It has been a luxury to have time to sew gifts as we shelter in place. Last week I embraced the opportunity to make matching mother/daughter birthday beach coats for Erin and Rory. You have met them in Sew! Let’s Get Dressed before, Erin is our recently retired graphic designer and Rory her 2-year-old bundle of fun. (No wonder she has retired from Fit for Art.)
They are riding out the pandemic at their beach place and so the two coordinating fine cottons in my stash seemed destined to become beach coat gifts. The fabrics were purchased originally to make a fancy sundress for a Mother of the Bride to wear at a lakeside wedding. As often happens, the wedding became a fancier event and the coordinating 4-yard pieces of gorgeous cotton fabric languished.
In 2016 when we introduced the Rain or Shine Variations for the Tabula Rasa Jacket this blog had a post about a beach coat I made for Edye. It was fanciful, a sateen that needed no lining. These two fabrics were so light, I chose to fully line the blue cotton with the pink lawn. I faithfully followed the Rain or Shine directions to transform Erin’s Tabula Rasa Jacket front pattern into the Rain or Shine front for the zipper and hood version of the jacket.
The Rain or Shine pattern’s side bar on making a reversible jacket was my guide. I did not design the very light weight zip front tops to be reversible because the pink fabric has too much show through to stand on its own. It peeks out of the hood and roll back cuff for an excellent effect.
The child size 2 beach coat was a new adventure. Isn’t it fun? The pattern was created with the square armhole and side panel construction of the Tabula Rasa Jacket. I have my fingers crossed that all the proportions are correct, the hood sure looks big!
The pocket is a very scaled down version of the free down load pintuck pocket. On Rory’s pockets, envy silk interfacing was added to the pink print to eliminate the show through so the pink pocket could make a fun statement.
The zipper openings, roll back cuffs, and hems on both coats were supported with envy silk interfacing too. It is such excellent interfacing for soft fabrics that need just a bit more structure.
The most unusual part of the reversible construction is pulling the sleeves through the turning opening of the coat to sew the sleeve hems together. I always align the two sleeves while the jacket is right sides together and secure it with a safety pin before pulling the sleeves inside out. It keeps the sleeve edges aligned so they stitching works perfectly.
Watch my little two- part video about this process. I am still getting used to this camera and video in general so no laughing please. Constructive comments on how to improve these video teasers would of course be welcome.
The final step, working from the inside, tack the shoulder seams together where they meet the sleeves so the jacket does not shift between layers.
Next week you can read about the matching masks included in each birthday package.
Do you have some summer stitching plans? Seems like everything we are sewing lately is casual, but you can still use great techniques, fabrics and interfacings to make your new clothes fun to wear for many summers to come.
Stay well and sew happy, RAE