Monday, September 19, 2011

Unique Clothes, top "p"

A new top; this one is top "p" from the Japanese pattern book Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa.  I was intrigued by and loved the look of this little thing from the first, and always knew I would get around to making one up.  I love how when you see it from the front you are just like... oh, an ordinary little top, it's OK but not breaking any ground here; but from the back, wooo, what is happening with that top?  Is it a wrap, is it a shawl or is it a top?  As is usual with the delightfully unpredictable nature of Japanese designs, one isn't quite sure.
I finally got brave enough to use some of the fabric I bought from Tessuti's in Melbourne nearly a year ago (!), a piece of milk-chocolate coloured heavy-ish silk that has a quietly textured matte surface, and blessedly no right side, making it ideal for this project.  It is completely divine against the skin; soft, slippery and drape-y, so naturally a real *&%# to work with.    Out of the three pieces I bought in Tessuti's this is the first to be made up.  So if you hadn't worked it out, I have to confess right here to being pretty overwhelmed by those fabrics; I know that is pretty silly and illogical, but you know when you've bought something really special the likelihood making a big ugly expensive mistake looms a heck of a lot more menacingly...   Well, it's not like I can just pop back to the store to get a bit more now, is it?  Hmmm, whole different kettle of fish when you're two thousand miles away, right?  And fabric from Tessuti's is not cheap even to start with... I think you can grasp at the foundations behind my trepidation here now.  But I think my new top is a success.
The design is a simple concept once you've seen it laid out flat like below; the back when worn has one twist in it, and the two fronts are attached one positioned up the other the down, and the back piece has the armholes; one up and one down.  So clever, no?
The top is not difficult to make, the only proviso is that care must be taken with the finishing.  Since the hemlines are sometimes inside sometimes outside the finishes are visible and so have to be done well.  Hence, the side and shoulder seams are flat felled, and the lower/upper hems are finished with a self bias strip and hand-stitched down to the other side.  So the bias strip ends up half on the inside and half on the outside and switches from one to the other halfway along the hemline.  Hmmm, if you're not understanding well it's kinda hard to explain.  But nowhere near as hard as it was getting those silk bias strips stitched down neatly in an even width hemline... whew.  This fabric is soft and drapey, but it has quite a springy robust nature and was not the slightest bit obedient.
I need get out some nice easy cotton or linen next I think...


Details:
Top; top "p" from the Japanese pattern book Unique Clothes Any Way You Like by Natsuno Hiraiwa, made of brown silk
Shirt; my own design, a mix of patterns, black cotton, details here
Jeans; Burda 7863, khaki stretch gabardine, details and my review of this pattern here
Boots; Andrea and Joen, from Uggies in Dunsborough (now renamed Boutique Eco)

24 comments:

  1. that is literally a magical design - your handstitching is immaculate. I love your top.
    I only live a couple of hours drive from Tessutis and have never been there - CRAZY.It is always on my to do list.

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  2. That certainly is an intriguing design! Great colour.

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  3. It is so cool from the back, and just lovely and classic from the front. What a gorgeous garment to make from your special fabric.
    I once used some $50 per metre fabric from Tessuti - my MIL bought it for me to make flowergirl dresses for my daughters to wear to my SIL wedding (how complicated is that sentence!) It lay on the table for 48 hours before I could cut it. Scary. I have some scraps somewhere..... It is that thrifty gene being ridiculous in my case. The world will not come to an end if I damage some fabric.

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  4. How unusual and unique! The fabric you chose looks to be perfect for this design, even if it didn't behave.

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  5. Carolyn thanks for your inspiring comment yesterday! I might have heard about those things before, but you know how it is, I gotta forget some things to make room for new things or for finding them out again:)) I hope you liked my post! Love the drape of that brown silk and what an ingenious pattern! Thought of something like this some time ago, glad to discover it's been done so that I can move on to other things:))But it's nevertheless a wonderful wonderful piece of clothing!
    ℳαℊḓ@

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  6. That is SO cool. That really is genius- one arm hole up, one down. I love seeing it flat. Gorgeous!

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  7. OMG! This is quite possibly my favourite thing you've made (and you've made some pretty awesome things!). I'm totally gonna copy you!

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  8. can you send me an email at magdmagdafashion at gmail dot com? I'd like to ask you something:) Thanks!

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  9. fascinating! great selection from the book, I like the surprise of the twist back.

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  10. I'm pretty sure I've accidentally made this top before. I love the way it looks when it's intentional, though.

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  11. This is gorgeous. That is all that needs to be said.

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  12. very interesting design! And kudos for wrestling the fabric into submission. :)

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  13. This is a really cool top! I love the way it twists. Is it comfortable to wear?

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  14. Such a unique gorgeous top! Looks good on you.

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  15. hi Carolyn, I have this book and have looked at this top+++. Is it comfortable? I kind of imagine it will be bulky when you sit back on it or it feels like it is pulling or 'wrong'. Should I give it a go? Yours looks great.

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  16. What an interesting top. I love the color and the fact it is made out of a soft silk. Great job working with this difficult fabric. I think this is going to be a fun item to mix and match in your wardrobe.

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  17. Huh. Cool stuff! It looks very unassuming from the front but I love the twisted back!

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  18. The top is super and looks fantastic with how you styled it.

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  19. Thank you!
    Fifi222; I used a very flow-y silk for my top here, so I haven't noticed any bulk when I sit back on it. I guess whether you do will depend on the thickness of the fabric you have chose; but I would recommend a very drape-y fabric to work best with this design, anyway.
    And no, it doesn't pull when you wear it, the design has allowed for plenty enough fabric for when the twist is in place...

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  20. Very cool! Drapy is very elegant, and this design makes the most of drapiness.

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  21. I love this top and can see it in the hotter months with white. The design is intriguing - I did this by mistake to a skirt recently - didn't realise how innovative I was! Your impeccible handstitching is also worth a comment.

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  22. I LOVE this. It's so unique and fun. Leave it to the Japanese to design something so awesome and unconventional looking. I'm actually really tempted now to order a Japanese pattern book. I'm just intimidated with the whole thing being in Japanese and all.. ha, how do you follow the directions if you can't read any of it? I know there are pictures but still, it seems like it would be a difficult process.

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  23. What a genius design. Beautiful fabric too.

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