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The Artistic Artifacts Vest

At Fit for Art we are inVESTed in garment sewing, encouraging our sewing community of all skill levels to sew successful garments that fit. We have teamed up with Artistic Artifacts, a fun sewing, quilting and craft store to make an artistic vest using their signature fabrics.

Pattern, fabric and “Creative finds for Creative Minds”

We were so inspired with the handwoven cotton ikat that Judy Gula at Artistic Artifacts gave us to use for their vest. It is based on the Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern and the free downloadable vest directions on our website. If you want to make this vest, purchase the kit in turquoise or black, complete with the Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern, fabrics and interfacing needed, on the Artistic Artifacts website. Then follow these directions to make the changes and adjustments we incorporated into this special Artistic Artifacts vest.

Pattern Preparation

If you have not yet made a mock up and personalized your own Tabula Rasa Jacket (TRJ) pattern, do that as preparation for a well-fitting jacket or vest. Read the instruction book that comes with the jacket pattern to choose a size and adjust the pattern. Check out the Jacket Help page on our website to find fitting information and video tutorials to help you attain that great fit. Judy’s pattern was adjusted to her personal curves, then it was altered for a high/low hemline.

Judy modeling a good view of the hem!

A close look at her pattern pieces show the gradual curve of the hemline:

  • Begin with the front pattern, shorten the center front 1” and slope gradually to the side where the hemline will be right on the TRJ hemline.
  • On the side pattern, begin on the hemline at the front edge (the side with the single notch) and drop it gradually to 1” longer at the opposite side that connects to the back.
  • On the back pattern begin 1” longer than the actual hem line at the side seam and extend it an additional 1” at the center back.

    Hemline pattern work.

Adjust if needed to get your desired curve for this high low/hem.

Use the adjusted pattern pieces to trace off 3” wide hem facings that will be used to finish the high/low hem. Facing the hem will give added structure and weight to this light weight fabric, which will make the vest a more successful garment.

The white paper reflects the new pattern pieces.

While developing additional pattern pieces, also cut shoulder facing pattern pieces as described in the TRJ Instruction book on page 9.

Prepare the Fabric and Cut Carefully

Get started by prewashing all the fabrics in cold water, hang to dry and press well. This unique ikat fabric is, like many handwoven fabrics, somewhat uneven in design. It was more accurate to cut the fabric in small chunks to control the horizontal design.

As you see, the fabric was lined up just enough to cut the back on the fold. Then, the fabric was realigned to cut the two fronts. In addition, you can cut strips on the bias, 2” wide, to finish the edge of the shoulder facings with a lovely Hong Kong finish.

The sides, front band, hem facings and armhole bindings were cut from the coordinating teal ikat fabric. Use the cotton print to cut the shoulder facings, flat piping that will be placed between the front and the front band, and strips for the Hong Kong finish on the hem facings.

Construct the Vest

Follow the directions in the jacket pattern and download the vest instructions. Read through them thoroughly before you start so you are not caught unaware by the altered order of the vest construction. Be sure to try it on and check the fit before finishing the seams.

Cut Interfacing and Prepare Finishes

Use the fusible envy silk interfacing included in your kit to interface the shoulder facing pieces, hem facings and front band. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each individual piece.

Clean finish each hem facing piece and each shoulder facing piece. On the Artistic Artifacts vest, a contrasting Hong Kong finish was used to add a decorative element and a little extra weight to the inside.

Construct and insert the shoulder facing as described in the basic TRJ Instruction book on page 9.

Inserted shoulder facing.

Construct the continuous hem finish facing by sewing the seams together and pressing them open. Pin and then stitch the hem facing to the bottom of the vest, it should fit perfectly along the vest edge and each seam should match. Grade the seam allowances, edge stitch the seam to the facing and press the facing to the inside of the vest. Pin the facing smoothly to the vest and topstitch it into place or handstitch the facing to the vest.

Adding the Band Finish

Make a continuous flat piping using the directions on page 14 -15 of the TRJ Instruction book and add it around the neck edge of the jacket.

Flat piping attached and band ready to be stitched in place.

Follow the directions on page 11 of the direction book to assemble and apply the front band. Stitch it on so that 3/8” of the flat piping is visible.

If desired, add a closure of your choosing.

Wear and Enjoy

Enjoy wearing your new vest knowing you too are invested in garment sewing along with Fit for Art Patterns and Artistic Artifacts. Post a photo to #tabularasavests and #artisticartifacts and encourage your sewing friends to buy a kit and make a vest too. Tune in to the Artistic Artifacts Facebook live this weekend where Carrie and I will be talking all things vests with the Artistic Artifacts team Saturday morning at 9:30.

Stay Well and Sew Happy, RAE


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