Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Pattern Company, New Jacket,

Despite trees down all around us, our home escaped unscathed from last night's Hurricane Irene.  A little damp corner in the basement, a few power surges and short outages but we've been happy to have full power and the eventual sunshine after the storm.
Today turned out to be a "summer snow day."  The hurricane's rain and high winds happened mostly after midnight and it was merely blowing heavily when daylight broke.  With so many activities already cancelled and our full power available, it was the perfect opportunity to head to my sewing room and finish this project.

Let me introduce my new jacket, the earthquake and hurricane week version, from a new pattern company, Fit for Art Patterns.  This is their first pattern, the Tabula Rasa Jacket, available for sale in two sizes on their website.  Fit for Art Patterns

Upfront disclaimer:  I've known Rae Cumbie for about 10 years when I met her in a wearable art group.  I've always admired her eye for combining fabric and textures and she was voted Baltimore's Best Tailor some years back.  When she decided to work with her partner, Carrie Emerson, on designing a pattern for weavers, quilters and other fabric artists, she allowed me to be a tester for this pattern.  Back in February she sent me a newly drafted pattern so that I (along with others in her groups) could make a mock up and test the directions.   Now the pattern has been printed along with a 16 page booklet of design, fit and sewing instructions.  Jacket sewing weather is resuming here in MD and it was time for me to make my first version of this jacket.
I've blogged before that I generally have avoided many typical art to wear or  artistic design patterns because I find them too oversized and shapeless.  I especially dislike dropped shoulders on garments.  Since Rae knows fashion sewing, and her audience, she knows that many of her potential customers would look better with bust darts and shoulder lines.  So this pattern has an A/B bust front with one dart in the square armhole and a C/D bust front with two darts...that's the one I used.  There's a square armhole and therefore no traditional set in sleeve but the jacket is designed with a shoulder seam.
I used five different fabrics in this jacket but I kept it very tone on tone.  They are all silks or silk blends from Fabric Mart that I collected over the years.  The lining is a rayon from Fabric Mart as well.  I did a very subtle flat piping on that shoulder seam to make it stand out a bit more.

I think you can see all five fabrics here as well as the two bust darts.  I used snaps and some faux Chinese coin buttons from my collection for a closure.
I did add shoulder pads to my jacket and a small interior pocket.  I'm rather pleased with the fabric combination and overall look of the jacket but I will reduce the front width by about 1/2 inch on each side, add more shaping to the side seams and add some length for my next version.  Yes, a next version.  On their website photo gallery Rae and Carrie are positively inspiring with the many versions of this jacket.  It's unlikely I'll ever do a quilting cotton one, just not my style, but I like the shear fabric ones and also am considering a double knit one for winter as well as an ikat fabric one.   Hope you enjoy looking at their website.    It's been a fun project for me and a lovely way to spend such an intersting week.  

No earthquake pictures from Thursday but here's how things looked on our block earlier today:


  1. Your jacket looks lovely. I like your fabric combinations, and how nice to read of an art pattern that has shape!
    Your tree situation looks scary. Wow, I'm glad they didn't hit anything other than the ground.

  2. That's an awesome jacket, Jane. I like the fabric combinations and details. You wear it well. Glad to here that you survived Irene.

  3. Lovely jacket and great combination of fabrics. The color is so unusual I am surprised you had 5 fabrics that coordinated. Glad you had no storm damage. There are lots of big trees down in our neighborhood too. Electicity was out most of the weekend for us. We have it now, but most of my co-workers do not.

  4. So glad you escaped the storm unharmed! I really like the tone on tone fabrics you used for this jacket. It looks really nice on you!


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."