Stump the chump: pattern puzzle #1 pt.2

Yay I win! Or I mostly do. Sorry, I’m excited. This comes in response to yesterday’s challenge presented by Traci in which she gave me a pattern and had me figure it out. Nobody was supposed to help me with it, that’s the point of stump the chump. Next time someone sends me a challenge, I’ll have to work on it in secret and only once I have the solution (or whatever I come up) will I post it for you all to play along, after which I’ll post mine and everybody else’s.

Okay, so this is what I came up with:


There are more photos of the garment laid flat, I only sewed one half of it in case I totally messed it up and needed another side as a re-do.

The pattern presented some interesting challenges. Like most of you I figured out this was probably a dolman sleeve with a front extension cum roll collar. What took a bit of fiddling was how to fit in the gusset (that took the longest, mostly because I’m not used to sewing these in with such large seam allowances). The other quandary was the neckline. The first time I sewed it, I sewed the piquete (pointy thing) into a dart. I didn’t like that so I made it into a tuck. I didn’t like how that looked either so I experimented a bit more until I figured that one out too.

For everyone following along, here’s an explanation of the pattern:


Hopefully it is clear how the gusset sews in. It doesn’t look like it matches well but part of that is due to big honking seam allowance and also, that the quarter scale I was working with, wasn’t exact.

The front portion and the sewing of the neckline is below:


stump_the_chump_mockup_neck_flatAs I already mentioned, the pointy part of the neckline was a challenge. I cannot imagine how the home sewing pattern instructions read (I did check the spoilers before I posted so I know where this style comes from) but that pointy thing is actually a built in or “grown on” gusset. I showed with color coding in the above image how it is to be joined. At right is a photo of the inside neck of the muslin.

I’m wondering if the home pattern version did this as a tuck because sewing it as a grown on gusset is a bit tricky (again, the joining of seams is shown at right above). I’ll bet the original style made by the designer did it this way. I do have to say it was terribly clever of the designer to have engineered it like this.

So, how many of you also figured this out without the benefit of spoilers?

So who is next to present me with a stump the chump challenge? The floor is open.

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  1. Lesley says:

    I would have had the gusset the other way around – the long sections sewing to the front and back side seams, the short sides sewing to the sleeve – but I had pretty much the same result as you.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I couldn’t get it to feed in that way. I also noticed that once it was in, the back sleeve area was curved forward in a way that complimented the range of motion. It would be interesting to see what someone who had the pattern said with respect to how these pieces were joined.

  3. Lisa Blank says:

    Very clever and definitely not how I assembled my little paper version with tape. Was the interfacing piece for the front hem or some other location?

  4. Kathleen says:

    I never did figure that out definitively. If it were my pattern, I would have placed it at the back neck. I thought the fusible was going to be a bigger hint than it was.

  5. Traci Akierman says:

    According to one blog I read, the pattern has a whole bunch of match points that are lettered A-F and you are supposed to mark them with tailor tacks in 11 different thread colours.

    Joanne D mentioned in pt. 1 that this pattern was originally an Issey Miyake pattern that was put out by Vogue then copied by The Sewing Workshop. I was also curious about how that was okay. I found a bunch of forum talk that said that The Sewing Workshop puts out versions of designers patterns; however, someone on a forum swore that she had a SW pattern that was an exact copy of a different Miyake Vogue design. I also found a forum post on Threads that indicated that The Sewing Workshop has many patterns that were “inspired” by Miyake patterns but that the instructions have been streamlined “to make the sewing process slightly more straightforward”. Hmmm. Not having any of the Vogue patterns and SW patterns based on the same design, I have no idea how similar they are.

  6. Marie-Christine says:

    Oh, and Traci, Sandra Betzina, one of the founders of the Sewing Workshop, actually became personal friends with Issey Miyake. The story goes that she went to the opening of his show at MoMA with one of his early skirt patterns on, and someone grabbed her on the escalator and started to undress her.. Turned out the picture was all black and she’d come up with -ahem- a whole new construction method :-), and he was just thrilled by the whole thing. Nice guy who really likes home sewers apparently, that’s why so much of his stuff continued to be published for us even when he became really famous.

    So that’s how the SW got to re-issue patterns that Vogue had allowed to go out of print, even though it wasn’t a totally official arrangement, more like a gentlewoman’s agreement not to sue. Don’t anybody get any ideas about re-issuing other designers without their consent :-).

  7. Grace says:

    I would have sewn the pointier end of the gusset to the F and the fatter end to the back. I’ve added neckline darts to improve the fit in raglan tops and would have sewn that one a little bit deeper. Otherwise, I had the same solution you did. But, I have sewn several Issey Miyake blouses and have one on my cutting table this weekend. So is familiarity cheating?

  8. Theresa in Tucson says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Marie-Christine. If several of the Sewing Workshop patterns are really Issy patterns that’s probably why I’ve never tried any. Issy’s clothes are too angular and different for me and other than the Plaza Pant and San Diego Jacket, none of the Sewing Workshop patterns have appealed to me either.

  9. Marie-Christine says:

    Well, the SW agreement with Miyake was kind of moot after Linda Lee took over. So more recent patterns are theirs entirely.
    I forgot to mention that they did extend the sizing on some, because Vogue never went beyond 14. And yes, the instructions were apparently improved in places as well. Still, SB who generally advises to ignore pattern instructions and do what you know is right (see tutorials here :-)) does say that for Miyake you need to follow them exactly. Certainly that’s my experience..
    And yes, the interfacing goes in the back of the neck.

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