Pattern puzzle: Pattern Magic Style #53 pt.2

pm_2_fullContinuing from yesterday, I re-worked my sample and got an improved result for my efforts. I’ve also uploaded side views if you’re interested in seeing those (one and two). I think it fits rather nicely so it is wearable in that respect. In the process of making this mock up, I figured out a few things and further down, have posted photos of the construction so you can follow along if you’re of the inclination to do so.

Before I forget, none of these folds were tacked in place as was illustrated in the Pattern Magic book. To my way of thinking, tacking the folds was the weak link so I wanted to get away from that to set the folds in such a way they wouldn’t collapse due to my haphazard and impatient basting. To say nothing of having the folds perform considering my carelessness  with clothing, having to launder it et cetera. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t like to babysit clothes.

I’m uncertain as to the best fabrication for this detailing. I had thought this style would be great in something crisp like linen but now I’m not so sure. I suppose it could depend on the look you want. Linen will crease so if you want to keep soft folds, 100% linen probably isn’t the way to go because it will need to be ironed. Actually, ironing will be the problem period. I will have to try pressing the folds into place to see what it looks like. Obviously it will change the look of it but it could work. On the other hand, using scientific rigor and all, I could actually turn on my iron and try to iron it to see how tricky it would actually be instead of moaning about it. But no, whining is more fun. Seriously, I love linen so I may just try it.

Another fabrication option is something bendy and soft but then you could get dicey results with the give of bias grain. An option would be to fuse it to stabilize it but you’d have to be mindful of fusing weight so it is congruous with the results you want.

As far as construction goes, I think it would be helpful to cut a lightweight paper copy of the pattern along with the fabric. It would be optimal to make the folds in the paper copy and use it as a guide to make the folds and join seams of the fabric. Maybe it is just me but my head got twisted around several times and I had to refer back to the paper guide to keep myself on track.

The sewing portion itself was very minimal and simple. Personally I do not like exposed raw edges but I didn’t fret over them for the mock up. Were I to do a real blouse, I would probably overlock those edges. Failing to overlock them wouldn’t be a deal killer though because most of the seams are on the bias and accordingly, do not fray.

Okay, so here is the construction showing step one, step two and so on. There really isn’t much room for me to comment on them so I will leave that to you. Feel free to pose any questions you have.

pm2_construct1

pm2_construct2

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For what it’s worth, I enjoyed this project. It is nice to do something pattern-intellectually stimulating. I do have ideas of how I would like to incorporate this as a concept in future products even if it is limited to my own enjoyment. I can’t even imagine having to pass something like this off to a sewing contractor…

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31 comments

  1. Sandy Peterson says:

    Kathleen, you are so funny!

    “On the other hand, using scientific rigor and all, I could actually turn on my iron and try to iron it to see how tricky it would actually be instead of moaning about it. But no, whining is more fun.”

    I don’t know why, but I like this blouse. It’s very pretty in just the muslin.

    Are you just over lapping the cut edges and stitching, and then tacking the folds in place? I know you said that you didn’t tack the folds in place but it looks like it or was that for the previous example?

    How do you think a silk dupioni would work with this pattern?

  2. dosfashionistas says:

    My vote is for a soft, but not too lightweight fabric. A rayon challis would be nice. When I look at what the pleating is really doing, the top two sets are forming a frame for the face, almost like a cowl collar. I want to see them soft, draping slightly. ??

  3. Kim Turner says:

    Hi Kathleen

    Thanks for these two articles as I had actually tried my hand at this pattern and it was a shocking disaster. Having the Japanese book and not speaking or reading a word of Japanese myself probably didn’t help. Anyway, I might just go back and give this pattern another go as I can see me wearing a dress with a front like this.

