Friday, November 18, 2011

Bamboo shoot

...that is the name of this top; my latest foray into Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi.
The folds/tucks on the front of the design are like the new shoots on bamboo, spraying out to each side in graduated offset arcs.
I chose to make this design into a little top with short cap sleeves, a buttoned up back, and a wide loose waist band; necessarily a shortish top because of the constraints of my fabric.  Yup, I was using up scraps, as per usual!  From this linen shirt I made for Craig... (I know it may seem like most of my clothes are made from scraps, and I have to admit a fair whack of them are!  The thing is, I loathe waste with a passion...  and have been known to hoard scraps for years.... hehe.  Some day I will have to round up in one post the projects I have made, purely from scraps)  
Anyhoo;
I like this style of blouse, it brings back strong memories to me of the blouses we used to wear in our winter school uniform, over our plaid wool skirts.  Except our school blouses had a collar and were buttoned up at the front, naturally.  This top is quite loose, so I can leave all the buttons done up except the top one and slip it over my head.  This means only the top button needs doing up behind my neck, which is good, since I discovered that doing up that middle button requires a solid command of yoga...  And about that; I'm thinking it is about time some new moves were introduced into the Yoga repertoire along with saluting the sun, and the down dog and all that; may I suggest "lady doing up her back buttons/zip"?  I think that would be a pretty useful new move, yes?
The  neckline is faced, the side and shoulder seams are flat-felled, and the armhole seam allowances are finished with HongKong seaming.  The buttons are the little shell buttons that I bought in Tokyo, whilst out shopping with Yoshimi, Novita and my daughter Cassie, so I felt it was quite right that I use Japanese buttons for a Japanese designed garment.  Fitting, yes?  The buttonholes on the button band are vertically aligned, whilst the buttonholes on the waist band are horizontally aligned, this is a little feature that I recalled from my old school blouses, and wanted to have it in this blouse too.
The darts/folds were a little tricky.  In the photograph in the book, it doesn't look as if there is any stitching yet, but just folded in place.  When I first stitched mine in place they didn't look nearly as nice... so I unpicked and re-stitched and pressed them one by one, slightly inside their seam allowance,  so the stitching is hidden just inside the fold, about 3mm.  This seemed to do the trick, and looks more like the picture in the book.


Details:
Top; based on the "bamboo shoot" design in Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi, finished blouse of my own design, white linen
Skirt; skirt "m" from Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa, pink linen/cotton, details here
Shoes; Bronx, from Zomp shoes


So, with regard to the Pattern Magic series, I have some further comments it might be worth noting here for others wishing to make use of these excellent and very innovative design books... I have made up a few designs from all three books now and in my opinion the third book has by far the easiest projects; being both very easy to fit (they're all stretch-knit, and really, who can't fudge fit a stretch?) and also that they are all in the form of complete and finished garments.
A lot of the designs in the first book are in the form of design concepts, a fabric manipulation "idea" that one can take and build on; apply to some nebulous garment, the exact form of which is entirely up to the individual.  I like this flexibility, but it does take extra thought and some dressmaking experience to self-draft those little extras that are needed to get yourself a finished and wearable item.  For example, take the sleeves on my new top here... the Pattern Magic book does have dimensions for a sleeve sloper to get you started.  I discovered in my very early experiments in this book that the sleeve needed tonnes of adjusting to make it work for me.  Eventually abandoned the given sloper and made my own (the one I used here) based on the measurements of my bodice sloper and partly on sleeves in patterns I already had.  I found that the one in the book had a very shallow sleeve cap, that was like a straitjacket on my ginormously hefty arms ... Actually I'm joking there.  I'm not hefty by Australian standards at all, but when I am working with Japanese patterns I often feel a bit, er, well huge... by comparison.  Let me put it this way, when I am tracing the designs from Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa, I use the largest size, whereas in Vogue patterns I am a 10, and even then I always take in several centimetres off the waist.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a complaint about the books!  I love these Japanese pattern books with a passion, they are completely without parallel in the pattern world and I just wish more of our "ordinary" patterns would take note and branch out a bit.  Get out of that rut.  Just thought I would say more about my experiences here in the hope it helps anyone else wishing to make something out of these excellent books.

40 comments:

  1. It's gorgeous. And I think the length is just right. Suits the style perfectly.

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  2. I love this! I'm putting something similar on my queue, for sure

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  3. An absolutely beautiful top and so very pretty and elegant too!
    You certainly have put that series of books to good use and I like seeing your interpretations of the garments.
    On another note, I just picked up the latest Stitches mag today and your blog is reviewed. Great review - Congrats. I'm sure you'll have plenty more followers shortly!!

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  4. When I grow up I want to be just like you. Or at least, live in the bottom of your wardrobe...
    And Sam should be about to finish exams any tick of the clock, too. Well done all of you for surviving Y12!!! What does he want to do next year? I went back and compared the photos of here and when he finished - another handsome lovely young man for the world!!!
    PS Wont really move into your cupboard. Might stalk you though...

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  5. What an amazing, beautiful blouse! I'm going to get a copy of Ms. Nakamichi's book. The techniques look to be way beyond my current skill level, but I have a feeling a can learn a lot by just reading the book.

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  6. I finally purchased the Pattern Magic 1 & 2 and the bamboo is one of the ones I want to do, it turned out fabulous on your and it makes me excited to try it as well!

    Did you say there was a third book?

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  7. I love what you have done with this design. I've not used any of my pattern magic books - I really need to make the sloper and that is the time consuming part.

