Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Amo Tabula Rasa

Definition of TABULA RASA

:  the mind in its hypothetical primary blank or empty state before receiving outside impressions
:  something existing in its original pristine state
My new favorite jacket pattern is the Tabula Rasa Jacket from Fit for Art.

I first learned about this pattern from BSF Ginny who made a beautiful vest from this pattern. She had taken a class from Rae of Fit For Art at a recent American Sewing Guild conference. Her Tabula Rasa vest is classic, subtly artistic and great looking on her. I knew immediately I wanted to copy her!

After seeing a few more beautiful versions at the blog Unzipped here and here, I finally ordered the pattern. And set it aside. I am a keen and successful collector of cool patterns so it joined many other patterns with high potential.

Then I learned that the Fit For Art gang would be at the 2015 Atlanta Expo. So I took a class with Rae and got fitted for the Tabula Rasa jacket by Carrie at their booth.

Rae's class was on quilted and artful jackets using the Tabula Rasa. She provided sewing tips, lining tips, and tips for artistic composition. Her examples were so pretty and inspiring.

These are not those quilted jackets that end up looking like you just folded cardboard over your shoulders. No, these are nicely fitted and easy to wear, quilted or not. Mary Ray style.

You can see the basic design in the line drawing from the Fit For Art website. It is a princess seamed jacket with cut-on sleeves and a side panel (no side seams) and a kimono-style collar/band. I think there is a bit more shape than is visible in the line drawing due to the angular side panels and the use of bust darts. I love its simple feminine lines.

My first version does not vary much from the original pattern. The fabric is a very cooperative periwinkle linen, interfaced with some super-light-weight fusible interfacing in the front band and in the hems.

I shortened the sleeves to bracelet length because this is a spring time jacket and the full length sleeves looked hot to me. I also added a patch pocket, a couple of Chinese knots, and sashiko to emphasize the lines of the jacket. Because it is unlined, I hand-finished the raw edges on the inside.

I am quite taken with this little jacket pattern and recommend it to you if you have not purchased or made it yet. I'm now cutting out version 2!


  1. Gorgeous color, and the styling is so YOU! Your hand stitching really draws attention to the great lines of this pattern. Really nice!

  2. That's wonderful, Martha! I haven't opened my pattern yet, but you are inspiring me to get it out and use it.

  3. This is such a gorgeous spring jacket-I love the stitching also.