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Sew a Sparkly New Year

Beautiful bling is always in fashion for parties, weddings, events, or just a little pick me up.  As you plan your 2019 sewing projects, consider a Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ) made with sparkly fabric like this silver sequined jacket.  It will expand your Fit for Art core wardrobe so you will be ready for any special occasion.

A sparkly jacket

This weightless jacket was made for my daughter Sarah.  She attends galas and special events regularly and always needs some new sparkles. When the 2018 Threads Challenge to ASDP members was an elegant ensemble, I decided to design the outfit for her.

Most of the silver fabrics for the 3-piece ensemble were purchased at L K Couture, a little jewel of a fabric store in Richmond, Virginia.  The jacket fabric is chiffon that was sequined and slashed in strips.  I loved it on the bolt but found it challenging to design and sew with.

Sparkly fabrics often need to be engineered with care.  Sometimes beads or sequins need to be removed from seams for smooth construction.  Fabrics with sparkle may also benefit from support with an additional layer of fabric.  For this jacket I used both techniques.

Underlining the back. Stitches were run around the edges and through the solid sections.

After puzzling over the fabric for weeks I decided to underline the entire jacket with a pale peach silk organza to keep the slashed sections stable. The organza also supported the sequins so they appear to sparkle more!

See how the loose strings of sequins had to be anchored at the band.

The organza backing allowed me to baste the slashed section so the loose ends remained orderly when attaching the center front band.

Sequins removed for the french seams.

The sequins were removed from each seam allowance to keep the French seams smooth and sleek.

The finished French seam.

The final construction challenge was how to finish the hems and front band.  I considered binding the hems using the solid sections of the sequined fabric, another fabric, or the chiffon selvages.  Because the jacket had a curved hem, I decided to use a bias strip of the 4 ply silk, the fabric for the ensemble’s pants, to face the jacket hem.

The inside front finishes.

The sleeve hem and band were created by folding the slashed sections in half to create a loopy fringe.  The trims were anchored and finished by hand.  The two organza loops that close the jacket around the buttons were inserted into the loopy fringe and hand-tacked in place before the fringe was stitched together by hand.

The inside sleeve finish

Additional loopy fringe, created using the same folding method, was inserted into the hem of the palazzo pants. A few more sequined loops were added to dot the bottom of the pants with more drama.  When the jacket and pants are worn together, they look so coordinated!

The pants hem.

Now it is time for you to plan your sparkly TRJ:

  • Begin by purchasing some fabulous fabric in colors that coordinate with other clothes in your wardrobe.
  • Buy a little more fabric than usual so you have flexibility in choosing the shape and details.
  • Take time considering the fabric’s quirks and planning the design and engineering. Make some samples as you test out different ideas.  I sure did.
  • Find your Zen place if you need to remove beads or sequins and baste the fabric’s preparation and hand finishes.
  • If it is not part of a specially designed ensemble, wear it when you need a little pick me up with Eureka! Pants and a little Tabula Rasa Knit Tee (TRK).

Last year I decorated a jeans jacket for a friend using iron on rhinestones.  It said “Our World Needs More Sparkle”.

Decorated jacket.

Not a bad tagline for 2019.  Sparkly clothes won’t solve all the problems in the world, but they might brighten your outlook as you move though the year.

We hope you find some Fit for Art sparkle this year whether it is a sequined Tabula Rasa Jacket, a metallic Tabula Rasa Knit tee or tunic or Eureka! Pants decorated with beaded trim.

A pile of sparkly knits I hope to stitch up into TRK’s soon.

Or, brighten up some pants or a jacket already in your closet with some wild or subtle sparkle that suites your style.  We will inspire you each week to #SewSuccessfully with #fitforartpatterns.

The jacket back.

We trust that you will continue to inspire us by sharing all your sparkly creations with our sewing community.

Happy New Year, RAE

2 thoughts on “Sew a Sparkly New Year

  1. Congratulations, Rae! That is the most beautiful TRJ I have seen! We’d love to see a picture of the complete ensemble posted. Meticulous work made a priceless jacket and I’m sure your daughter felt fantastic wearing it.

    1. Thanks JoAnne, She has not worn it yet but I will get a photo and post it when she does wear it. RAE

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