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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pattern yes, magic no

I don't think there are many garments I instantly label as a NO. In fact, this could be the first one. I participated in Marianna's Pattern Magic Challenge, to get myself to make time for some pattern drafting. I won Pattern Magic vol.3 through theperfectnose's giveaway. I selected a piece I thought was interesting, but normal enough to actually wear in case it turned out well. I like the apple peel pants but thought the'd be too easy, so I chose the Stopper. Normally, the book says, things that twist needs something to hold them, or they will twist back into shape. This is called adding a stopper. Now I am still not quite sure what it is exactly that stops this top from twisting: explanation is minimal to non existent with this book.

So, seen the pretty woman on the right gracefully modelling the Stopper? Now lo and behold, for here is my version.

Ai. Not quite the same, is it? This just looks like a top sewn by someone who's just seen a sewing machine for the first time. There's several things wrong with it, and most of them are ofcourse my own fault.
  • Fabric. I used fabric from my stash, but I should have bought some lightweight jersey. This is a medium weight knit. It just doesn't drape that well.
  • Too small in the shoulders. It really pulls around my right shoulder, making the armcuffs stand out and pulling on the diagonal twist. This also makes it not comfortable to wear.
  • Using the fabric instead of ribbed band. It doesn't have enough stretch. I had to make the neckband 10 cm longer to get it over my head.
Not all can be blamed on me, though.
  • As I said, minimal instructions. It says 'stretch and sew' and the drawing shows which parts to stretch, but it doesn't say how much. As far as you can? Just as much as the length of the other side? 3,5 cm? Is this obvious to more experienced sewists?
  • This model probably would look good in anything. But that's also sort of her job, so I can't really complain. I'm just wondering if this would look weird on me anyway.

Allright, this one looks slightly better, but that's just the angle. There also seems to be a lot of excess fabric at my waist on the right side. Although the outcome is not really wearable (main reason being that it's uncomfortable), I really enjoyed drawing the pattern. I've put in Roman numbers for those of you who want to give it a try. The book just says 'draw up from the waist'. I do feel like my pattern drawing lessons have helped me here, I would've been clueless otherwise. I started with the first half, then cut it out and traced it on another piece to add the other half. Mainly because my pattern paper wasn't wide enough, but it also gives you an advantage. When you have to move the armhole, just use the cut out as a mall instead of drafting it again.

This failed experiment has not discouraged me. On the contrary, the other PM books are on my wishlist for Christmas. These patterns are a challenge for my newly found love for pattern drawing so I'd be happy to try a few other even if I don't sew them up in the end. Thank you Marianna for hosting this challenge! I hope the others have fared better :) View them all here.


  1. Those Pattern Magic books look so interesting! I would be very excited to see you make a second version with the revisions that you have identified. But you definitely need more TWIST!

    1. A second try is worth considering! I still think it could work.

  2. Interesting, and thanks for putting your analysis alongside the result-I'm sure it'll help others that are working on the same. So is the fabric you used a knit or a woven? I'm sure I've seen another version of this somewhere but I can't seem to find it at the moment.. XP

    1. It's a knit. But it doesn't have enough stretch. The whole thing is basically a bit too small I guess.

  3. Hi! I made the same top for the Pattern Magic Challenge, and I also wasn't thrilled with the results. I used a light stretchy fabric, that would drape nicely, but somehow it looked more "pulled" than draped... I actually thought that I should have used some heavier fabric, before I've seen your post!
    Same here with the shoulders, too small. I used ribbed bands, but the top twists back as I move... I think it looks good on the model, because she doesn't move :-)

    Stretching while sewing - I stretched as much that it matches the other side=about 3.5cm or so. Then I stretched both layers slightly while under the machine.
    I was wondering, that the front and back patterns are the same and I think the reason it pulls so oddly around the shoulders is because there is no allowance for the breasts.
    Mine gave the impression that I didn't have enough time in the morning to dress.
    I like yours better than mine. :-) If you want to see some pictures here they are: (I was late with submitting, so Marianna hasn't posted it yet I think)

    1. Hey Eszter, I think you're right that either way, there seems to be no room for boobage. And I don't even have that much to make room for! I still have serious doubts about how to put this top together, your way or mine. We'll have to email the author!

  4. yes it seems quite unfortunate... the fabric you've used for this project is infact quite nice. I hope you can refashion it somehow.
    thanks for the review.

    1. Good, someone who agrees this does not look nice :) It's gone already, it was a bit over this fabric.


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