Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pattern Magic Challenge: a t-shirt with kakurenbo design


So, for the Pattern Magic Challenge, I decided to make this interesting, curved design, called kakurenbo (hide and seek). The flare of the skirt is designed in such a way that parts of it lie (hide) under the curves. The photos from 'Pattern Magic 1' above show this effect very well. A lot better, ahem, than mine does.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I had decided to take a short cut with my version of this pattern, by using an existing pattern as the basis for the design, rather than drafting a block to fit me and then modifying it to make the kakurenbo. I decided to make a t-shirt using Jalie 3132, which I have made before as a t-shirt here and here and a nursing hoodie here. I think this method worked OK, apart from my blunders, on which I will elaborate below.

The instructions seemed very straightforward at first glance and I raced ahead gung-ho, only to find that working out the 'hide and seek' bits was actually pretty tricky. I didn't want my t-shirt to be as full in the flared lower part, so I drew a normal curve (f) in the centre front and 'hide and seek' curves (b, c, d and h, i, j) on either side of it. I used a mirror image of the same design on the back, making six curves altogether. These were drawn below the bustline. The 'hide and seek' bits (b, d, h, j) then needed to be opened out as seen in the lower part of the photo below. 


Next, the lower section of the t-shirt is flared open at strategic points in the curves as shown below. I flared mine much less than the book said as I wanted a softly draping t-shirt.


 I was ready for a stiff drink by this stage, but I pressed on and cut out the pattern pieces. As it turned out, a stiff drink may have been more productive as I left off the seam allowances. Face-palm. Pattern Magic 1 did not mention seam allowances. I blame them.

At this point I screwed the blasted kakumbi-whatsit into a ball and threw it at the wall. And then had my stiff drink.

Some days later I smoothed things back out and carried on. I should note here that usually when I make something I find it hard to tear myself away, beavering on until it's finished. Not so with this particular disaster pattern. Anyway, I didn't have enough fabric to recut the pieces, so I continued with my un-seam-allowanced mess hoping that I could ease some curves from the stretchiness of the knit fabric. I was using a light viscose blend knit from Textile Traders.

I did a bit of pinning...


...and then some stitching. Followed by several days worth of unpicking and restitching every millimetre of every curve. Most of the restitching was done as topstitching, which seemed to reduce sagging within the curves.

I was forcing myself to continue this to the bitter end. However, every now and then I would glimpse it from a certain angle and think that maybe there was some potential there somewhere. Generally, this was soon replaced with despair once again!

Eventually, I emerged with this:


It's not bad as a little top for summer. The curve is kinda interesting, no?


"But where are the hide and seek bits?" I hear you ask. Well, they sort of got lost with all the unpicking and stretching.


But wait, here's one!


That's it. I'm exhausted!!

9 comments:

  1. Maybe the hide and seek would work better in a heavier fabric. Actually I like the look better this way. Maybe I need to take another look at this book!

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    1. Proceed with caution!! No really, I love the ideas in this book, I think perhaps I just started with the wrong one. Forgetting the seam allowances also did not help matters. I would love to see what you come up with if you try something from PM.

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  2. Brilliant, I had a good laugh over my breakfast cuppa (not at your dressmaking which I admire) but your great sense of humour about the difficulties with the kakurenbo top. It looks great and there are definitely some hide and seek bits in there!

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    Replies
    1. You've made my day. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post :)

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  3. Hi Megan

    You got yourself a perfectly nice top there. I hope you get lots of enjoyment out of wearing it and don't just remember the trauma of making it.... And you completed the challenge well ahead of the deadline.

    I've not attempted to sew after a stiff drink: maybe that's something I could try.

    Marianna

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    1. Thanks Marianna. I might have a go at one of the easier looking patterns before the deadline too. Also, apologies for the late response, I've been offline for a few days due to house renovations. Looking forward to getting back to some sewing :)

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  4. I think you need a heavier fabric than you picked for the hide and seek to come out properly. Something that could hold piping in that curvy seam, though I think actually piping it would look nice but be hell to sew. Anyway, I think you should consider this a very wearable muslin and try again in another fabric to make your drafting efforts worthwhile :)
    Also, have you tried steaming that seam? If you jersey has good recovery, it could help...

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  5. Thank you for your comment. Those are all excellent points and I do agree that heavier fabric would probably show off the hide and seek feature better than the fabric I used. I think piping would look gorgeous, but sewing it would be very detrimental to my mental health! I've just clicked on your blog which looks well worth a read. I'm off to make a coffee and do just that right now :)

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  6. This looks awesome either way! I have the same book but have yet to delve into it. I will soon!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I value every single one.

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