Our black and tan double-faced cotton jacquard is perfect for crafting a reversible Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ). It is interesting, but subtle and it is a dream to sew and wear.
Reversible jackets made from double-faced fabric do require careful planning with regards to the seams and the edge finishes. That means that this will be a two part post. I just could not fit everything I wanted to share with you in one post. This week I will talk about the design, basic construction and the lantern sleeves. Next week we will look at the hem, bands and buttons.
I made the “Double the Orient” TRJ in September 2014 to wear to my mother’s 90th birthday party. I started with 3 pieces of fabric, each a different weave of the same threads: a floral ball weave, a pin dot weave, and a swirly weave. As always, I arranged and rearranged them on the cutting table and the dress form to plan my placement.
Because the floral ball weave was my favorite, I chose it for the fronts and back. The swirly weave became the summer sleeves, the pin dot was reserved for the side panels. The two sided band and faced lantern cuffs were cut from the leftovers.
I cut the fronts, back and sides on the crossgrain so that the 2” hem would edged with the selvage. My plan was to turn the hem toward the tan side and topstitch it so the black hem and selvage would decorate the tan side of the jacket. I felt the darker side of the fabrics would be more flattering to my skin tone, so I also decided to use it as on both sides of the band as well.
The Jacket was constructed with the black side as the “wrong side”. I stitched in the darts with black thread in the needle and bobbin, then pressed them flat. Then I topstitched them down along the folded edge on the black side with black thread in the needle and tan thread in the bobbin. This same method was used to sew the French seams and topstitch each seam as I progressed through the normal order of construction. This way, the tan side looks as though it is simply topstitched while the seam and dart edges just vanish into the black side.
In order to add interesting touches to the tan side, I fussy cut the lantern cuff to feature the floral balls. I also cut strips of selvage to insert between the sleeve and the cuff on the light side and at the wrist which shows on both sides. The selvage adds some structure to the lantern sleeve so it does not collapse easily. Black pin dot lantern cuffs were cut for the black side and will be referred to as the cuff facings. A strip of selvage was stitched to the edge of each summer sleeve, after it was constructed, in preparation for the application of the cuff.
To construct the cuffs I began by interfacing each of the floral ball cuff pieces. French Fuse was applied to the dark side of each cuff. Next I stitched each cuff and cuff facing into a circle and pressed the seams open. The interfaced cuffs were stitched with the dark side as the wrong side, the cuff facings were stitched with the tan side as the wrong side. I stitched a strip of selvage around the wrist of each tan cuff and completed the lantern cuff by attaching the cuff facing to the cuff around the wrist.
Then I attached a cuff to each sleeve so the tan sides were the right side and the black side was the wrong side. To finish the dark side of the lantern cuff, I turned under the seam allowance and carefully hand stitched the black cuff facing into place so it covered the seam that attached the cuff to the sleeve.
The pattern pieces and directions for the summer sleeve with the lantern cuff are in the Sleeve & Cuff Variations pattern. It is one of my favorite sleeves because it gives you so many options for using various fabrics. But this jacket would also be great with a traditional cuff, a roll back cuff, or a simply hemmed sleeve.
Have you made a reversible jacket with double-faced fabric? What sleeve and sleeve finish did you incorporate into your design? How did you finish it so the sleeve looked polished on either side?
We still have a few bundles left of this Japanese double-faced fabric in very similar weaves to those used in my jacket. If you would like to have your own Double the Orient TRJ, order one. They are not in the e-store, so contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your bundle. And just so you know this precious fabric is not inexpensive, the bundle is $90, but it is well worth it!
Happy Sewing, RAE
P.S. Don’t forget we have a Trunk Show at Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD this Saturday at 3:30 PM. If you have not visited the store recently you are in for a lovely surprise. They have expanded the store and the classroom. It is bright and cheerful and full of lovely fabric and great sewing ideas. Hope you will join us.