    Kim

  4. re: types of fabric
    I’ve done a similar design in both matelassé and a heavy silk, specifically for the bias drape. The folds met (rather than staggered) with decorative buttons at a short, lower CF seam, but the technique was very much the same. I kept the fabric flat on my cutting table during the manipulation so those fragile edges didn’t stretch out. Worked well. The matelassé was a hip-length top and the silk was a long dress. No idea where they and their reference photos have gone.

    Gorgeous concept, fine implementation, Kathleen.

  5. Mary Marik says:

    For a fabric, maybe a medium-weight wool double knit would work. It would be heavy enough so that it would bend, not crease, and would be flexible. Maybe it wouldn’t have to be lined. And it might not have to be pressed.

  6. Matthew Pius says:

    Thanks from me too! The pattern magic book is great, but even in English the instructions are spare to say the least. It’s good to see the patterning and construction process elucidated. I’ve thought about experimenting with the collar designs. But I can’t decide if they’re too outre’ for me to actually wear in public. :- ) Bravo for you for actually putting pen to paper (and chalk to cloth).

  7. Kathleen says:

    Before I forget, there is a forum thread that goes along with this post. The whole issue of marking the folds will be critical. That is boring but typically the hang up in challenging pattern work.

    Are you just over lapping the cut edges and stitching, and then tacking the folds in place? I know you said that you didn’t tack the folds in place but it looks like it or was that for the previous example?

    Perhaps I should have said tacking of another sort. The book shows tacking at the top of the folds. I did tack but it was to hold the folds in place before seaming. I did not overlap cut edges but formed a scant 1/8″ seam. That was how I designed the allowances; guidance on all of this was absent in the book. I guess the author decided that if you had the wherewithal to figure out the draft, you could also figure out optimal seaming.

    The pattern magic book is great, but even in English the instructions are spare to say the least.

    I was hoping they were better in English. There is another style I want to do next. Coincidentally enough, #53 from PM2. The drafts are so limited that I’m hoping the text provides some hints! Does anyone have PM2 and can tell me what that page says?

  8. Lisa Blank says:

    I was hoping they were better in English. There is another style I want to do next. Coincidentally enough, #53 from PM2. The drafts are so limited that I’m hoping the text provides some hints! Does anyone have PM2 and can tell me what that page says?

    #53 from PM2 is the one with the knots, right? The instructions are on pages 64 and 65. I’d say there is a lot more to go on than what you had for your first design. There’s more than could be written here, though. It involves dividing up the neckline and bodice into sections and then adding lengths of fabric to join the various pieces.

  9. Lisa Blank says:

    Taking a deeper look, I see that only some of the sections are connected. The others simply have lengths of fabric extending from them, and their ends are tucked in rather than connected to anything. There’s a close-up picture of the knots on p. 61 where you can see an end sticking out at the top.

  10. Kathleen says:

    #53 PM2 is a cropped top with a fold radiating from the opposing side at the neckline and hem. I wouldn’t wear a cropped top but thought if I could get the draft down, a skirt could be attached to a stay or lining that was joined to the top. If you have this in English, I would love the instructions! It is on pg 75 of my book.

  11. Lisa Blank says:

    Interesting. That appears to be #57 in the English version with instructions on p. 79. You will love this. The book says, “…the shape of the neckline and the hemline changes according to the facing….” I’ll move this convo into the forum.

  12. marie says:

    I think linen could be great, and that means non-ironed. I think linen folds and creases so nicely when you don’t iron, I love that look. Clothes are grown up , I agree.

  13. Marie-Christine says:

    I’d probably use a knit with some body, but I realize that may not be ideal for New Mexico weather? Definitely something without ironing though, the softness of the pleats seems essential to me.
    Totally agree with low-maintenance clothes. It’s one thing to spend time and care on making them, quite another to do it every time I wear them..

  14. Ed T says:

    Surprisingly I found most of her pattern ideas really cool but fairly easy to do…provided that you have the Jap. version…english/french ones leave out the colored lines(in grayscale)…Having done most, yeah certain ones were trickier than others…Of course taking a whole slew of pattern classes during my time in FIDM helped too. I did the center bow + something else in one pattern out of poly satin taffeta. Turned out quite nice..though when sewing it was a B.