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  8. A beautiful blouse and ensemble. I have to live vicariously through you for many of these designs. Can you imagine how tragic these would be on an uber busty gal?

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  9. Your top is gorgeous - I really enjoy seeing all your different creations out of the Japanese pattern books. I've been a bit scared to take them on, because of my height, but I think maybe I need to dip my toes in the water. I'm very impressed that you mmanaged to eke the top out of your scraps.

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  10. supercute! amazing ideas in that book! Back to the guest post: let's say a top 20 or your fav projects.. 20 pics and a line about each.. you can sent it html to magdamagdafashion at gmail. It would be so hard for me to choose:)) I'll just write the intro:D Deal?

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  11. Your bamboo top is great. The details are subtle and sophisticated. It's witty without being so high concept that it suddenly wears you! It's really very flattering.

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  12. I love the bamboo shoot detail. Your top is lovely, but I feel it is dangerous to suggest that one might have liked one's school uniform, even if it was maybe a few years ago :).
    I think it might be a point of honour to despise it for all eternity.

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  13. My school shirt wasn't anything like your pretty blouse and was worn with a tie and tunic as well. Shudder.

    Another lovely creation, Carolyn, I do enjoy seeing them and reading your blog. Congratulations on your Stitches review.

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  14. Your new blouse is quite lovely. Soft tailored items suit you so well

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  15. This top is absolutely wonderful! Those folds on the front are subtle, yet they really do "make" the top.
    Presently in Prince George it is already about -17C and it will only get colder. How people survive there, I really don't know. Personally, I think I would go batty.

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  16. I love this top, my favorite item in the book and the one I want to try. wouldn't it be beautiful as the bodice for a dress? As for the sizing - very true, extremely "petite" and I am in the midst of making my own sloper to use for these patterns.

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  17. I really like the new top - it seems that it would be very versatile, and the diagonal pleats make it interesting.

    I had a chuckle about not being "japanese shaped" - my mother in law and I shopped for a chinese brocade dress soon after I joined the family in phila chinatown, and I discovered that chinese women are NOT pear shaped, apparently - it the dress fit my hips I would have needed a much more ample bosom for filling out the top. he he ... my son has inherited the no hips thing for sure. but not me!

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  18. I love this blouse and like that the details don't jump out at the viewer but must be discovered. I also wish that the Big 4 pattern companies would take a bit more risk.

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  19. Such a lovely top. It's such a unique and groovy take on a very classic look.

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  20. This pattern is the one that really caught my eye when I got the book. Great job making it up!

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  21. Thanks gorgeous! I've had my eye on that bamboo shoot pattern magicness for quite some time. Glad to see a real (achievable!) result :)

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  22. love that top...I still have to tackle those books. Love them but still are hard to grasp. Well done!

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  23. your top is sublime - LOVE it. Looks like it will be really comfortable for your Perth weather too. I too wish there were more variations in the easily available pattern companies - I look forward to seeing new patterns but they seem to all fairly similar to each other and previous styles. congrats on your Australian Stitches review too.

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  24. Stitches did a review on my blog? Gosh, will have to check it out...

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  25. Love it, it looks v elegant! I always steer clear of any tops which have buttons on the back in case I can't do them up before putting them on!

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  26. Your top is elegant. It's so pretty and elegant on you. Thank you for reviewing Pattern Magic. Now to take a gander at these books...

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  27. Oh Carolyn, this is so, so lovely! I've yet to tackle this book though it's on my 'to do' list. With winter coming up here, it may wait a bit. This is truly special!

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  28. The pleat detail is beautiful! You look really nice in nature-inspired clothing. :)

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  29. A very flattering outfit, the top is fabulous with the pleats and the skirt and top are a pefect pair to wear in hot Perth weather.

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  30. Wow I absolutely adore this top, and I want one just like it straight away! A good comment on the sizing - I looked at the Bunka size charts in my book and the largest size is smaller than me hmmm, so that makes it all a little more conceptual again.

    BTW did you see the version Kathleen Fasanella (sp?) was working on over at Fashion Incubator? I didn't see a finished version over there though.

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  31. I just had a look at this pattern and couldn t figure out how to assemble this top. I think it would look super with a peplum too. Respect!

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  32. I just had a look at this pattern and couldn t figure out how to assemble this top. I think it would look super with a peplum too. Respect!

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  33. Hello! I have only recently stumbled upon your blog. I spent quite a bit of time today looking through all the lovely things you've posted. It was quite enjoyable.

    I especially enjoyed all your Pattern Magic posts. I have the first two books and am awaiting the third. Alas, I have not tried any of the designs yet, but I feel inspired by seeing what you've done.

    I've also enjoyed seeing the many different versions of shirts, blouses, skirts, pants, etc. that you've made. How wonderful to re-use patterns that you know already fit!

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  34. Thanks for posting about this top! I got Pattern Magic a few months ago, and finally drafted my first pattern from it, which was this bamboo shoot top! Now I have to figure out how to actually make it into a garment! This will be my next project I think!

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  35. I've been trying to find a top like this for ages, guess I'll just have to make it now!

    www.vacantlake.com

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  36. Thanl you so MUCH for this post!! I am wondering to make this blouse for my mum but i'am a bit scared... this really help me! (Pattern magic is great but... it doesn't really explain you how to do things!) Kisses, elena
    ps:
    when i'll write about the blouse on my blog (www.elenaperletti.it), i'm gotta link this article!!

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  37. Not so beautiful as yours, but here's my try: http://www.elenaperletti.it/take-4-and-finish-diy-e-couture-pattern-magic-bamboo-shoot-takemoto-design/

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