The useful Tamarack

The Tamarack!  This is both a versatile tree and fabulous Grainline pattern.  Tamarack -from the native Abenaki language- means “wood used for snowshoes.”  Tamarack trees are native to Minnesota and their wood is used for framing houses, utility poles, paper pulp, and dog sled runners in addition to those wooden snowshoes.  Tamarack needles can be made into a tea to soothe sore throats!  So versatile- so many uses.

Grainline’s Tamarack pattern is also adaptable; I was inspired by Jen’s version of a non-quilted Tamarack . This option matched my need/want for a jacket/topper/blazer that works for my casual/professional work environment.

Here’s the low-down on my take on the useful Tamarack pattern:

I used an amazing cotton jacquard from Mood Fabrics. This particular design is no longer available, but there are similar choices here.

I cut my usual size 4 and squared the bottom front and back.


I faced the jacket instead of binding the edges per pattern instructions.  The fabric is a bit bulky and uneven- with a cool handmade vibe- and I worried that a self binding might be too lumpy.  Full disclosure- I also didn’t have enough fabric to make a bias binding- so typical!  It was easy to draft facings using the front and back pattern pieces.

I also skipped lining the jacket. I spiffed up the inside of the jacket with a snappy Hong-Kong finish on all seams and the hem. Oops- note that skimpy hem. Another sign of my lack of sufficient yardage.


No Tamarack trees were harmed in this post. Leftover holiday greenery!

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