I have been a big fan of Issey Miyake garments and patterns for many years. They are intriguing in the way they are constructed and the fabrics used are often quite unique. They are often more works of art than garments. Some are wearable, some are not. The Vogue patterns allow me to experience the creativity of the design and construction for myself. Every time I successfully complete one of the patterns, I marvel at people who can think so "out of the box", and lament my inability to do so.
I always enjoy the construction/process and feel these types of patterns force me to use my weaker creative sewing skills, compared to my fully developed process/ production sewing skills.
The tunic in this pattern is constructed using a huge rectangle, a small rectangle and a square. The largest rectangle has a slit down the middle of its length which you finish with 1/4 bias binding. It forms the central section of the tunic. The smaller rectangle and square form the underarm section /gusset/ and stays for all the draping.
|Tunic starting point|
1. Clearly mark all the dots and their associated letters for your size. My pattern was printed in blue ink rather than the normal black and the letters A-G were teeny and not located right next to the dots as I would have expected. The letter/dot combination is critical to putting this together correctly. My fabric was busy and textured. I used little pieces of scotch tape with the letters and arrows on them to mark the dots. I peeled the tape off the fabric after sewing the seams. All seam allowances are ¼ inch, and some are covered with bias binding so my normal marking method, snips into the seam allowance, was not an option.
|Underarm gusset and markings|
3. Read the direction through completely so you understand the whole construction process. Some steps make more sense when you know where you are going with subsequent steps.
I cut the three pieces out of muslin in a roughly 1/5 scale and went through the construction. Example : Size 14 main rectangle 19.5 x70 in , My sample 4” x 14. It was like making an Issey for Barbie. That helped me a bit.
I failed to notice that the instructions start with the shaping of the back. I was doing the draping and pinning together on the dress form. I assumed the construction of the garment started with the front. There was a bit of confusion until I read ahead to the end of the instructions and realized you start with the back. Needless to say, the shaping made a lot more sense when I put the fabric on the dress from correctly.
All seams are ¼ inch. My fabric is a sheer/solid stripe poly in variegated colors that had been permanently pressed with random crinkles. I purchased it at Jo-Ann Fabrics a couple of years ago. I serged (3 thread) all the edges that were not finished with bias, to prevent raveling. For some of the seams, you are sewing 2 bias bound edges together or an unfinished edge and a bias bound edge. This puts the bulk of the bias trim in the seam allowance. I used a zipper foot so that I could sewon the seam line, next to the bias bound edges.
I did put in the zipper, but it is hard to see against my fabric. I can pull the tunic over my head easily without unzipping it.
The garment was too big in the bust area, but I fixed this by doing some creative tucking of my own and taking bigger seams on the side panels. There is a big droop of fabric in the back that I think is unflattering , but for someone with more of a bottom, it would be filled and look great. This is one of those garments that will fit different body types, but may be looser or tighter on one person than another due to the bias draping of the fabric and the wearer's height, and size and location of hips, bust, etc. Ann has also made this pattern successfully in both a knit and woven and they look great. She is a very different body shape than me and she mentions some issues I did not have. I really enjoyed making this and like the way it turned out.
|Vogue 1309 Issey Miyake|