Sometimes a project falls into your lap, all stars are aligned, everything is at your fingertips. And sometimes it's a real pain in the neck. This Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio started out as the first, and quickly turned into the second. Just after the Tamarack pattern came out I rediscovered a long forgotten piece of oversized buffalo plaid, and some spare chambray. Thinking this project could be a true stash-buster, I picked up some cotton quilt batting and viole! Taramack Jacket just in time for a fancy dinner out for my birthday!
It didn’t work that way at all. I bought the pattern, then realized I didn’t have enough buffalo plaid. What I thought was the exact same 1 ½” buffalo check flannel was sold out everywhere. E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. Looks like I bought that quilt batting for nothing. Thing is, once I get an idea into my head, it’s hard to get it out. I continued my late night interweb search turning up wrong fabric after wrong fabric. Return after return. Finally, I googled the product number. One lonely result found! Fabric received, project back on track, but not in time for the fancy birthday dinner out.
At this point I have spent a lot of time, energy, and cash on a jacket that I just had to have. So it’s completely reasonable that ¾ of the way through sewing the jacket I had a crisis of confidence. It seemed that in my laser-like focus on finding this fabric, I had lost sight of the big picture. Where was I going to wear a psychedelic lumber jacket anyway! Stomach falls. Heart races. Body races to the closet and starts trying on clothes. I tore through my wardrobe. What a relief (and surprise) that I easily found a handful of outfits that really let this jacket shine. Turns out red check so saturated it will keep you safe in the hunter infested November forrest, is pretty easy to wear. I’ve assembled a small capsule wardrobe around this jacket.
LOOK 1. When discussing the hierarchy of these outfits, my sister suggested I call this a weekend outfit. Let’s face it, this is how I dress every day. Wool fisherman’s sweater, jeans, and duck boots. I’ve had this jacket about 2 weeks, and this is the way I’ve worn it most.
The exterior fabric I ultimately used is Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel in red buffalo check. The first time my husband saw it he said (with a well intended attempt at tact), “Can we talk about the saturation of this red?” The red is bright, even brighter than it looks in these pictures, and in my defense the fabric from my stash was more subdued. But when one is desperate for 1 ½” buffalo check, one can not be too choosy. The Mammoth Flannel is of a fantastic quality, and perfect for outerwear.
LOOK 2. This is the everyday look: chambray Archer View B, black pull on jeans, and brown booties. Since making this Archer last winter, I’ve struggled with what to wear over it. Cardigans seem to cut it at all the wrong places, and long drapey sweaters can hardly contain it. The Taramack is the perfect fit. It doesn’t stifle the bum ruffle, and perfectly mimics the curve of the back hem. You can read about the Archer here. Note that I lengthened it a bit from the original design.
The Tamarack pattern calls for quilting the interior fabric along with the exterior fabric and the batting. This leaves the pocket bags exposed on the inside. I didn’t want any extra details to compete with my main statement (the fabric), so I used the interior fabric as a lining to conceal the pocket bags. The only tricky detail is binding the hem. I used a technique similar to the sleeve placket technique on the Archer Button Up to get around the sharp turn between the front and back pieces with the hem binding.
LOOK 3. The fancy out-to-dinner outfit: Tamarack, black linen Scout Tee, black pull on jeans, pointy toe pumps (similar), statement necklace. This look was the inspiration for the jacket. I was hot for the idea that the workingman’s quilted flannel shirt could be dressed up for cocktails.
The Tamarack is designed as outerwear, and will fit over a bulky sweater. My initial idea was to wear it more like a blazer with this woven tee. To make it feel more like a middle layer, and to prevent the plaid from completely overwhelming me, I went down a size and took 1/2" off of the sleeves. So I graded the pattern between a 4/6/8 at bust/wasit/hips. I wanted to shave as much bulk as possible off of the finished jacket.
As part of this little exercise I made this black Scout Tee. Same modification as the last one except that I made the slit in the back with a button closure, and a high neck at the front.
With 1 jacket, 3 tops, 2 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of shoes and some heavily edited accessories, I could wear this little capsule wardrobe for an extended stay at a luxury hunting camp without feeling at all deprived.
I leave you with some wise words for sportsmen…
“ Hunters be careful. Protect livestock. Do not shoot or permit dogs in vicinity of farm stock. Pennsylvania Game Commission.”
Jacket Pattern : Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studio
Tee Pattern: Scout Tee from Grainline Studio