proud.

Project #16 completed 12th March 2022

p.s. I have now ordered some fantastic bold printed suiting to make a version for the Winter!

Sorrento Jacket

I have a Blue RTW denim jacket in my wardrobe but would really like another in a different colour. Enter Sorrento by Sew Over It. The jacket is part of the Summer Dreaming e-book released last year and is described thus;

The quintessential denim jacket, Sorrento is a classic piece in anyone’s wardrobe. Designed to pair beautifully with the other styles in this summer sewing pattern collection, the Sorrento Jacket is the perfect throw-on when the evenings turn chilly. Sorrento features everything you’d expect from a denim jacket including a front and back yoke, chest pockets, collar, cuffs, and waistband tabs – all finished with double lines of immaculate topstitching. With tonnes of classic details and a clever construction, Sorrento is an enjoyable, hugely rewarding project that you’ll love for years to come.

As I am currently losing weight I was not sure which size to make so would definitely need to make a ‘practice’ garment to check not only the sizing but also the various techniques involved in this type of garment. I elected to make a 22 across the bust and grade to a 24 at the hips. The only modification was to shorten the sleeves by 1½ inches as I know that I have short arms!

For fabric I raided my stash and came up with this charming heavyweight furnishing linen named Cockerel by Vanessa Arbuthnot. The fabric is gash roll ends from the printing factory and was originally intended to be landfill, but by a circuitous route it found its way to my bag-making stash. I added some Red printed cotton offcuts from my scrap bag for undercollar, lining the yoke, lining the pocket flaps, the pocket bags and placket bias strip bindings.

Although it was late at night I was determined to cut out the jacket so it was only in the hard light of day that I discovered I had cut some pieces on the straight grain and some on the cross grain. Still I powered ahead as I thought ”this is only a practice garment”.

The pattern instructions are excellent as they order the work in such a way as to minimise the number of times you have to change the needle and thread(s) from Jeans (for construction) to Topstitching. I also found that every single notch marking married up with its counterpart and that helped to make the sewing very speedy.

Conclusion: I enjoyed the whole process with a possible exception of installing the metal ‘jeans’ buttons. I had not used this type before and although they are OK, I am not convinced that I will use them on my ‘proper’ jacket. This jacket is oversized on me which will be useful for wearing over chunky knits in the colder months. However, I will be sizing down by at least one size so the next iteration will be a 20 at the shoulders and bust, grading to 22 at the hips. I will keep the sleeves at their reduced length as they turned out ‘just right’. I think that I will shorten the length of the jacket as this one comes to the high hip and I would prefer it to be on or only just below my natural waist.

Project # 74 completed 11th November 2021

Wearable Toile Jacket Kwik Sew #K4701

Simplicity #4032

Before I cut into the fabulous Mustard Boiled Wool that I bought from Rosenberg & Sons at Festival of Quilts thought it would be best to re-visit Simplicity #4032 to ensure that it would fit and that the alterations made previously on this version (made several years ago and since sold on eBay) were still appropriate.

Original jacket using the Simplicity pattern

However, when I tracked down the envelope I was disappointed to find that some of the pattern pieces were missing. What to do? I decided to try Kwik Sew #K4701 using some ‘wool tweed’ that was leftover from Christmas Gift projects made in 2015.

Kwik Seew K4571

I cut an XL, shortened the sleeves by 4 inches (next time only need to shorten by 3 inches) and shortened the body length by 4 inches.

I used my favourite technique for ‘boiled wool’ jackets and coats. For this method I straight stitch before overlocking the edges. For the piece that is to go underneath I straight stitch 1¼ inches from the raw edge before overlocking the raw edge, for the top piece, I overlock close to the 5/8ths stitching line. I then placed the top piece over the underpiece matching the pre-stitched seamlines before stitching through all layers. This method gives a neat, flat finish with all edges clean finished with the overlocker. I overlocked the entire outer edges of the jacket and skipped the addition of any pockets.

‘Wool Tweed’ Jacket
Kwik Sew #K4571

I now have a neat classically styled jacket to wear with dresses, skirts and jeans.

Having completed this wearable toile – next time I will cut as a size L at the shoulders and chest before grading out to XL for the bust, waist and hips. I will re-shape the lapel slightly and maybe adjust my ‘boiled wool’ seaming technique. Next time all seams will be straight stitched at 5/8ths before overlocking close to that stitching and this way it will reduce the bulk at the seams.

completed 1st November 2019

Sewing Plans

I have a few projects that have been hanging around for a while so I really must get those completed. So for January/February I have identified the following:-

There are a couple of stuffed toys/pincushions that I made last year that were stuffed but not stitched up!

Kitty Cat who looks more like a dog!
Nellie the Elephant – turned out much larger than expected

Then on the list is a Black Corduroy Pinafore Dress that I plan to decorate with some felt appliqué (similar to the denim jacket that I made in 2017).

Vine lines on front bodice
Vine lines on back bodice

There are a couple of small patchwork quilts that need binding and a ‘Jodi’ top by Tilly and the Buttons that just needs lengthening with the addition of a frill.

