Saturday, April 14, 2012

FO: I May Be Batty... and a Japanese Pattern Blouse

Ta na na na na na na na - Bat-ManWing!

Pattern:  The blouse on page 82 of Female Spring 2012, size M
Fabric:  2 metres of very fine silky-feeling cotton from Croft Mill a year or so ago, approx £6 per metre
Other:  Vintage Schwanda "Ocean Pearl" buttons from Clover Crafts and Curios on eebaay; interfacing for front bands, collar and cuffs; thread.

This was a trace-and-sew Japanese pattern with very clear diagrams showing you how it all fits together.  If you've ever used a Burdastyle magazine successfully you have the necessary skills / experience to sew this blouse.

The batwing sleeve construction was really interesting: you sew the shoulder seam down the arm, then attach the sides of the sleeves to the side fronts, sewing from the front bottom hem over the shoulder to the back bottom hem. Then you flip it round and sew the under-arm seams, aligning them to the pre-hemmed front and back body pieces. Genius! 

No, I don't know what I was doing either.

Hmmm - maybe this is why Japanese pattern books provide illustrations instead of long-winded instructions!

I took my time and sewed it little by little across the past week.  I got through an enormous amount of thread, as there are double-rows of gathers everywhere:  back and front yokes, shoulders and cuffs.

I was very pleased with my buttonholes until I realised my chosen buttons didn't go through.  Luckily I had these in the button box from a previous eebaay splurge.


This is a totally new style for me. 

There is something kimono-like in the way the finished garment hangs.

FL says it's a maternity dress. Thanks, darling! But we both agree it is a remarkably neat fit around the neck and shoulders for such a billowing garment.
It would make a beautiful bed-jacket if you are looking for something a bit different for a pyjama party!

It seems to bring out my silly side.  Inhibitions?  What are they?

Compulsory back view, with extra wingspan
Ahem... where was I?
Oh yes - when will I wear it?
It is definitely not the first thing I would reach for if I had a meeting with the Big Boss.  I might consider wearing it if I was delivering training to colleagues with a proven sense of humour... though I would have to tone down the bottom half a few notches!

Yes, I am going grey, thank you ;)
I think its natural environment is somewhere slightly bohemian like a Degree Show at an art college, or a Fringe theatre performance.  But I don't tend to frequent either of those venues on a regular basis....

Which I think brings me to the conclusion that this is a "going out" top that I will keep in my wardrobe for those extremely-rare but not entirely non-existent evening-invitation occasions when I tend to panic about having nothing suitable to wear.

I have something now!  And if I keep my arms by my sides it might even come across as quite... demure?

Yay!  I filled a gap in my wardrobe without even planning it!


Donna said...

Saucy! I think it looks awesome!

blue hands said...

Looks good! I can imagine that washing up in it might be quite a hazard - all that fabric catching under a running tap!! Definitely something for the occasion when someone else is scivvying.

superheidi said...

Like the quirkyness of it. And you seem to like it as much as your funky trousers. :-)
I would be bothered with all the ironing though.

Gail said...

I think that's really neat! I would totally wear that with some cigarette pants or a pencil skirt!

Love your tag too!

Scruffybadger said...

O dahling! It is definitely something you can carry off. You are your own performance. It is truly amazing and I'm so glad you made it, It's beautiful and fabric choice is perfect. I don't envy you the miles of gathering either, but to what effect!!

Sarahel said...

Loved your holiday posts and if this is the result it clearly reaped rewards. It looks like the perfect partnering of pattern and fabric, and really suits you. The last pic is great.

Christine Laennec said...

I love it! And of course it looks nothing like a maternity top, because in case FL hasn't noticed, if you are 8 1/2 months pregnant, skin-tight bodysuits to show off the bump are de rigueur.

Perhaps you could wear it to work, keep your arms down, and then when people least suspect it, turn into a bat for a moment.

Marie said...

This is totally cool on you, please make sure you wear it loads! I don't think you've failed to fill a gap in your wardrobe, this is a unique top that can be worn casually and formally too!

Amy said...

The print is so pretty - and I think with a very structured skirt and the right shoes and jewelry, it would be work appropriate. But it would be so much more happy as a going out shirt! It just wants to MOVE. So fun.

Shannon said...

I really like the style and fabric for this blouse - well done! It looks great on you!

Linda C said...

I love that top. Gail beat me to the words-but I do agree. A pencil skirt or some very skinny pants would work so well with the bat top. And Christine's idea of suddenly turning into a bat and flapping around, inspired!


Gaylene said...

Utter fabulousness...maybe pair with some Clover trousers?

Emma said...

I agree with everyone! It's a fabulous top and you need to wear it a lot. Not least because you look so happy wearing it.

Pamela said...

What a lovely top - very unusual! One question, though... when 'going out', would you be able to wear a coat/jacket over it? (problem with sleeves...?)

Clare said...

I love this on you! It looks great with the shorts but I'm also picturing it with dark skinny jeans. I bet your daughter steals this at some point.

charlotte said...

oh my I love this top!

opportunityknits said...

It turned out lovely, much better than the one in the Magazine! I am generally afraid of big Japanese sewing patterns, haven't had much luck with them, but this turned out really pretty!

shivani said...

this is seriously fab. it looks great on you. I think it's actually quite versatile - would look great with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt, or indeed velvet shorts!

(I bought the same fabric - but have no idea what to do with it. I don't think I could work a batwing top though, amazing as yours is)

Carolyn said...

NICE! I looove this silhouette on you!

colleen said...

I think you look so beautiful in this!

Roobeedoo said...

Pamela: Yes I do wonder what to wear over it as there are no sleeves as such... maybe a shawl?

Shivani: I thought I remembered you had bought this fabric too! I had planned to make a pussy-bow blouse: I can imagine you in one of those!

Everyone: Aw, thank you! Yes I think you can tell I like something when I break out the silly poses!

hilary said...

Very pretty! I love that it has a "natural environment."

Sølvi said...

Oh this is so cool! It's got such an interesting construction, and I love the whole flowyness of it. Congratulations on a super fun and cool garment! :-)

theperfectnose said...

This is gorgeous! Yes, it is billowy but in a good way! Where did you get the Japanese book that its from?

Roobeedoo said...

Dear perfectnose (have you? Lucky person!), I got the pattern book from Pomadour / Simply Pretty on ebay. She also sells it on etsy but it worked out more expensive from there.