Last winter I searched my studio for zippers and stash fabric to test the Rain or Shine Variations (RSV) for the Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ). One of my favorite finds was a navy home decorator remnant I had purchased years ago at G-Street Fabrics. I remember loving the art-deco print and colors so much I could not resist the ½ price remnant. It was even stored away with several coordinating navy fabrics and a long brass and navy separating zipper. I had everything I needed.
My design vision was for a sturdy knock-around jacket. I decided to leave it unlined since the fabric had plenty of body and structure. There was a limited amount of fabric, so I chose to use a simple double faced navy on each side panel. Even though the navy fabric was sturdy, it felt limp next to the home dec fabric so I underlined the sides with a light weight pin- striped silk I had used for pants several years ago. I also used the pin-striped silk on the bias for flat piping to break up the print between the body, sides and cuffs and to make inseam kangaroo pockets. Directions for inseam kangaroo pockets are included in the Band Variations and Pockets pattern. They extend from the side seam to the zipper opening where they anchor neatly for an excellent unlined jacket finish. The heavier uneven striped silk twill was used to make the facings, hood lining and the inside of the roll back cuff.
The jacket length was determined by the amount of fabric available and the length of the zipper. I remember buying the zipper at Rose City Textiles in Portland 5 years ago during the ASDP conference with this fabric in mind.
Since the coat was a test sample and intended for knock-around wear, I did not do any fine finishes. All the seams are simply serge finished with a 3 thread overlock. The hems and other finishes were topstitched on the machine. The facings and cuffs were interfaced so they would be sturdy enough to control the base fabric.
Note that the brim of the hood is seamed in the middle. This is an excellent technique if your fabric has a directional print that needs to move up the hood on each side. I regret that I was not able to match the print perfectly, but since I had barely enough fabric to cut the hood out, I can live with the slight hiccup in the pattern’s match.
Have you made a zip-up or hooded RSV yet? Take a tour through your stash; I bet there is a fabric that will be perfect for a transitional jacket like this one.
Fabric stores such as JoAnn’s sell some separating zippers in basic colors. Click here to check out our list of resources for ordering zippers online if you want something unique or a special color.
Happy Sewing, RAE