Theme and Variations: My 2022 Challenge

 I can share!

I mentioned that I will be working on another challenge in 2022 and even thought it is 3 months into the year, I couldn't share it until now.  Last year I challenged myself to make a white shirt every month.  It was just enough of a challenge to keep me interested, and have something for my problem solving brain to look forward to each month.  This year I will again be making a new garment each month, but this time my starting point will be using the same pattern.  Each month I will make a version of the Fit For Art Tabula Rasa Jacket.  Spoiler alert!!!...They will not all be jackets!

I asked Threads Magazine if they would like to follow along and they said "yes."  So the posts for each month will be up on the Threads site first and then I can share them here.  Threads will probably be a lot more diligent about posting than I am....so maybe check in there if you can't wait!

I chose the TRJ (aka Tabula Rasa Jacket, but much shorter to type!) because it has been a TNT (tried and true) pattern for me for a long time.  If you have read many of my blog posts you have probably heard me gush all over this pattern any number of times.  It's just one that works for me.  The idea of starting with the same pattern each month was kind of a riff on classical composers.  They all have something called "theme and variations" so this is my version of that!  It will be a bit strange to talk about my January project in March, but now that we are on the way, it will just be whatever month is next.  So here is my first 2022 challenge project.  

The TRJ pattern that I have been using for decades...yes...decades, is just a wee bit tattered as you can imagine.  I thought I would treat myself to a brand new pattern and see how much I have strayed over the years.  Because it was well into January when I decided on the challenge, I opted for the print and tape version and spent an afternoon trimming and taping my new pattern together.

One thing I realized in the process was I would need to start with a different size than the one I did eons ago.  Already I was learning new things!  I decided I wanted to make a "straight-out-of-the-envelop" version as my first garment.  I did make a few minor fitting adjustments and length and width adjustments, but the basic kimono style jacket is pretty much intact.

Once I had my pattern the next step was fabric.  Here in Key West there is a lovely quilting/upholstery shop, but not much in the way of garment fabrics. (news flash...Mood is opening a store in Miami!!!!! Yikes)  I opted for a couple of Turkish towels that are all over the farmers' market here.  They would be perfect for the beach cover up I had in mind.

I had two towels and that was perfect to get all the pieces I needed AND match the stripes.  I did jog the stripes for the front band on purpose....just a bit of fun.  I love the side/shoulder seams of this pattern for many reasons, not least of all for how easy they are to make into french seams.  My towels were a bit ravelly and french seams kept everything tidy and together!

I am very pleased with my new beach garb.  It is light enough weight fabric to not be too warm and crazy absorbent after a dip.  I'll get some good beach use from it!  I just have to be careful not to get the fringe caught in my bike chain!!!🚲

On to February!  Here's a hint...another sport inspired the February version.