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Rayon Twice – Carpe Diem and Tabula Rasa Jacket

The Tabula Rasa Jacket is so versatile and in unlined rayon it is perfect as the weather transitions from winter to spring.  So I recently added a new comfortable and colorful Tabula Rasa Jacket to my working girl wardrobe. The jacket was inspired by some scraps left behind after I made our friend Edye a Carpe Diem Tunic in SewBatik rayon fabrics: Lake Spray and Lake Phoenix.  Just one more piece was needed and ordered: a yard of Lake Gardenista Vine.  The colors are so pretty and coordinate nicely with my blue denim pants and a pair of brown pants I rarely wear.

The fabrics

Planning the Jacket

I had been so busy making Carpe Diems that I had to revisit the Jacket pattern and variations for inspiration, but I easily chose the Ruched Band from the digital Band Variations Pattern.  It is an old favorite and perfect in this rayon with enough body to create a dramatic neckline.

In addition to the Ruched neckband, a ruched cuff was planned. There was also enough of the spray fabric to add flat piping to separate the sleeve/side sections from the front/back, successfully defining the space between the two coordinating prints.

Inserted shoulder shield

Creating the Jacket

A shoulder shield was created, as described in the third step of the jacket direction book, to support the shoulders. I extended the shield down into the curve of the front opening to support the ruching and button details.

Close up of finished rushing and buttons

The ruched band benefits from either button or bead accents at each gathered section.  My brass button box held a long string of small buttons that seemed just right.  Loops were placed on the right side before the ruching was complete corresponding with the planned ruche placement.

Loops are positioned and stitched into place.

Because I will wash the top, the fabrics were prewashed on a cool water gentle cycle and hung to dry.  The finishes were all made with the sewing machine, also to allow for tidy machine washing care.

The sleeve adds some nice design detail repeating the flat piping and using the second print as a deep cuff.  The ruched neckline detail was repeated on the cuff with a button completing the look.  Basic and complex cuff ideas can be found in the Sleeve and Cuff Variations pattern, also a digital download.

Carpe Diem Mock up and Finished Rayon

Carpe Diem in the Same Fabric

Edye’s Carpe Diem is also an excellent basic and served as a wearable mock up to test the fit of her tunic.  It has ¾ length sleeves, a keyhole opening in the back and a pleat at the center back hemline.  All these details are included in the Carpe Diem direction book.

If you are just joining the Fit for Art community, perhaps having met us virtually at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo or in person at the Atlanta Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, plan to begin your sewing journey with a basic but fun version of your new pattern before trying some of our more decorative or complex designs.  Wear your basic garment out and about to make sure the fit satisfies you, perfecting the fit as needed, before moving onto more creative garments.

Want one of these for yourself? Order up some fabric and join us at our Sew Successfully Retreat April 7-10. We will assist you with the fit and construction of your new garments.

Happy Sewing, RAE

Want to read about more SewBatik  rayon garments? Try these previous posts:

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