Sunday, May 25, 2014

Japanese Vest - Work-in-Progress (Oh...Transfer Troubles Solved!)

Working on a new Japanese pattern...a "vest" this time.  I'm having troubles with this pattern. Once again, I graded the size too big. There's just so much ease, it's hard to tell the outcome. After sleeping on it, I went back to my studio this morning to realize that the back bodice could be three inches narrower in order for it to lay out flat. I think this is about what I added to the vest pattern in the first place. The front panel additions are actually fine because most of my weight is in the front anyway.  I guess all-in-all, I'm not as big as I think I am. So that's a good thing.

I didn't make the muslin out of "muslin." Instead, I used fabrics that would drape in similar ways. The front panels and collar is a leftover piece of unknown fabric content. There's polyester in there and a little wool, but it drapes almost like a tropical wool (but lighter), which is what the pattern calls for. The back is a stretch shirting fabric that I got from Gorgeous Fabrics.  I like the shirting fabric so much, I think I'm going to use it to cut the final piece too. I was hoping that the muslin would turn out wearable. It will I suppose, with the exception of the new center back seam that I will be adding once I shave it off three inches. Here's what the photos from the book look like below. As you can see, it turned out very similar to the photos.

The pattern only had three pieces (thank goodness), but it was tricky. I had the vest draped upside down originally and couldn't figure out why the armhole wasn't matching. Duh...but I think it was an honest-to-goodness-lost-in-translation mistake.

Here's the instructions from the book:

The Pattern Book I used called "NOOY"
Pattern Transfer Problems Solved!

Some good news after attempting Japanese patterns for the fourth time...I actually figured out a better pattern transfer system. I call this the "sandwich" method.  I can now use it for any pattern. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Having the waxed transfer paper is crucial here because it makes a very clean line.  Check out my post about the paper HERE.

What you'll need: medical paper for your new pattern, painters tape, waxed transfer paper, your original crazy lined pattern, a tracing wheel, sharp pencil, various rulers (I use an 18" x 2", and a French curve #7).

Here's how I created my sandwich:

Excuse the bubbly sunshine that crashed my photo. 
Bottom sheet: my new pattern paper (medical paper) taped down with painters tape so it doesn't move.  Make sure the paper is bigger than you need, in case you want to add seam allowances.

I know...I need a better camera.
Middle sheet:  transfer paper with the ink part facing down. I also have smaller strips of transfer paper that I have around and slip into the corners when I need more transfer paper.

At some point I'm going to do a proper camera setup.

Top sheet:  The crazy Japanese pattern facing up, and then I trace the pattern

Trace away!

If you've got smaller sheets of transfer paper, they are handy for slipping along the edges.

I was putting my tracing paper on top of the pattern...bad idea. I did this for the last three patterns. This new way looks like it's a lot of work, but it's seriously faster and void of transfer errors because at least I could see the lines I'm following better. I mean look at this craziness:

I'll be making the changes later today, and then include the finished muslin once I sew the final piece. I'm still digging around for the right tropical wool to use that will match my existing shirting material.  I think a very light double-sized wool would work nicely. BTW, I got the shirting material from Gorgeous Fabrics (last Spring), and the polyester blend from Stonemountain and Daughter (15+ years ago maybe).  Using these two fabric pieces did not put a dent in my stash at all.

Happy Memorial Day folks!