Category Archives: TRJ-B

TRB with LH Cuff

I knew when I purchased this off the net (possibly fabricmartfabrics), that it would be a blouse, slightly oversized, with long sleeve. I love to make long sleeve blouses in multicolored prints.  I like to wear them over  T’s and Tanks for climate control, but also because I think the multicolored print pulls together i.e. finishes a look.  For that reason, I stitched this blouse with 3/8″ SA instead of the 1/2″ it was fit.  I want just a smidge more ease when I wear it as an over blouse.

I have several prints in my stash I want to use as blouses. I’ve been delaying making these blouses, for want of a perfect-fitting, sleeved blouse.  After my TNT review, I realized there was no need for further delay. I have the Tabula Rasa Jacket converted to blouse!

My change to the pattern was small. I marked where I wanted to shorten the blouse for use with a cuff. I calculated 1.25″ for the hem and another 1″ to offset not using a shoulder pad. Then I drafted my LH cuff which is nothing more than a rectangle 4X12″. The cuff would be easier to cut with a ruler. But  I forget a lot these days and even documenting in this blog doesn’t make small details easy to find. So I’ve started drafting these small easy to cut pieces to have a physical reference at hand in the future.

I’m calling this the LH cuff because I first saw it on Loes Hinse Tunic Blouse which I can no longer fit. The good news is that the cuff is simplicity itself. A rectangle sewn and overlapped at the seam line.  I overlap just the seam allowances. Mine are 1/4″.  No doubt my instructions aren’t enough for you to replicate. The pattern does have excellent instructions and I recommend its purchase. My fitting issues notwithstanding. After all, my fitting issues are due to my aging body not Loes draft.

I will be altering the cuff further. The 12″, even after seam allowances and turn of cloth, is too long. It will be 11″ long. Same width. I think the 4″ is good. The sleeve however is too long. I realize now my calculations did not accommodate the width of the cuff. I need to shorten the sleeve another 1.5″.  (I want the sleeve to blouse a little. So I want the cuff smaller than the sleeve and the sleeve a little longer than exactly enough.) For this blouse, I’m simply folding the cuff in half so it is visually 1″ wide

A few notes about the fabric. I believe that is cotton with Lycra. Certainly  Lycra for the stretch.  It is a crepe weave which makes it wonderfully drapey.  Interfacing is one of those things I really disagree with Peggy over. I think use of interfacing should be judicious; with a purpose. To listen to Peggy, you’d think it was a sin.  I did not want my front to drape. I wanted it blouse like.  I cut a wide front facing and fully interfaced it. I did use a very light weight interfacing.,Pro-Sheer  Elegance Light from Fashion Sewing Supply.

The print is small flowers in orange and yellow with a some green leaves and black dropped in wherever there aren’t flowers or leaves.  I think it will look better with my black based garments i.e. black pants, black and white printed blouse. Yet, I’m not entirely unhappy with it paired with the blues I was wearing in the pics

About the collar:

No it didn’t come with the TRJ pattern or any of the variation packages I’ve purchased.

I drafted it per Peggy’s instructions i.e. measure the neckline draw a rectangle the length of the neckline and desired width. I deliberately made my length 2″ shorter than the neckline.  I like a notched collar. I also made a pattern piece and marked the shoulder points on the pattern piece. I did however check out some of the collars in my possession. Based on them I curved the neck-edge portion of the collar from shoulder to front edge. I curved up just 1/4″. I interfaced the collar too. Same interfacing. I really do think collars and hems look better with a little interfacing. Not necessarily tailoring weft, but a light interfacing.

The one bad thing about this blouse is that I know I won’t be wearing it immediately.  I like to wear my sewn items fairly soon to check out the fit. I’ve noticed that fitting during sewing is only like 90% of the story. It’s that bit of what happens when I wear the garment that can be a killer. I’ve had fabrics that handle well during the 2-3 days of construction that drape and drag, just ugly by the midday of wearing.  Have you forgotten my complains in several of the last posts that my pants which were beautiful during fitting; photoed well several times during winter, but when I checked everything before putting away they had developed ugly X wrinkles. Can’t tell you how disappointed those were. But anyway, this blouse it pretty darn good. Into the closet it goes.


Open Front Blouse

I purchased this fabric earlier this year from Craftsy. It was called Italian Floral Woven.100% polyester.  It does not feel like polyester. Crepe weave. Light. Drapes like a gorgeous rayon crepe. It’s called ‘Italian’ but it definitely reminds me of Indian fabric printing blocks.  When I purchased I didn’t know if I was making a blouse, a dress or what. A skirt would be stunning in this fabric and print.

Last night it told me what to do.  I pulled out my TNT  Tabula Rasa Jacket to make  a light weight layer for those cold places I find myself in. I planned for navy-blue, bias-tape,  front finish with a button about waist height. I didn’t want to put a buttonhole in  this fabric. But realized quickly my second choice of a hair-band button-loop wasn’t going to work either. It was too heavy. I ended up binding the front and neckline and allowing it to drape.  I may go back and add front ties. Not sure.

Because the pattern is already fit, this was super quick to sew. I had it cut and photographed in about 3 hours.  The only issue was that the fabric wanted to ravel.  I stopped during applying the bias tape along the front band to apply Frey  Check along the whole edge.

I top stitched 1.25″ deep hems for the sleeves and lower edge.  I like the weight that a hem adds.

I may want to hem the sleeves a little higher or even cut off an inch and rehem. I had forgotten that myTRJ pattern is fit for 1/2″ shoulder pads. Without the pads and with this fabric, the sleeves are a bit long.

This jacket demonstrates why I love TNTs. I created a lovely garment in mere hours. Spent most of my thought solving creative problems – like comparing 3 shades of bias tape to pick the best.

A collar for the TRJ-B

I wanted a collar. In my mind a classic blouse needs a classic notch collar.  The Variations package does not have a notch collar so I set about creating my own.

Well, not entirely. I copied the collar from Connie Crawford’s Camp Shirt #5047. Then measured the neckline of the TRJ-B and subtracted 1″.  I folded out enough length so that the tissue was the same as the neckline -1″.  Then I cut two. Interfaced. Stitched. Turned inside out.  I basted the collar into the neckline. But didn’t feel entirely comfortable.

So I turned the collar again stitched 1/2″ in along the collar edge.  Trimmed. Turned. Pinned to collar edge. Twice more and the collar looked good, except not quite as wide as I entirely envisioned. Not entirely satisfied, I finished my blouse.

I like the way it looks in front, but seems a bit narrow across the back.  I will use the collar again, I’m just not sure at this moment what my changes will be. Definitely want a wider collar across the back. I’m thinking, of making  a series of blouse each with a slightly wider collar until I settle on a collar I like that also looks really good on the TRJ-B.

I do like the blouse,muchly.  Possibly it’s the ITY knit fabric and the geometric print. I wouldn’t say I love those colors, but they’re really very nice.

Somehow, the sleeve is slightly longer  this version but not so that I’m going to do anything about it. I’m more concerned about the difference between right and left side views:

The left is exactly what I want. However the right is showing the effects of the lowered shoulder.  I made no changes to the pattern and no changes during cutting.  When stitching, I stitched the right 1/8″ deeper than the left i.e. the left SA=1/4″, right SA = 3/8″. That is apparently not enough.  I must remember to make a  greater difference. Also interesting, and I have no explanation, the  front is rouched along the side piece while the left is pretty smooth. No idea why this is a problem now except that drag lines and errors are more evident in light colors.  I will walk the seams and recheck the notches.  Sometimes thought, it’s just the sewist. Not the fabric or the pattern.