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How to Make a Tamarack Jacket for Kids with Geranium Dress Pattern

I am obsessed with the quilted jacket trend. I love how you can take a simple jacket sewing pattern and take it in so many different directions. It encourages quilters to jump into garment sewing and garment sewers to try quilting. It is so fun and creative.

tamarack

I recently made my own Tamarack Jacket from Grainline Studios. I modified the pattern by giving my jacket a little bit more length, in seam pockets, and a hood. I walk you through how to add a hood to a jacket in this blog post as well as the other modifications I made.

When I made this jacket I used an old quilt that I bought at Target a few years ago. I would love to do the actual quilting for this jacket, but it was mid-March and I knew if I wanted to finish the jacket before it was 80 outside, I needed to take a shortcut.

suzyQuilts

Earlier this winter I spotted this post on Instagram from SuzyQuilts where she was wearing matching quilted jackets with her daughter. They were made by Brittney Frey. All of her work is incredible and her jackets sell out almost instantly.

Jacket Details

tinywalk

I obviously wanted to be cool and match my daughter. So I ventured making her her own quilted jacket, similar to mine! I started out with my go to favorite pattern, the Geranium Dress by Made-by-Rae. I’ve filled out my daughter’s wardrobe with different variations of these dresses every season.

Geranium

The Geranium pattern is for dresses and tops, but I found a way to hack it into a quilted jacket. If you have a similar dress pattern with sleeves, you could follow these steps and your jacket would still probably work out. When in doubt, make a muslin!

I made this jacket similar to the Tamarack jacket. It is open in the front and has a bias tape cover on the outside edges. You can close the front with hook and eye closures if you would like! I also added a hood.

Geranium Dress Pattern Adjustments

You will need the Geranium Dress pattern pieces in 2-3 sizes larger than the child’s current size. My daughter is near the end of the 12-18M size, so I cut out the pattern pieces for a 3T and it worked well for her.

patternPieces

You only need the front and back bodice pieces and the fitted sleeves pieces, which means you will also need the expansion pack.

Take the back bodice and cut the middle back through the x marks. These are where you set the buttons, but since we aren’t using this overlapping closure, you won’t need that extra fabric.

Add length to your pieces and curve the bottom exterior edges. I added 9.5 inches to mine. You can simply measure the length from your child’s shoulders to where you want the jacket to hit, add ⅜ inch for seam allowance at the shoulder.

Cut out two separate front bodice pieces (not on the fold) and the back bodice piece on the fold. Also cut out two sleeves. You will not use the entire length of the sleeve because we sized up. I trimmed them to fit after piecing together the coat. If you are tight on fabric, you can measure the distance from your child’s shoulder to wrist and trim the pattern piece accordingly.

hood

The hood is designed so there is one main rectangle from the nape of the neck to the forehead and two side pieces. I like this design because it’s not pointy.

hoodPieces

To make this hood I cut one 15”x4” rectangle and two 5.5”x7” rectangles. Take the two side pieces and curve the edges for the top and bottom of the head. (The long side of the rectangle goes from the top to bottom of the head.) The top curve should be more of a pronounced curve. The bottom is just a small curve to hug the hood in a bit.

If you are making a bigger or smaller size you can try to find a similar hood to take measurements to go from, or you can add or subtract some dimensions and make a muslin first to test fit. It is a loose fitting hood, so it doesn’t have to be perfect!

Assembly

The first thing I did was to finish all of the edges that would not have bias tape with an overcast stitch. It would be fun if all of the seams had bias tape or Hong Kong seams, but with a coat for my little one I really wanted to reduce bulk.

addSleeves

Align the front bodice and back bodice shoulder seams, right side together, and sew with a ⅜ seam allowance. (All seam allowances will be ⅜ inch.) Pin the sleeves into place along the bodice, right sides together, and sew.

pinHood

Now time to assemble the hood! Since we eyeballed some of the curves these pieces won’t fit together perfectly and that’s okay! It is a loose fitting hood, so we can trim some and still have a nice fit.

Pin the longer rectangle along the curve of one of the side hood pieces. You will see in my photo that I have some overhand on my longer rectangle, that is totally okay!

sewHood

Sew this seam and repeat with the other side.

needTrim

Trim the hood pieces so they sit flush with one another.

addHood

Next we will attach the hood to the body of the coat. Find the middle of the back and the middle of the base of the hood. Pin these two middles together, right sides together. Continue to pin the hood to the rest of the neckline. Double check to make sure the hood sits evenly on the bodice.

trimHood

The hood may be longer than the body of the coat. That’s okay! At this point you should trim the hood (or maybe the body of the coat if your hood is short) so everything is smooth. When you trim, make gradual long cuts. They are less noticeable than shorter drastic cuts.

biasBack

The bias binding is one of my favorite parts of this jacket. It is a great way to add a fun pop of color! I used 0.375” bias tape for my daughter’s jacket. (I cut my double fold bias strips 1.5” wide.) You can use a wider bias strip if you would like, but I don’t suggest going smaller.

First add the bias tape to the back right side of the jacket. It should go up a few inches on each side. Pin the bias tape so the edge aligns with the outside of the jacket. Sew along the first crease mark.

clipCorners

Clip the corners of both the bias tape and quilted jacket. Don’t cut through your stitches though! This gives you a nice curve.

biasBinding

Refold your bias tape and pin it to the inside of the jacket. Make sure your bias tape covers the line of stitching that you just made. I like to put my pins in perpendicular to the fabric, so they are easier to pull out.

stitchInDitch

Take the jacket to your sewing machine and place the right side of the jacket facing up. Now you need to go really slowly and stitch right where the bias tape meets the jacket. You should not sew on the bias tape. You are “stitching in the ditch” here. This hides your stitches on the right side and sews the back of your bias tape in place.

When you are done give the inside of the jacket a look. You want to make sure you sewed the inside bias tape in place. If it shifted and you didn’t sew it into place. Repin those areas and resew them. If you are a perfectionist you can rip it all out and try again, but it only really shows up on the inside if you reallllyyyyy inspect it. Give yourself some grace!

fullCoat

Now follow the same technique and apply the bias tape from the front of the coat, but you will need to go all the way up and around the hood, and back down again.

closeDetails

When you come to the front corners of the jacket you have to turn with the bias tape. You may already know how to do this, if not, check out this blog post from Treasurie about sewing bias tape mitered corners.

sideDiagonal

We are almost there! Next sew the sides of the jacket, from the hips to the armpit and down through the sleeves. When sewing the seam at the base of the jacket, start at the edge of the bias tape and sew diagonally until you reach the seam allowance.

sideSeams

Make sure you enclose the edges of the bias tape within the seam, so the outside looks nice!

sleeves

At this point you may want to check the sleeve length on your little one. Pop the coat on them and mark where their wrists are. You will be closing this hem with bias tape, so there is no need to account for seam allowances!

Trim the length of the sleeves and finish them with bias tape and you are done!

walkAway

Share!

If you follow along with this tutorial and make your own jacket for a little one, please share with me! I would love to see how they turn out or any feedback you may have.

Feel free to comment below, or connect with me on Instagram!