  15. Sheila says:

    There’s a ‘vintage’ dress for sale on Etsy that has been in my inspiration folder for a while (if it were any color other than bubblegum pink, and not satin, and less expensive I might have bought it already), that uses what I imagine is a similar (upsidedown) technique in the skirt:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/78435262/50s-s-pink-wiggle-dress-ceil-chapman.

    No affiliation with the sale, I swear. I just think the fabric manipulation is interesting.

    After seeing what the pattern pieces look like that achieve this effect, maybe I’ll just play around with making my own in a color and fabric that works for me.

  16. Kathleen says:

    Carol, I love your idea of the dress! I didn’t like the idea of a horizontal waist line but your asymmetrical line is a much better option. So, maybe I could make a dress.

    Gah. Then I would have to wear it. My husband would probably have a stroke.

  17. Kristen says:

    I sewed #53 with silk velvet as my first project from Pattern Magic. The apex of the asymmetrical hem lands just above the belly button but is perfect with highwaisted pants, an attached skirt would also be great and easy.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Carol, I’ve been having trouble posting too. In the end, I left a testing comment to that effect (it was on part one). I don’t know what the issue is and it is so frustrating! The system wasn’t letting me comment unless I logged in. Btw, I wasn’t even trying to leave a link… anyway, I’ve added your link. Thanks.

  19. Christina says:

    For converting this design into a dress, how about extending the “waistline” seam in back to a V? The bottom of the V might end near the hem, depending upon the angle of the “waistline” seam. Please don’t do a y-shaped dart with each leg pointing to the apex of the buttocks–that would be tacky. It might be interesting to do just 1 y-shaped dart/pleat with the legs pointing to the apex of the shoulderblades.

    I do like the idea of an action-back, though. If/when I make this, I want it to be tunic length, somewhere just below the widest point of the hips. I don’t need any more dresses than I already have.

  20. Patrick says:

    Great books, and one of many interesting shapes, but most of them are coming from Christian Dior styles from the 40’s and 50’s. More evidently the style of some ‘fake’ collars and ties, also dripping backs were inspirational for this pattern maker. Still, great book and tons of other modern ideas. These may be declined and not taken so literally if you wish to wear them yourself.
    I disagree though about the crease, if it should be ironed, it shouldn’t either be made in a soft rolling or shiny fabric. You loose the “edgy” aspect of the model, and take a serious risk to look like those tacky pink cushion covers or old fashion fake porcelain dolls. You should keep the structural aspect of this garment. Japanese fashion is very close from Architecture. Well, that’s my opinion. I’m puzzled now: Should I get the European edition or the Japanese…?

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Kathleen and Kristen. Thanks so much for posting on this topic. I drafted up this pattern a week ago, and tried to construct it last night. I thought it would be simple, but I could not figure out. I was wondering if you’re sewing along the cut edge completely, or if it is only tacked down. I kept on trying to tack it down, plus sew the open seam right sides together, but could not get it sewn shut.

  22. Kathleen says:

    Karen, when you sewed yours, did you refer to this post beforehand or did you only find it after the fact? I tacked the tucks in place before I sewed the seams right side together. Do you have photos of your process?

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Kathleen. I found this post last week, but didn’t have my computer at my sewing table. So right now, I just made a paper copy, and used a stapler to construct it, and I think I know what my confusion is. So on your first picture, is that the right side or wrong side? Esthetically, I think all the folds should be puffing outwards, and not inwards, and so your first picture should be from the front side. But when I try to construct it, I can only sew right sides together if all of my folds are folded to the backside, and not to the front side. Help!

  24. Karen says:

    I figured it out! I’m so excited! So from the outside, you fold it upwards, and you do sew along the seam allowance right sides together. I’m definitely making this into a top or dress now!

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