Friday, June 10, 2011

Pattern Magic 2; the Vanishing Scarf

I've made my first project from Pattern Magic 2, by Tomoko Nakamichi; the vanishing scarf top.  Looking through this wonderful book I really couldn't decide which project to make first.  I'm not just saying that.  I really couldn't decide; so I got Craig to choose one for me.  He chose this one.  Obviously, hehe.   If you're interested, the dressmaking details are below...

Shirt; drafted from Pattern Magic 2 by Tomoko Nakamichi, of polyester stuff I dyed myself with iDye for synthetics in Brown, done here
Skirt; Vogue 7303, lined, in bottle green cotton velveteen, details here
Tights; Metalicus
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

scarf "under" at left, and "over" at right

The patterns in Pattern Magic 2 really are concepts, rather than lead-you-by-the-nose patterns, meaning there are no specific directions for finishing off these garments, or even how to make them so one can even wear them.  These sorts of details are up to the seamstress/seamster; this is why I really feel these books are aimed at the advanced seamstress.  Or seamster; whatever.  You guys know that when I use the term "seamstress" I referring to all of us peops, male or female, handy with a needle, right?  I just use that term because I would never apply the term "sewer" to myself; eeewwwww!  and "dressmaker", while very gender acceptable, implies that one is only making dresses.  So I kind of like "seamstress", when applied to myself.  But I digress...
This shirt as presented in the book had a few clues as to how the designer intended for the garment to be finished, including a central back zip, to be opening from the lower hem, up; and for a narrow front edge band to finish off those top front edges.  Both of which I incorporated, but I would do it differently next time around.  
For a start, I would recommend drafting a wide front edge facing which folds around the front edge including the neckline opening and enclosing the collar seam allowances, and attaching at the shoulder seam.  I think this would make for a cleaner finishing look.  See in the collar close-up below how you can see the inside edge of that narrow right front edge band?  I don't really like seeing that, and wish it was wider, and therefore invisible from view.  I would have done this if I had more fabric to play with... but with the scarf in place it isn't really too obvious when you are wearing it.
Plus, if I was making this again, I wouldn't have the central back zip, as funky a feature as this is.  Instead I would have the shirt open at the front and incorporate a hidden button band for closure at the front.  These are just my personal preferences for finishing off this shirt, and not a criticism of the design at all, which I love.  I looove how the vanishing scarf looks; how it is part of the shirt at the front and worn tucked around one's neck to disappear back into the shirt.  LOVE it!
I used the fabric that was an unloved remnant from my friend C, that used to be pale pistachio green and which I dyed using iDye for Synthetics in Brown, here.  My fabric was limited, so I used strips of bias-cut black cotton for an interfaced lower edge facing.  It is understitched and invisibly slip-stitched to the garment.
Because my shirt is unlined, and because I sometimes find the bottom edges of invisible zips to be quite irritating when against the skin, I hand-sewed on a little square of lining fabric to cover up the lower (upper?) edge of the teeth.
I also added sleeves to my design; well with a scarf as part of the shirt I figured it to be more of a winter-y garment, therefore sleeves would be more the go than a sleeveless thing.  My sleeves are quite plain, and for a little military/trench coat touch I added tabs with large tortoise-shell buttons.  Well, tortoiseshell; they're actually plastic, but I'm using the term "tortoise-shell" as a description of their colour.  I do not advocate depriving a tortoise of its shell in order to provide me with a button, no sirreee.
So, waddya think?

oh oh oh, you may be thinking I've forgotten about my son's birthday sewing, but I haven't!  It was actually finished, and wrapped up and presented to him.  Then I thought of a few little improvements, which are now in the works.  So when I've finished finished, I'll get him to model it in its really finished state for this ol' blog here.

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