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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ruffles and Asymmetry

It may be that I've been unwisely spending my brain cell reserves drafting and sewing ruffly tops. Or it could be that I've been polishing my rusty geometry skills.

Pondering what's-next-on-my-list potentials, I was flipping through a Mrs. Stylebook, and the appeal of the ruffly, asymmetrical details sucked me right in.

The front is plain. It has a facing, so the arm and neck opening have clean edges. There are bust darts, as you can see. I'm not entirely sure the bust darts were meant to be sewn into the fabric, or were meant to be dealt with in the pattern (bust darts being rare in knit). But, if you fold the dart in the pattern, something must be done with the resulting bulge and I didn't see the fullness released anywhere else on the pattern. So I did the darts.

The front facing is partial and if my fabric were any thicker, I think you'd really be able to see it through the front.

The front neck is gaping a little because, being creative, I understitched the facing. I think that's preventing it from softly turning under.

The front was interesting enough, but the back took a leetle more brainwork. I really like the asymmetric opening and think it would look neat without the ruffles, too.

The back is two layers: the inside is a full back bodice, cut shorter; the outer layer has the triangular opening and is pieced. The ruffles are attached to the inside layer, but I handstitched the legs of the triangle to the ruffled layer.

This page is the entirety of the instructions. I used a sloper I had worked on and tweaked a while ago. Drafting instructions are given for making 2 different slopers, but the one used in this pattern is also included as a traceable pattern. So I traced my size and altered it from there.

This top has some oddities as I've constructed it since there are no instructions: it's one thing to make a standard pair of trousers based on previous experience, but this unique top was quite a bit more challenging and took me several more hours than "just sleeping on it". I tried that, too.

The verdict? I really like the top, even though ruffles are severely underrepresented in my wardrobe. The biggest thing is that this was a test of how my customized sloper would perform and how good MSB's drafting method is. I'm pleased: even if my construction was a little quirky, the fit is spot-on.

Source: Japanese pattern magazine "Mrs. Stylebook" #154 (Early Summer 2009)

29 comments:

  1. this is a great top
    loving the ruffles but also like how its two layers - so you have the option to leave out the ruffles and do a contrasting fabric underneath, ooh the possibilities!!!

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  2. You could call this the mullet shirt! Business in the front, party in the back! I love anything asymmetrical, and this is fantastic. And I love your hair!

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  3. I do love the ruffles. It's great that you've stretched your skills. The colour is very flattering on you too.

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  4. LOL - laughing at Kristin's comment. I agree - a fabulous top indeed.

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  5. That is one awesome top. Looks like it is right off the runway.

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  6. I thought ruffles? As I started reading your post LOL. Then poof I saw them! How cute are they on the back of that top! Totally unexpected! But I have to say this looks like it was hard to make? I'm thinking this is not a beginner clothing sewing project especially with that one page being all the directions you had! Very gitchy this top is! :O)

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  7. I love this! And I think it's the perfect way to add ruffles to a ruffle-free wardrobe without them looking out of place or overwhelming.

    That being said, I think you are quite the superhero for deciphering those directions! :)

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  8. That is awesome. I was getting anxious about those ruffles though whilst I looked at the first few clean and sharp photos - I thought you might be about to say how hideous they were and that you had ripped them off?.. Phew, I was thinking entirely along the wrong lines. The back is fabulous. This is such a cool top.

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  9. Your version of this top is really lovely. I too was wondering where the ruffles were until I saw the picture of the back and recognized the top as being from an old issue of Ms Stylebook. I have always like this top because of its plain front with the ruffles located unexpectedly in the back. Another blogger made it using stripped fabrics which looked neat on the ruffles. The Ms Stylebook and Lady Boutique magazine slopers (same one used for both magazines) don't fit me well because of my non Asian like height. But the drafting instructions can be used, with my custom fit bodice sloper as the starting point, and I get a well fitting garment with the unique Ms Stylebook style. The magazine has some really interesting garments doesn't it?

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  10. Awesome! Totally unexpected ruffles. Very groovy. I like. Congratulations on getting through the drafting and lack of instructions. Well worth it.

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  11. Fabulous top. The back is fantastic. Such a surprise. Good on you for making it through. I actually like the front gaping. It reminds me of a mini-cowl.

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  12. Stunning top, and the back is amazing. I love Japanese pattern books, but wouldn't even dream of attempting this.

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  13. I gave away my only copy of Mrs Stylebook as I couldn't begin to guess how to draft the patterns, never mind sew them together! Full marks for bravery! And your top is rather splendid too!

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  14. Love the top and the unexpected ruffles on the back! It's nice to know that those high school/college math classes do come in handy occasionally.:)

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  15. Ohhhhhhhhh! I love this so much!!! What a great idea!

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  16. Beautiful! It's an interesting and wearable design and this turned out very nice.

    For darts like this, I usually fold them out on the drafted pattern and use the resulting pattern piece for cutting on fabric. The effect of the dart gets incorporated this way without having to sew it.

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  17. Love it. I have problems with facings on knits too. . .

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  18. This came out great. I was going to say exactly what Jali said about folding the darts out of the sloper/drafted pattern.

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  19. Your ruffled top and shorts with the welt pockets are to die for. I love both!

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  20. Looks amazing. Totally not expecting to find ruffles there. I love it!

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  21. Gorgeous! You're fearless, and it's paid off well.

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  22. This is so cool! I really love the unexpected ruffles in the back, and the solid color keeps it grown up and sophisticated (not that I would ever take my own advice and use a solid color on anything).

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  23. This is a seriously cool top! I just love the ruffles in the back, when you were talking about the ruffles, and I was looking at the front picture, and I didn't see any ruffles... but then the back is just wonderful.

    re your question about the twist top; it does twist a little while wearing it, but it doesn't feel uncomfortable at all. The twist just serves to pull the top in at the sides, and make it a good close fit. Sometimes I find myself tugging the hem down because I made it slightly "out", and if I was making it again I would adjust the hemline to make it properly level while the twist is in place.

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  24. I love it! The back ruffles are such an unexpected detail, with how simple the front is.

    I ended up taking your suggestion to add flaps to the welt pockets, by the way. So thank you.

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  25. this is great! I'm not really into ruffly ruffles either, but this seems like a good way to incorporate them. You are filling my head with ideas :)

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  26. What an amazing looking top. This is such a cool way to wear ruffles if you are not a ruffle kind of gal. I tip my hat to you for figuring out how to put this together. Beautiful!

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