The One with all the Dinos


How the hell is everyone? Surviving the crazy year that is 2020?

I’ve been taking a social media break since September and it’s really helped me with the day to day, although I really miss the sewing community.

Never fear, despite not posting/sharing, I have been sewing – Hurrah!

After making the Folkwear Sailor shorts, I came to some realisations about my sewing practice and how I wanted to move forward with it. The shorts were a pretty in-depth make where I used new construction techniques and  despite it being more challenging, I REALLY enjoyed making them. Whereas the idea of making a T-shirt or boxy top bores me to tears. So that was it, I realised I like the actual act or should that be art of sewing. I like learning new things and taking my time with them rather than racing to the end. I decided from now on I’d keep that in mind when choosing projects….

….enter the Tamarack Jacket by Grainline Studios.

I’ll be honest, this jacket was never really something on my radar, that is, until I was filling my media void by spending more time on Pinterest and discovered this by the ever so talented Laurakirbysews:

I loved the step away from the straight quilting lines. The aesthetic really appealed to me, and with only ever quilted a handful of times, plus the amount of work this project would require it fit the bill for my new sewing project approach and from there it was a spiral.

While searching for “hill” themed fabric I came across the most amazing dinosaurs by Tara Neal Art. 

Tara kindly scaled it down for me and although it was way over my usual budget for fabric I just HAD to have it for my lining.

Then for the outside I knew I wanted something dark so I went with beautiful dark spruce green viscose linen noil from Blackbird fabrics (thanks birthday gift certificate!!) The perfect compliment for my new orange hair!

I quickly realised, although having no fears about making welt pockets ,that I didn’t like the way the pocket bags looked on the inside, plus I’d ready a few blog posts about how they were at a bit of an annoying angle so I decided to do patch pockets instead. I drew a few ideas using Procreate and settled on classic large kangaroo style for extra coziness! I also decided as a fun little detail I’d bring the cute dinos to the outside by embroidering one on the back of my neck.

With it all planned out I cut out a muslin, I went with a 4 in the shoulders/waist out to a 6 in the hip. I ended up doing my standard petite bodice alteration – folding out an inch of length between shoulder and bust. Please reach out if you want more details on this.

With that settled it was all systems go.

I started by embroidering Sinclair as I like to call him. I just picked my fave dinosaur from the print and hand thread drew him, I know practically nothing about embroidery so I just made it up as I went along. Turned out pretty cute right?

The Tamarack is a super simple pattern, it only has the back, two fronts and two sleeves. The first order of business is all the layers – outside fabric, batting, and then lining.  I used spray adhesive to keep mine together for quilting. Oh and I used Warm & Natural cotton batting that I had left over from my first quilt I made early this year….that I’ve not yet blogged about.

Once they were layered and ready to go I spent a suuuuper relaxing weekend essentially just thread tracing the hill shapes with my machine. I ended up using a grey thread and dark green bobbin thread so that both sides looked good. I found the process so therapeutic as you didn’t need to think – I listened to an audio book and sewed out on our deck in the sun – lovely. Added bonus…on the outside they look like dragon scales!!

Once you’ve quilted everything you sew together the shoulder seams, then flat insert the sleeves and then sew the sides – easy peasy. You then just bind the edges. This was my first time at using the continuous bias binding method, it seemed weird as I was going a long but definitely the best way to make a large amount of binding without wasting a tonne of fabric.

I made my life a little harder by binding all the inside seams as well as the outside but the result is super clean and tidy and I love it.

I even remembered to add in a little coat hook!

Oh and for the sleeves, after advice from others, on the inside I used a slippery lining fabric so it was easy to slide my arms in an out, but I loved my dinosaur fabric so much I cut the sleeve lining short and made the last 3 or 4″ from the dino lining so it would show when I folded my sleeves

Originally I’d planned to make view b, which overlaps the front and uses snaps as closures (I LOVE snaps!) but when it came time to bind the front I quickly realised, due to my new pocket design, it would end up looking weird, plus trying to get snaps through SIX layers of fabric would not be ideal.

I flirted with the idea of toggles but then just decided to keep it simple and go with a zip so I just cut back center front, so it was now view A.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that quilting pattern matching please? ;())

I ordered an antique brass separating zip from Wawak  and hand picked it so I had more control on the insert.   And that was it!

It’s officially my new fave dog walking coat! The batting means it keeps me warm and those big ole pockets are perfect for his lead and poop bags!


Oh andddd it was the perfect place for my new Love to Sew Podcast swag – a “Stitch Witch” pin!

Here’s a little video so you can see the jacket move etc.

So, if you’re looking for a simple yet in-depth make, this is the one for you. Its time consuming but straight forward and I really enjoyed making it!

Next up is a woolen mini-skirt from my skirt block. I’m feeling super motivated to sew so hopefully the next post won’t be too far behind this one!


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