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SEWN: NO BOW TUNIC

Sunday, 22 February 2015

 

Japanese pattern books are making me brave. They really are. I've always been one totally afraid of deviating from the pattern as is. Branching out and trying different ways to construct a garment... that wasn't for me.


I'd slavishly follow directions even when a little voice would be whispering in my ear there's a better way of doing this...

Or what about changing a pattern - creating a neckline that is more flattering to me, adding a feature, subtracting something that wasn't quite me. Nup, not for me.



I wasn't always that way. During Bimble and Pimble's Sewvember I showed my best make ever. My formal (prom for North Americans) dress created when I was 15 (yeah, you enjoy clicking on that one), with the tagline Fearless, fearsome 15yr old me. And I was, fearsome that is. Go on click the link, I know you want to. We're talking largely self-drafted, couture techniques including fully boned bodice. I was the bomb! And I can barely remember how I did it...

I decided to take part in the Japanese Sewalong over on www.tanoshii-schneirdern.blogspot.com
being hosted by Catrin. (In fact the Pineapple Dress of Happiness was my first sewn item for the Sewalong. I just got so excited I forgot to mention it).


Anyone can join in and really, it was a no-brainer for me. It's no secret I have a burgeoning love affair with Japanese pattern books (see Dandelion Drift, the Siesta Dress, The Traffic Stopper Dress, the Sunshine on a Rainy Day Dress, and the Pineapple Dress of Happiness).

Dudes I found my groove.. and good god I like it.


And they fit me! Me! Right out of the packet, so to speak. No SBAs in sight! Clearly they are made for people with no boobs. Me!

This is the Giant Bow-Tie Tunic using pattern A, version 2, from Jinto Matsumoto's Feminine Wardrobe.


Obviously sans bow. In all it's trapeze gloriousness.


I made it up in a divine printed cotton sateen remnant I picked up on my first foray to Pitt Trading in Sydney. I'd never been before. It's close to my home, but I had the impression from their website that they specialised in very special occasion (ie wedding) fabrics and trims. Let me tell you it's a trove of fabulousness, and they are currently redeveloping their website to truly reflect their stock.

This fabric has a lushness to it that makes me want to sew expensive fabrics all the time. Unfortunately my budget is small all the time. But remnants... now those I can afford.

It needed to be made up... now. I was willing to forgo the bow on this make to just make it up!!!


And I am a happy little camper.

But what about this bravery I mentioned?? Not only did I not have enough fabric for a bow, I didn't have enough fabric for the facings included in the pattern. I drafted my own small facing to encase the back neckline slit. I know, it's such a small thing, but it's having done something similar on a Japanese pattern before that filled me with the confidence to just get on with it. Lord knows where teen Jillian went. I used to know this shit!

I now also tend to look at the line drawings for the patterns rather than the stylised photos of the pieces and I find myself figuring out how I could make it just a little bit different, use a pattern as a base for something entirely different. It's very cool.

Suffice to say I have another woohoo make! I love it like I love my Roxanne top. It makes me feel a million bucks.

46 comments:

  1. woohoo woohoo ... It is gorgeous!!! I love the silhouette and the fabric is fabulous ... you should feel a million bucks :)

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  2. It's such a great shape and that photo of your EPIC school frock made me hit the 'follow' button in record speed! You better have gotten an A for it! Here's to remnants and being fearless!

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  3. Everything about this top is stunning! Love the colours and the style .. You my darl have so found your groove......keep it going.

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  4. Totally woohoo!!! The shape is perfect, exactly the style I've been craving lately… Now I just have to find a fabric in my stash that is big enough to accommodate the bow. Even though it clearly does look very pretty without it, I NEED the bow in my life!

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  5. It's pleasing to hear you've found your groove as I know how satisfying it is! And my two cents... You look a trillion bazillion bucks in this outfit! Keep those Japanese makes coming... Toot toot!

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  6. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.com22 February 2015 at 23:31

    I love this book and this top is on my radar. You look so great in this I am going to have to find time to sew this up come the summer.

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  7. This is lovely. Beautiful fabric and such a classic, lovely style on you. I wonder what the demand is for patterns made for small busted ladies...In any case, I like this top almost as much as your formal dress....heehee, I did click. And super impressed with your amazing 15 year old skills and shoulder puffery.

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  8. Yay for bravery! I am the same with patterns and always admire people who hack a pattern and change it. I hope I can learn from you and your 15 year old self! (Of course I clicked and you look fantastic! ) I love the tunic without the bow, the high neckline and the cut of the shoulders is so pretty. I am glad I got to see the shoes as well ;-) You are right to feel like a million bucks in it!

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  9. Fabric Epiphanies23 February 2015 at 05:27

    Oh the 15 year old you looked lovely in that dress. I remember some teenage sewing that I fearlessly undertook....think leather jackets and and taffeta cocktail dresses without batting an eyelid! Your floral top looks lovely. I am loving this type of swing style at the moment.

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  10. J, this is freaking gorgeous! So happy you have found your sass with construction- what an amazing feeling! It's definitely paid off for you :D

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  11. Love it - must get to Pitt Trading next time I'm on holiday in Sydney ;o)

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  12. Thanks Sasha. I am loving this shape, I think I'll make a few more x

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  13. How EPIC was that dress? Oh man the cringe worthy frills, the puff sleeves, it was all happening. I actually was thinking back and I'm not sure it was my final work. I think that was a can-can dress of magnificence, frilly petticoat and all. I set ridiculously high goals for myself and I smashed them. Bring back the fearless youth I say!

