Monday, November 30, 2015

One Jacket, Three Ways : Flannel Tamarack Jacket

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 didnt work that way at all. I bought the pattern, then realized I didnt 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, its 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 its 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. Ive 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. Lets face it, this is how I dress every day. Wool fishermans sweater, jeans, and duck boots. Ive had this jacket about 2 weeks, and this is the way Ive 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, Ive 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 doesnt 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 didnt 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 workingmans 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
Jacket Fabric: Robert Kaufman Monmoth Flannel from StrawberryPatches (looks like it's sold out)
Button Up Pattern: Archer Button Up from Grainline Studio
Button Up Fabric: More info here
Tee Pattern: Scout Tee from Grainline Studio
Tee Fabric: Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Blend from

One Jacket, Three Ways on Grainline Studio Sew & Tell
Tamarack Jacket on Kollabora.
Scout Tee on Kollabora


  1. I love this idea of showing how versatile it is! I just had this same crisis of confidence after my most recent make, but after pouring through my closet, realized it went with far more of my wardrobe than I thought it did!

    Great jacket- love that plaid!

    1. I often go through the I love it, I hate it, oh wait I love it again cycle when I'm sewing. This print is not my usual look so the I hate it phase lasted a little longer than usual. Nice to hear I'm not alone Meg!

  2. I love the dressed up version and especially that statement necklace! I'm going to have to put a black linen scout tee on my list.

    1. Thanks m! The scout is the perfect layering shirt, black makes it even more versatile. The necklace is from Anthropologie last spring. The black part is leather, I love it too.

  3. I think the jacket looks wonderful in all the combinations - it's surprisingly versatile! And really at this very grey time of year a bit of colour saturation is not a bad thing. You will certainly have the most refined jacket at the luxury hunting camp! I am also in the midst of a stash-buster gone expensively wrong...

    1. Good point Angela! Gray weather calls for some brighter clothing.

      I am very familiar with expensive stash busters. I was actually just thinking about how much I spent on this jacket. It was worth it (and still cheaper than a store bought equivalent) but certainly more of a commitment than a woven tee, or girl's knit dress!

  4. Very cute! I like the all-black outfit. I've found my own Tamarack goes with nearly everything too, and it's not too cold here yet so it's my day to day coat.

    1. Thanks Katie! After seeing your Tamarack I think my next one will have a zipper. I never use the hook & eyes. A full zip seems for like outer wear.

  5. Gah I love it! Super versatile and looks great on you. I want one!

    1. Thanks Kristin. I think it's versatile because everything else I own is chambray! I knew I was making all those tops for a reason. :)

  6. Love your capsule! Gotta say it's not my favourite pattern, but I like your version without the quilting (I'm guessing it's not quilted!). It's more streamlined.

  7. What a great blog post. I came here straight from Cookin' and Craftin' Tamarack post, so the similar thread of confidence-crisis-happiness is interesting.
    Buffalo plaid seems to be a uniquely north american fabric. I love how you've styled it here but I'd be very surprised to see it on the streets of Melbourne! :)

  8. LOVE IT! I have some gorgeous RK Mammoth flannels that would be perfect for this!
    Just one thing: was/is it hard to sew welts through batting? I'm fearing it!!! I can't imagine them getting the crisp corners, nor laying flat with the batting in between.
    I, too, would like to hide the pocket -- maybe even bag the whole thing up! I'm also placing a Riri zip as the closure. Shabby chic is my thang. I'm loving the idea of fancy flannel!
    How hard was it to bind it in Mammoth? It looks like that's what you did. We're the layers too thick? Do you have a machine that goes over heavy layers like its nothing?
    My Pfaff Ambition doesn't play. Five medium weight layers? Knit or woven?? Forget it! My machine will stitch that same area over and over until it pulls it into the feed dogs😡