Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Scot-Jap stylee shirt

I had another go at the Kwik Sew shirt this time using quite a bit of the information in D.P.Coffin's Shirtmaking book.

It is Scot-Jap because the collar and general style is taken from James' fave (but defunct) shirt bought in Ayr, Scotland, but the fabric, being lightweight silk from Keitoya in Kamakura is not something I think you could ever wear down a wind-swept Ayr high street. Well, maybe if global warming _really_ kicks in...

You can read all the details of the alterations I made on my review. The bit I remain unsure about is how wide the sleeves should be. I did not alter this aspect significantly in my alterations and I wonder if they are a bit loose. As DPC explains in his book, if you increase the sleeve cap height you make the sleeve point more down towards the ground and decrease the width of the sleeve. I couldn't experiment with this here because needle holes show in this silk and with that and the 1/4" seam allowances I think putting in a new sleeve would have caused rather a mess. Next time maybe...

James always has problems finding long sleeve shirts that fit because they were always too short and fat. But for short sleeve shirts, he just buys UK medium sized because they fit he body. Initially I was very confused when I saw how looong the sleeves were on this shirt. Then I looked up some shirt shops on the interweb and found lots of pics of men in short sleeve shirts with hems falling at about the elbow. What a revelation!

Sewing machine notes:
Used a size 10 microtex needle, because it was the one that didn't go "thunk thunk thunk" as it stitched this fine fabric, and #90 thread. Finished raw edges with a 3 step zig-zag using edge finishing foot.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Marfy rugby shirt - 1493

I guess the Italian women's rugby team don't really dress like this on the field, but this is like a mix of a blouse and a rugby shirt with the addition of trendy empire waist and feature pleating. Actually I am not sure that every place Marfy write "pleat" on the pattern they mean it - I think sometimes they might mean "gather". Like on the back of this top, I think you are supposed to gather the top into the bottom. I sewed pleats and James thinks they are "a bit funny".

It is all a bit funny really, but since Marfy patterns are well-known to be "fashion-forward", this means that everyone else in the world will be wearing this style soon even though they don't realise it yet. Until then I will just have to put up with the funny looks. Actually I think "fashion-forward" might really mean "daft and will never catch on but if I call it 'forward' you fools will buy it anyway".

Actually I love this top. I made it from some super 4-way stretch tencel knit found in Yuzawaya, Kamata for 3300¥/m. Splutter. The fabric is light yet cosy. Nice for this time of year when it is still hot but a little cooler than scorching and yet shops and can be a shade cool with the aircon still going.

This is the second pattern in my size included in the Marfy Autumn-Winter 2007/2008 catalogue. I cut a size 42 with confidence even though the bust measurement of the pattern is a little small for me, because I knew the stretchy fabric would give me extra to play with. I ended up sewing 3/8" inside the Marfy sewing lines for the sides and arm seams.

I've only done 2 Marfy patterns but found them such fun that I have now placed an order for several more. Stupidly I like the no-instructions style. It is stupid because a sensible person could have as much fun throwing away the instructions on other patterns, but it doesn't seem to work like that. If they are there I have to follow them, because I am a good girl! I like that the patterns come with lots of little pieces (easier to cut out accurately) that you have to work out how to put it all together. In one way it is like an exam - you have to remember what techniques to use, or at least where to look them up. On the other hand it is kind of liberating because you get to decide where you think it is OK to take shortcuts without having to feel like you cheated. Well the really cool thing about the patterns is the way the seams of all the little pieces slide together like magic into such interesting shapes.