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  14. Awww thanks Stephanie. It all just came together. It's funny how you can stumble on what works for you with no real intent. It just kind of evolves.

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  15. That bow is the fabric eater! Along with the facings. I used bias binding as a facing and even that was pre-made as I just didn't have a scrap of fabric remaining (other than that scrappy head band thing). You NEED a bow in your life and I need to see it, Tassadit!

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  16. Toot, toot indeed! Finding my groove has been a revelation. Maybe it will evolve to something else, but it's working right now :)

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  17. You definitely need to sew this one up. It's a great summer top!

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  18. How's that shoulder puffery? I spent so long on engineering the frills. I ended up sewing a teeny tiny channel in the edge and figured out that two widths of fishing line was perfect to hold the shape. I would pay big bucks for patterns for small busts. I hate having to do an SBA, it's a time eater and I have no time. Hint, hint ;)

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  19. So glad you liked the shoes, I aim to please ;) And thanks so much for your kind words, and not teasing my huge 80's hairdo in the flashback. It was rather dire :)

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  20. Wow leather jackets! You were brave. I hope you are still creating fearlessly, someone has to!

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  21. Thanks A, I am enjoying the new maker me. It's a bit liberating to know you are again developing the skills to truly make something your own :)

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  22. Thank you! You must visit Pitt Trading, it's worth it. And just quietly, they have the largest remnants area I've ever known, full of the most amazing pieces. But don't tell anyone, they may beat us to it ;)

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  23. Looks Amazing! Love it. Pips x

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  24. Love that you're feeling braver with your choices. It comes with practice, and sometimes a reckless approach!

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  25. Love it! It's the perfect shape to show off that fabric. I always like the look of Japanese patterns but I don't know if I'm too booby and hippy for them.

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  26. You found your groove and it's amazing! I love your sans bow tunic! Actually I've always loved that pattern, but was not sure with the bow. So this is it, the no-bow-bow-tunic!

    I also love the japanese patterns because they usually fit without any changes - so I hope to see you again durign the sew along!

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  27. You look a million bucks too! The cut and print is seriously groovy. Super cute headband too.

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  28. Welcome back fearless!!! ;) Love that you followed your vision, it looks great ;)

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  29. And now you have the perfect fitting top - these Japanese patterns look to be *made* for you!! Like MaciNic says, well done in reclaiming your fearlessness; the top looks gorgeous with no bow on its lovely trapeze shape.

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  30. It also comes from not being lazy :) I think sometimes I was just enjoying being told what to do (by the pattern) and didn't have the brain space to consider other options. Perhaps I've carved out a bit more brain space!

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  31. I know what you mean, Kat. I was never certain about how the invariably "sack-like" styles would work on me and seriously doubted they would. But what do you know? They look pretty good. I think it's best just to try one, maybe use a non-precious fabric and muslin it. Then you can look at how you might make it better for you if it's not quite right. They are very good patterns to hack :)

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  32. Thanks Catrin! I'm trying to read all the Sew Along posts, but time has gotten the better of me a few times. I'm hoping to make one more thing before it's over!

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  33. Thanks so much Bernice! And I have to laugh about the headband comment. Truthfully? This was a post-shampooing, no-time-to-style photo shoot before the sun went down. I literally grabbed the last scrap of fabric remaining (and literally that's all there was) and whacked it around my head (it's held with a few bobby pins) to make my hair look a little less blah. Don't look at it closely as the "headband" is a jagged cut, seriously sad looking scrap!

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  34. Hello, fearless! I'm making it sound like I tamed a lion. Really I only drafted an itty-bitty facing, but hell I'll take that :)

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  35. They are made for me, Gabrielle. I'm claiming the position of "muse". Hehehe. And really, you've got to love a trapeze shape, don't you?

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  36. www.tresbienensemble.com25 February 2015 at 05:45

    WOW! You're formal dress is really amazing! You did that at 15!?! Incredible. Congrats on taking a leap and drafting and altering this pattern! I recently did something similar, though basic , and drafted my own circle skirt. It's frightening to not use a pattern. :-D `

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  37. You rock prints and Japanese patterns. I clicked I did...OMG that dress! Big thumbs up to your trapeze top.

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  38. Michelle, how ridiculous is that dress? I'm only now beginning to realise how challenging that sew was and I don't remember ever being stressed about it. I was soooooo young. Good on you for drafting your own patterns! I'm not quite at that stage yet

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  39. Hahaha, that dress. I shed a tear every now and then as is it gone and I can't believe it. Lost or accidentally disposed of I'm not sure. I am loving my trapeze top though so that eases the pain :)

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  40. ouhhh... i like it! i would never wear flowers, but on this garment in your style they are perfect!!
    i also love your pictures and.... these shoes!!
    :-)
    S.

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  41. Oh thank you! I am not a huge floral fan, but I do like this print. The shoes are my favourites and I'll be so sad when they wear out!

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  42. Your tunic is amazing and it looks so lovely on you - and the fact that there is already spring or even summer where you live makes me quite jealous... ;-)

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  43. Ooooh, that is SO pretty! I wish I had one just like it!

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  44. Thanks Gail! Remnants are the best :)

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