Monthly Archives: January 2023

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

Gift making

Even though we are now past the season of Christmas, I find that I am still busy making gifts for upcoming birthdays. I have a large amount of the 12 oz fire-retardent wadding remaining from the Christmas makes and some very pretty novelty printed cotton fabrics so have continued to make double ended oven mitts and padded, quilted book covers. The fabrics for the projects below were purchased from Home Textile & Fabric thru’ Amazon (my go-to source of so many items!).

Red London Bus printed cotton

The quilting for the Red London Bus mitts was done in straight lines using the buses as guides.

Novelty Cat printed cotton

The wadding for the book cover is 80/20 cotton polyester blend purchased from New Threads Quilt Shop based not far from my home. The quilting for the book cover and the mitts was completed using the wavy line stitch pattern no. 2-18 on my Brother 4000D machine, settings width 7.0 and length 1.8/2.0.

Projects #4 and 5 completed 25th 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

Birch waistcoat by Pattern Scout

A waistcoat has been in my plans for a very long time. I bought the recently released Birch pattern which can be used with minimum amounts of fabric. The Birch Vest is described as a lined waistcoat with princess seams, a deep scoop neckline, and a front button closure. A transitional wardrobe staple, Birch can be worn alone or layered with matching separates for a tailored or casual style.

I was lucky enough to find just enough of a Mustard fine needlecord remnant from making Texas trousers together with the remnant of lining used on the sleeves of my Sorrento jacket.

I printed off the pattern and having stitched a very quick toile in calico immediately saw that I needed to shorten the length by 1¼ inches. I also had to ‘finesse’ the curve of the princess seam over the bust. I transferred the alterations to the paper pattern and cut into my remnants of needlecord and lining. There was not quite enough to cut the centre back panel in one piece and so there is a seam at waist level. I may well hide this later with a half belt.

Construction was straightforward and all the pieces matched up well with the notches. I top stitched the princess seams and under-stitched as much as possible before turning right side out.

I found a batch of buttons in just the right size and shade of ‘Mandarin Orange’. Infact there are so many of them that I shall have to find some coordinating printed viscose to make either a blouse or dress to use them up!

Birch waistcoat from stash fabrics

Conclusion: Unfortunately the original Texas trousers in the fine needlecord have been sold so they won’t be worn together with the waistcoat! I am very pleased with the finished project and by using this particular fabric and colour it will coordinate well with many of my dresses and blouses.

Project #02 Completed 10th January 2023

1st make of 2023

When browsing through my stash of knit fabrics I came across this beautiful Ponte Roma in a lovely shade of ‘Sea Haze’ or if you like – Pale Greeny/Blue! There was just under 1 metre of fabric but where it came from – I know not where!

I have not made a Paola top for some time as previously I was ‘hooked’ on the cowl necked Freya top by Tilly and the Buttons. However, as I wanted to use up this fabric, the Paola pattern by Named Clothing fitted the bill perfectly.

I threaded up the overlocker with palest Green thread, inserted 2 new jersey needles, tested the stitching and was off!

When cutting out I discovered that there was insufficient for full length sleeves so I cut them as long as possible and then added a double folded cuff. The finished length is somewhere between the elbow and the wrist, which is perfect for me as I have short arms and did not want my wrists to be ‘cluttered’.

I remembered that Ponte de Roma does not have the same amount of stretch as cotton or viscose jersey so made the seams as narrow as possible. I stitched the top entirely on the overlocker with the exception of twin needle stitching the hem of the bodice.

Paola Turtle Neck Tee in Ponte Roma

Conclusion: The only adjustment that I made was to drop the centre front neckline by ¾ inch as I found the original a bit too close. Next time I will make the collar shorter but also a little wider, apart from that this top is just about perfect.

  • Project #01 Completed 5th January 2023

Final make of 2022

I bought this beautiful quilting cotton from the pop up shop by Sew Hot when attending the bag-making retreat back in October 2022. I bought just 2 metres and as soon as I got home the fabric was laundered and sat waiting for me to get ’roundtuit’.

Detail of fabric print

I have made up this pattern in excess of 30 times with many different variations. The variation this time was to expand the sleeve head to make some gathers, shaping the hem of the sleeve and adding a 2 inch wide hem facing to those sleeves. As quilting cottons tend to be more substantial than other cottons I decided to overlock the seam allowances rather than French seam. This has the advantage of making the construction a little quicker.

When it came to choosing buttons, I turned to my favourite Coconut shells in 5/8th diameter. Due to the length of the blouse (it has a shirt tail shaped hemline) I made 6 buttonholes where I would normally make only 5.

TNT Short sleeve blouse with Shirt tail hem

Conclusion: This particular print coordinates really well with my jogging bottoms, linen trousers and Dark Green ‘Jane’ pinafore dress so I foresee that it will get a great deal of wear. Whilst I am pleased with the completed blouse, in hindsight I think that due to its structure, the quilting cotton is a little too stiff so in future I will only use Viscose for this particular TNT pattern and the Aria by Love Notions for the more structured blouses.

Project #60 Completed 31st December 2022