Front view of sample 1 next to sample 2, both after alterations.

I’m pretty happy with the fit of the first sample. There’s some room for a trimmer fit around the waist, but other than that, it’s looking good. And now, it’s time to add the sleeves.

In transferring all the changes from the muslin to paper, I made a new front and back. I’m not a fan of slicing up a working pattern unless I’m sure I won’t need it again. (And I’m pretty much never sure of that until I have the final version.)

I think of it as version control. Plus, I like my patterns clean and neat.

Then I traced the sleeve, added the stitching lines, and started contemplating how to best accommodate the changes I made on the corresponding seam line in the back.

Remember, I have a 1/2” sewn up in the shoulder blade dart and another 1/2” in the horizontal tuck so that’s a full inch smaller than the original back armhole.

I considered taking out the whole 1” along the grainline from sleeve cap to hem, but I don’t want to make the sleeve too narrow. I also thought about cutting the sleeve in XS, which would have taken care of about half the needed amount. But then I’d still have to do something about the other 1/2”, plus the sleeve cap shaping might be off. Ugh!

In the end, I opted to make two wedge-shaped adjustments, each taking out a 1/2” from the sleeve cap and tapering to zero at the hem.

Both adjustments are exactly where the back tuck and dart meet the sleeve.

Two wedge-shaped adjustments in the sleeve pattern.

A little blending to smooth out the jogs, a straightening of the elbow HBL (horizontal balance line), and a minor correction to make sure the underarm seam lines will sew together beautifully, and the pattern was done.

Because moving the bust darts and adding shoulder blade darts messed up the original armhole lines, I opted to sew up a whole new muslin.

Second sample – first fitting

Well, it’s looking pretty good. The new neckline is round and smooth, the bust dart is exactly where it’s needed, and the sleeves are comfortable.

They are a little long, so I turned them up almost 2” at the hem.

Front, back, and side views of the initial try-on of the Tabula Rasa Jacket sample 2.

There’s some creasing on the sleeves, especially in the back underarm area. That’s the tradeoff between range of motion and a neat look while standing straight. And I’ll take the range of motion over a neat straitjacket any day 😄

Now that the sleeves are in, it’s clear that the shoulder seam position is off a bit. It looks fine on the sleeve end, but far too forward at the neck edge. So that will need to be moved.

The jacket is quite roomy below the bust. Maybe too roomy, I decided, so I played with adding waist darts and reshaping the side seams, but nothing was quite to my liking.

Eventually, I tried something else.

Remembering that I was using the flared side piece, I thought, what if I keep the flare in the back and not in the front? I mean, it’s not like I have the volume equivalent of my butt on the front of my body.

And it worked! It eliminated the extra fabric in the front without altering the hang of the jacket anywhere else.

Front, back, and side views of sample 2 after the width of the side piece was reduced.

At this point, I’m very happy with this muslin. I’ll transfer these latest changes to the paper pattern, and then I’ll make a wearable version to test the fit in real life.

And because I was tired of the straight-on fitting pictures, I took some posed shots, both with the sample as is, and with the muslin collar that’s usually draped around my dressform’s neck.

Alex posing for the camera, wearing the Tabula Rasa Jacket muslin, with a collar on the right and without a collar on the left.

I really like it with the collar 😄

Now to make that wearable sample so I can finalize my Tabula Rasa Jacket block.

Happy sewing!

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