Monday, March 30, 2015

Tessuti Silva Shirt Jacket

With DD1, at Hakone Gardens, Saratoga

Happy spring, those-of-you-in-this-hemisphere! (Please tell me that the weather is finally improving in the Boston area!)

Hakone Gardens, Saratoga

I finished this shirt jacket a week ago Sunday (as in 8 days ago), but it took me awhile to get some photos. My colleague and pal, mem, was willing to take some pics at work last week, but I was having a heck of a time pulling together the right outfit! (In the end, I went with a black column. I really need to work on my separates so that I have more options!)

Hakone Gardens

So, let me back up for a minute.

DD1 and friend, Hakone Gardens

I was talking to Margy recently. She and I are both feeling the need to sew for spring, since we've been enjoying gorgeous weather on the west coast. I told her that linen is one of those fabrics that I rarely wear, so I rarely sew it. I was wondering if I could make myself embrace linen more fully. I was also eager to sew something that was more "spring like" in color. (In other words, no black!)


She suggested that I make three pieces from linen to see if I could work them into my wardrobe.


I like a challenge!

I dug this yarn-dyed linen from my stash. The warp (lengthwise) threads are taupe. The weft (cross-wise) threads are a light blue. I love linen that is constructed this way.

DD1 wanted to photograph my earrings, purchased at Artistry in Fashion 2 years ago

So, which pattern to use? When I think of linen, I think of two things. First, I think of Diane Ericson. She is a master of linen garments. I also think of Tessuti.

These koi are over a foot long. Hakone Gardens

Tessuti, as you may know, is an independent fabric store in Australia. Based on their website, I think they are a fairly high-end fabric store, though I have never been there. (I'd love to visit Australia one day!) They also sell their own pattern line - their patterns are available as downloads or in limited-edition hard copy. I made their New York Cape recently and I've been admiring the Silva Shirt Jacket for a long time. Lots of Tessuti patterns are perfect for linen, which is a very practical fabric to wear (for much of the year) in Australia.


I find the Tessuti patterns to be very well drafted. I traced off the largest size - 16 - and added a fairly hefty side dart for my uber bust. The jacket flares out at the hips, but I removed that shaping. I nipped it in a bit at the waist to create some subtle shaping. I also removed 5/8" at the shoulder. Those were my only changes. ("Only" might seem like an understatement, but it really didn't feel like that many adjustments, for me.)

Filoli Gardens

This is a very easy garment to construct. My favorite feature is that the entire edge is finished with a raw bias strip. There are no facings and no hems, other than the bias strips.


The pattern suggests that, over time and with washing, the bias edging becomes raggedy with wear.

The walls of the grand ballroom are covered with painted murals. A volunteer was playing the grand piano - I could have sat and listened for hours. (Such amazing acoustics!) Filoli

But I wasn't willing to wait. :)


As soon as I finished the jacket, I sat down and went to town. I fringed the entire edge using only my fingernails.

Taken while creating the fringe

I love the effect! Especially how the fringe releases the taupe and blue threads.

Filoli has a very nice gift shop where I found this bangle bracelet. Perfect for a sewist!

I was in JoAnn's recently, buying the tear away stabilizer needed for the neckline, and I checked out their buttons. I found these 1/2" buttons that were a perfect color match, but they were so small that I grouped them in pairs along the front edge. (I would have preferred a larger button, but JoAnn's button selection is much smaller than it used to be and they only had these in 1/2".)

Last weekend my eldest daughter was home for a few days for spring break with a friend. I had less than one day to spend with her, and I wanted to head to 2 different gardens. She took some photos of the Silva. We first visited Hakone Gardens, in Saratoga, CA. Parts of "Memoirs of a Geisha" were filmed at Hakone and, right now, the cherry blossoms are blooming. Next we visited Filoli Gardens, in Redwood City, CA, where the tulips have been in full bloom.


DD2 decided to stay in Minnesota for spring break, to save some money. I missed her!

Driving home after a lovely day

I have started working on my next project. I'm having fun with an interesting fabric from Britex.

Have a great week!