Sewing with the Tabula Rasa Jacket pattern and the Rain or Shine Variations expansion package offers so many interesting design options that we love. In retrospect we often wonder why we jammed so much into one little package, but that works to your advantage.
As with all our variations, there are templates and patterns offering opportunities to stitch up your dependably well fitting jacket in a new style. The Rain or Shine variations gives you a center front opening, perfect for a zipper or button and loop closure. One of my favorites, especially during times of cool or cold weather is the funnel neckline. It makes wonderful coats, vests, tops and tunics.
Alter the Pattern for Fitting Success
Because these design transitions begin with templates that are superimposed on top of the Tabula Rasa jacket pattern, it is necessary to transfer any fitting adjustments to the new template. For the collar, hood, and jewel neckline variations in Rain or Shine, this is easy, you simply use your adjusted back.
For the Funnel Neck, though, you have to extend any adjustments up into the elevated neckline. This can be tricky if your pattern has been adjusted for a full or round upper back and includes two small neck darts. Here is the best method for smoothly adjusting this wonderful neckline. (The photos were taken during our Fall Sew Successfully Retreat as I demonstrated this change for our participants)
First, cut out the template. If you want to create a permanent pattern for the funnel neck, trace off your TRJ back pattern to attach the template.
Second, place the template on the pattern, matching the armhole and shoulder line until it diverges up into the extended back neckline.
Transfer the top of the dart on the TRJ pattern to the template for the funnel neck. From this point you will shift the lower part of the dart so it extends straight down instead of shifting toward the shoulder. Draw a line through the center of the dots for forming the dart. Then extend the dart straight up into the funnel neck to shape the template.
Be sure to transfer the dart onto the facing as well, aligning the facing to the newly adjusted pattern and altering if necessary to match the actual shape of the back pattern. When constructing and assembling the jacket and facing, press the darts toward the center on the jacket and toward the armhole on the facing to distribute the bulk.
Why make this shape change? Well the angled dart recommended in our directions for the round back adjustment, which do look best in a classic neckline, would converge or even cross each other if extended up as shown in the photo with the ruler on the pattern. This pair of straighter darts looks better in the extended neckline and provides support to the necklines shaping. It can even be added into a funnel neck if the neckline, without a round back adjustment, feels loose.
Plan a Project of Your Own
This blog post topic has been on my list of things to do for sometime. However, pattern change topics always seem so boring. This week I wanted to create a funnel neck for myself using some of the blue pastel hand-dyed fabrics that came home from France in my suitcase. The sturdy cotton faille, which took the dye beautifully, wasn’t big enough to make a complete jacket so I began imagining a top that was short, tailored and could be worn with my high waisted Glamor Pants. It would be decorated with a small piece of toile that was also pastel dyed and some black lace from my stash. The top is not yet finished, but it is well on its way to look great on my very rounded back thanks to these easy pattern adjustments.
Keep an eye on Social Media this week to watch the blue top come together. Perhaps you can help me choose the buttons. My stash offered up several good choices. Read more about the Rain or Shine Variation package in the post, Say Hello to Rain or Shine and check out our pastel dying day in the post Pastel Blue in Occitaine France. There are still a few openings for our 2023 trip to France and we would love to have you enjoy a day of dying with us there.
If you haven’t started your TRJ journey yet, be sure to sign up for the virtual Tabula Rasa Jacket Class in March hosted by SewBattical.