Welcome back to our visit with the Double the Orient Tabula Rasa Jacket. Last week the post looked closely at the design, basic construction and cuffs of this reversible TRJ. In this post we will look at the finishes including the hem, the kimono band and the button closures.
Preparing for the Front Band
The first thing to do now that the jacket is constructed and the sleeves have been finished is try it on to confirm the length and mark the preferred placement of the buttons. My plan was to use two unusually shaped shell buttons on each side and to turn up the hem 2”. My test fit confirmed that I was happy with the planned length. I held up the large buttons in front of my body to determine where I wanted them to fall and how far apart I should place them. These calculations have to be determined before cutting and constructing a band with inseam buttonholes.
I hemmed the jacket before I added the band, which is my habit. For this fabric I chose to support the hem with a 2¾” wide strip of interfacing. It was fused onto the tan side of the double-faced fabric below the selvage and extending past the 2” turn of the hem. Then I measured and turned up the hem, pressed it so the interfacing was hidden inside the hem, and topstitched the hem to the jacket just below the fringe of the selvage using black thread in both the needle and bobbin.
Making the Front Band
The band is a two-sided band with inseam buttonholes, for which directions are included in Band Variations and Pockets for the TRJ pattern. I used the remaining pin dot weave on the black side for most of the band, with a bit of the swirly weave inserted between the buttonholes.
The dark side of the swirl weave became the entire band on the tan side. The band pieces were all interfaced before they were constructed. I used French Fuse on the pin dot side and Soft Stretch on the swirly side. Each side of the band was constructed with two inseam buttonholes .
Then, both sides of the band were stitched together along the center front. I pressed open the seam, then trimmed and graded it so it would be narrow enough to hide under the inseam buttonholes.
Attaching the Front Band
The band was pinned in place to the light side of the jacket. Before stitching it, I checked that the buttonholes and seams lined up perfectly on both sides of the band. Once the placement was adjusted, I machine stitched the band into place and finished the ends of the band according to the TRJ direction booklet. Next the seam allowance on the black side was pressed under and the band was hand stitched to the jacket. Finally, both sides of the buttonholes were carefully hand stitched together.
A button was stitched to each side of the band’s supporting seams. When placing a button on each side of the band, they have to be stitched on with a little slack so each button will work. Use double thread and make sure to wrap the button stem of each button several times for support.
Don’t you love this jacket? If you have not seen it in person, you cannot appreciate the lightweight nature of this reversible TRJ. The fabric is really quite special and, as we mentioned last week, there are still a couple bundles remaining in our inventory after the spring shows. They are not in the on-line store, so contact us directly at email@example.com to reserve your bundle for $90 plus shipping.
If you have already bought a bundle of this fabric, this is the perfect time of year to sew it into a new top. Feel empowered to choose your own details, or simply borrow mine.
Have you made reversible jackets from double-faced fabric? Please share your techniques for hems, bands and buttonholes with all our sewing friends in the Fit for Art community.
Happy Sewing, RAE