The jacket montage on our home page was updated for fall and the first Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ) is Bobbie’s Shirt Jacket. I made it for my cousin Bobbie who is a busy mom of 3 and a full time professional with a large tech company. She usually works from home, but on occasion she travels to conferences and meetings with colleagues and clients. She tells me that it is really hard to dress professionally but not in an intimidating manner in today’s “business casual” world.
Together, we have been building her a wardrobe of jackets and tops that add a bit of color and interesting detail to her black Eureka! Pants. This latest addition to her closet is a lined TR Shirt Jacket. I used her adjusted TRJ pattern and the Shirt Variations pattern for the TRJ. The fabrics are both woven silk suiting, so choosing good interfacing was essential.
After cutting out the shirt jacket, I took a scrap of fabric and made an interfacing sample. I wanted to see how a variety of interfacings would work on the silk tweeds. For this project I chose the 3 fusible interfacings that are in our interfacing sampler: a weft insertion, a tricot, and an 8 way stretch. I also tested a very lightweight woven fusible called Bi-stretch Lite. After applying a piece of each to the sample, I felt how the interfacings affected the fabric. I also pressed in a fold to see how the fold would be impacted by the interfacing.
I knew the shirt jacket needed to be interfaced on the front, the facings, both sides of the collar, the hemline and the cuffs. Sometimes, though, with loosely woven silk suiting, you interface the entirety of each piece. After assessing my samples, I decided to keep the jacket on the soft side and not interface the entire body or the sleeves. I knew that the lining would keep the fabric from fraying uncontrollably in the seams.
Cut the interfacing about 1/8” smaller than the area to be fused. That way when fusing the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, you will avoid fusing it to the ironing board as well. Have a press cloth nearby to keep the iron from getting gummed up with the fusible residue.
When the shirt jacket was finished, Bobbie and I were delighted with the results. The collars and cuffs were supported, but not rigid. The front was sturdy enough to accommodate the large painted wooden buttons and the long machine-made buttonholes.
It will fold easily to be packed into a suitcase and come out ready to make a professional entrance at any work event. Silk suiting is at least a 3 season fabric and with air conditioning, this jacket could probably be worn year round. Bobbie loves the comfort of the TRJ’s square armhole and the versatility of most of her TRJ’s. They are professional with her black separates, but she can also feel comfortable in them with jeans at her children’s soccer games, swim meets or band concerts.
Do you wear your TRJ’s to work? Tell us about your favorite TRJ’s and send us photos for our face book page. We welcome all of you who joined the blog list this last month. We held our drawing yesterday and our winner will receive a Shirt Variation pattern and a cotton fabric bundle.
Happy Sewing, RAE