In addition to the usual dresses and some raglan sleeved tops I also plan to make a coat using the Vogue pattern V8346 that I received in my KB pattern swap.

Vogue V8346

The Pippi pinafore dress from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

Pippi Pinafore Dress by Jennifer Lauren

some Piccadilly PJs by Nina Lee (to wear to the Sewing Retreat on the Isle of Wight)

and another larger version of the Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H.

Small version of the Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H patterns

That is it so far but you know how it is – the well-made plans of mice and (wo)men often go awry!

Top Twenty Makes in 2018

As promised, here are my Top Twenty Makes from last year. With the exception of the Ultimate Travel Bag that I made to take as Cabin luggage on my flight to the Caribbean, I am pretty sure that I will be repeating all these garments using fabric from my stash. So watch this space!

Dartmouth Hack by Cashmerette
Plantain by Deer & Doe
Plantain by Deer & Doe
Lady Skater by Kitschy Koo
Ultimate Travel Bag
by Annie Unrein
Simplicity 4032 hack
Kwik Sew 3736
Fraser by Sewaholic
Teddy by Style Arc
TNT Bodice & Gathered Skirt
Drunken Caribbean Birds
TNT Bodice with box-pleated skirt
Libby Blouse
by Sew Over It
TNT Bodice & gathered Skirt
Joni dress by
Tilly & The Buttons
TNT Bodice & gathered skirt
TNT Bodice & gathered skirt
Companion Carpet Bag by Mrs H.
TNT Bodice & gathered skirt
Collar from KwikSew 3736 hacked to TNT bodice & box pleated skirt

The Wedding Guest Outfit

It has been over a week now since I attended the wedding of my husband’s eldest grandson, Michael to his fiancée Lisa.

Since then I have attended a Sewing Retreat day and a Patchwork & Quilting class. It was only today I realised I had not posted a picture of the final outfit that I wore for the wedding.

As you will see from the above photo, the wedding ceremony was held out of doors in a Bluebell Wood. Very romantic!

To get to the location involved a walk up a hill via a couple of fields and a wood. I therefore changed from my Silver stiletto shoes into ‘much more appropriate’ Cerise pink loafers.

The day was lovely and Mike and Lisa make a charming couple.

I shall be wearing my dress and jacket ensemble again in the future but do not foresee many outings for the fascinator!

Wedding Guest Outfit – The Complete Ensemble

Well, after yet more procrastination, here is the finished dress made up in the fabric choice of the Friday P&Q Sewing House Group. Listed as Stretch Poly/Viscose, I bought 3 metres from CheapestFabricsUK eBay shop at just £4.95 per metre (sadly now out of stock) and used my TNT hack of the Dartmouth top by Cashmerette.

    

This fabric is really fine and drapes beautifully, but is not for those new to stitching jersey fabrics. It slips and slides and is like trying to wrestle mercury! However, I persisted and have to say that I am now very pleased that I did as the dress is so comfortable to wear and looks really ‘classy’.

Most of the stitching was done on the overlocker but there are a few places where I have top-stitched by machine, partly to control the fabric! The gathered skirt was made using two panels cut 29 inches long by the full width of the fabric, so approximately 120 inches of skirt width. Two rows of gathering stitches plus clear elastic helped to control the fabric and ensure even gathers. For the hem, I plan to machine using a twin-needle but at the time of photographing the outfit, I did not have access to my machine (cat asleep on sewing chair!).

Every time that I make up the Dartmouth top, I have used a different jersey fabric. Each and every one has performed differently. On this iteration the crossover of the wrap has come out a little low, I may have to invest in a light lace-trimmed camisole to wear underneath.

Other accessories are a Silver Grey satin clutch bag trimmed with fabric roses and some Silver ‘crocodile’ textured peep-toe shoes. I will also have a pair of Silver-coloured mules to change into when the need arises!

 

Wedding Guest Outfit – 1st Garment

After so much procrastination, at last the first garment of the proposed outfit for the family wedding is completed. I used the KWIK SEW pattern no K3736 with just a couple of minor changes.

For this iteration I used the Cerise ‘linen-look’ fabric that I had purchased from Fabricland at £4.59 per metre.

As I had made the pattern before, see http://carouselcottagecrafts.com/appliqued-denim-jacket-subtle-it-is-not/ and http://carouselcottagecrafts.com/black-linen-look-bolero-jacket-kwik-sew-k3736/ or here http://carouselcottagecrafts.com/kwik-sew-k3736-bolero-style-jacket/

The minor changes were to lengthen by 1 inch, ignore the fold-back cuffs, take in at the side seams by a total of 2 inches and this time I also top-stitched all around the outer edge of the jacket. I used two strands both threaded through a 100 top-stitching needle and straight stitch length 4.

Other than that there is not a great deal to say. Once again I am pleased with the final result which I think will co-ordinate well with either of the two dresses that I plan to make.

The reason for two dresses is the ‘Great British Weather’. I shan’t know until the morning of the day what the temperature is like. In the past I have attended Ladies Day at Royal Ascot which is in June. One year I wore a floaty dress and was very warm, another year a wool suit and was very cold!