Sunday, July 6, 2014

May Make a Garment a Month Challenge Completed!

The theme for May's MAGAM Challenge was:

I think my choice of Vogue 1309 - an Issey Miyake pattern fits the theme perfectly.  Let's start with how the garment looks on the envelope.

Looks quite unusual.  Right up my alley!

One thing to note on this pattern is the seam allowances are 1/4 inch so there is no room to let anything out. With this word of warning, I decided to make a muslin first before cutting into my $29.00 per yard fabric.

There are only three pieces to this unusual top (not including the bias binding piece - I'll address that piece later).  One long piece that is cut down the middle to become the main part of the vest and two smaller insets - one for each side.  After reading thru the instructions, I decided to place dots on all of the needed markings on the pattern and then transfer these to my muslin.  As you can see, there are alot of dots!

More dots.  This is the small inset for the right side.

After sewing up my test muslin, things weren't looking so pretty.

I mean look at this - it's huge!  I think a paper sack would fit better.

Without trying to flash anyone, the left front was flopping open so much it looked like a kangaroo pouch and the right side was so big, I could put my whole hand in it.

The back looked a little better, but it still reminded me of a shopping bag.  

After alot of pinning, and adding a pleat to the front drape, I managed to rid the garment of it's sack like qualities.

Another view of the pinning.

Just a few pins to the back.

That's better. Fits much better now.  Still a little baggy in the shoulder area though.

Back view after pinning.  Much better fit.

Now it was time to cut into the real fabric.  Since I couldn't write on my real fabric like I did on the muslin, I decided to try out sticker dots on the material. It's essential to mark every letter, dot, square, etc. on your material because the left side of the rectangle becomes the right side of the garment and the right side of the rectangle becomes the left side of the garment.  It's very easy to get mixed up in the construction process if everything isn't marked.

Here it is sewn up with no adjustments.  The sticker dots were great reference points and they did stay put thru construction.

Here you can see where three different "C" marks come together at one point.  And remember earlier when I said I would address the bias binding pattern piece - well now is the time.  The pattern asks you to sew bias binding around the two small square insets to finish their edges, yet none of the other edges in the garment are finished.  See in the picture below, on the right side the unfinished edge?  Well, it seemed pointless to me to have two pieces finished and then nothing else finished on the inside so I omitted sewing on the bias binding and just opted to serge all of the exposed edges that I could get to after it was constructed.

 Here's the right side again, where the fist could fit in.

Back view with the zipper pinned in place.

Using my muslin as a reference, I started pinning away.

Here's the pleat I added to the front.

More pinning in the back...

Once everything was pinned and I tried it on for fit, I topstitched everything in place.

Looks good on the dress form!

 And bonus - I think it looks quite nice on me!

I found the perfect jewelry to match on a recent trip to Carmel.

I am quite happy with the garment now.

Back doesn't look bad either.

Until next time - 

Happy Sewing!


  1. This is so very cool- I'm glad you made such a detailed review- it's demystified now!

  2. This pattern never turned my head (and for me still doesn't), but your version has resulted in a very cute, unusual top. Well done!! You look great in it with all your alterations. Enjoy!!

  3. What a great job you did on this top! It looks beautiful on you! And I really like the changes you make.

    Nora :)

  4. Really great job! I may have said heck no after the muslin phase but you persevered and now have a fun and funky top to wear! Enjoy it! It looks great on you!

  5. Awesome tunic.... love the style, fabric and it looks fantastic on you.

  6. Thanks for the great post. I love the look of the pattern and have some fabric picked out, but haven't tried it yet. I had thought this was a project that required a muslin for sure and might have just given up after the initial results you got. But you ended up with one awesome garment!

    1. Thanks Smuggler's Daughter. I would suggest giving it a try when your mind is clear and you feel the creative juices flowing. I wore it to work on Monday and received a ton of compliments. It's well with the time for such a unique garment.

  7. Great explanation to go along with your tips. I can see that a muslin is a must and I really liked your sticky dot idea. Your fabric choice was excellent. Beautiful garment!

  8. Gorgeous! Thank you for all your pics and documenting the changes you made to this pattern in order to get such a great fit. I looks fantastic.