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The Tabula Rasa Jacket Journey

Everywhere we go, we launch stitchers of all levels on their Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ) journey. We think it is a fun adventure, and we are glad you have joined us. We first presented our jacket pattern at shows and stores near, far and online in 2011. We are delighted that it has been so popular for more than a decade.

A Tabula Rasa Jacket

Here is a little TRJ trivia you might find interesting:

  • The multi-size pattern was developed in part with a grant I received from the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild to collaborate with quilters and weavers on jacket making.
  • The name, Tabula (tab-ū-la) Rasa (rah-sa) is Latin for blank or erasable slate. Fits, right?
  • We always encourage you to make a mock-up decorated with all the horizontal balance lines and grain lines found on the pattern. This way you can check the fit, practice the construction and have a tool for future jacket design.
A beautifully fitting TRJ back from an in-person class
  • The Common Fitting Adjustments for the Tabula RasaJacket PDF, found on the Jacket Help page, will help you diagnose and nuance your jacket’s fit. Just read the grid of lines.
  • The Jacket Help page under the Helpful Hints section of the website is full of additional great info to help you sew great TRJs, including links to video demonstrations of common fitting adjustments.
  • The Sew! Let’s Get Dressed blog will inspire you to design and sew a wardrobe of creative jackets and tops. You can subscribe to receive the blog posts weekly in your email and search the blog archive for relevant posts.
  • Our TRJ variation patterns offer you endless styling options for your well-fitting jacket pattern.

As you begin sewing the simple-to-construct TRJ, allow your stash to speak to you in new ways. You will come to appreciate the easy square armhole construction and the flattering side panel design.

Toni in her first jacket, so fun!

The basic pattern instruction book is full of great information:

  • It walks you through the process of choosing a size and pattern options for your bust (Front AB or CD) and hip configuration (straight or flared side panel).
  • It gives you the information to create and position flat piping for your jacket, which adds an additional vertical design line that is so flattering. Piping can also be used to break up a busy print or divide prints and solids when colors are not perfectly matched.
A TRJ that just needs its finishes
  • You will also find directions to divide the jacket pieces for an artful look. The added bonus is that it is easy to incorporate your precious scraps into your jackets making them distinctly yours.
  • Begin with an unlined jacket, and then increase your skills by following the directions to line a jacket.
A basic jacket made from assorted wool scraps and fully lined
  • The pattern cover is not flashy, but it represents truth in advertising. There are no pictures of complicated jackets that are not described in the basic direction booklet. A visit to our online photo gallery will introduce you to a number of ways to design and style the jacket, but it is best to start simply. Then you can let your sewing mojo take over and your “erasable slate” pattern will become a comfortable go to shape as you fill your closet with Fit for Art creations.

Ready to get started? Purchase the pattern online, at a show, or from one of our retail partners. Upgrade to a TRJ Starter Kit, which includes the TRJ pattern, our favorite mock-up fabric, a Sew Successfully curved ruler and a few additional goodies to assure mock-up making success.

Houston ASG members stitching up mock-ups in a class

Check the Event Calendar for listings of currently scheduled Fit for Art classes and sewing retreats. Make sure you join our mailing list to receive the weekly blog post and monthly newsletter, announcing new and upcoming events in your email.

Three quilted jackets

Let this post inspire you to get started on your mock-up. Any season is a great time to design and sew new TRJs, and we know you will enjoy the journey.

Happy Sewing, RAE

6 thoughts on “The Tabula Rasa Jacket Journey

  1. I visited the State Fair this weekend and was delighted to see that a prize winning jacket had been made from the Tabula Rasa pattern. It was a Japanese print with black and a gold and black band. I could not see the back of it and they had obscured the maker’s name. But I was thrilled to see your jacket pattern so beautifully made up.

    1. Thanks Kathy for letting us know

  2. Hi from London
    Was so thrilled to see my jacket (and me) in this excellent report. I so enjoyed making it and learned so many skills along the way thanks to Carrie’s and rae’s Patience and help. Because the pattern was custom fit for me I can and now will try out all sorts of variations in different fabrics and styles secure in the knowledge that they will fit properly. It was well worth “crossing the pond” for and I’ll surely be back!!!

    1. don’t forget your adorbs sister who is waiting for her custom jacket……

  3. Cheers for seven years, Rae and Carrie as well as for the most recent Threads article. The Fit for Art jacket and tunic patterns are exactly that, perfect for letting creativity shine. When I play with my fabric collection (also known as reorganizing and adding more) I see so many combinations that I get excited about another variation.

    1. Thanks so much to you, Jane, and to all of our loyal customers! We are thrilled to have the TRJ featured in Threads and look forward to seeing many more exciting creations as a result!

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