Monday, September 14, 2015

Batik Seamwork Akita Blouse

When the latest Seamwork Magazine patterns came out, I was intrigued by the Akita blouse... one pattern piece? Could it work?


I decided to give it a try, as I had the perfect drapey fabric in my stash- some viscose (I think?) batik I bought at the Thamrin City mall in Jakarta when I was there last Christmas- they've got stall after stall of batik and ikat if you ever find yourself in Jakarta. 


I'm not totally sure what the fabric substrate is (it's quite drapey, doesn't melt or smell under a hot iron, has a bit of a gauze-like crinkle to it), I know it's hand-made batik because it still had a few stray bits of wax left over from the wax-resist process on it that I had to scrape off before they melted on my iron!


Anywho, back to Akita: the pattern is one piece, with no shoulder seams. It has bust darts, but is very square/straight down the sides: the finished waist and hip measurements are the same as the finished bust measurement. As such, for a pear shape like me, it required some grading out at the hips.


The instructions for finishing the armhole and hem slits are not my favorite- it seems a bit messy on the inside. You clip all the way through the seam allowance,  double fold the sleeves and slits towards the inside and sew, then  you sew the side seam. I feel like it's not structurally sound at the clipped part. After I completed my blouse as instructed, I realized that I should have used the instructions/technique from the True Bias Sutton blouse, which makes for a nicer, neater, sturdier inside, at least in my mind.


The Akita is quite long. Once hemmed, it still covers my back side. I think I'm unlikely to wear it untucked as is because it is so long and relatively shapeless. I think I would hem it just above the side slits if I wanted to wear it untucked.


Tucked in, though, it looks pretty good! A nice, basic blouse. Earth shattering? Certainly not. But nice, yes.


I like the wide scoop neckline and I like how the sleeves turned out with just a slight flutter to them. I think if you were to make Akita out of a stiffer fabric, though, they might stick out a bit much. Definitely go for something with drape on this one.


Seamwork advertises that this pattern will take you one hour to sew... I'd say that's doable, but probably doesn't include cutting and taping together the PDF pattern pieces. 


27 comments:

  1. Oh, this is really lovely, Meg! It looks absolutely sensational on you, especially tucked in. The slight flutter of the sleeves is fabulous! I hadn't even considered this pattern, until seeing your post come up in my reader and audibly going, "Oooooh! Pretty!"

    Lovely work!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary! I am really happy with how it looks tucked in, too... I was a bit skeptical, but curious! I think this pattern is very fabric-dependent. Must have drape!

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  2. I had my doubts about this pattern, but now I know what basic blouse will be added to my fall sewing. I must say, you have a good eye for lovely fabric.

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    1. Aw, thanks! I think this blouse pattern has lots of potential, but you do have to be careful with the fabric choice... it could go very boxy!

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  3. I had my doubts about this pattern, but now I know what basic blouse will be added to my fall sewing. I must say, you have a good eye for lovely fabric.

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  4. Thanks for the review! I know there have been a lot of naysayers about seamwork in general, but to me this seemed like a great way to use up some limited/leftover yardage! I think I'm going to give it a try so I'm very glad to know about how long it is, it looks like a good length for jeans but could definitely be cut quite a bit shorter for skirts.

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    1. You could definitely cut it shorter, especially if you plan to wear it untucked. I think you could easily cut 3 inches off the bottom hem and be fine... it really is a good way to use a small amount of fabric!

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  5. This is actually so much cuter than I imagined for that pattern. (Hope that came out as a compliment to you!) The extra length is good in case you want to belt/blouson it ... which I think would also look nice.

    Beautiful fabric/color on you too!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks, Debbie! I know what you mean re: expectations for the pattern. I was a bit incredulous, but I think it's got some potential in the right fabrics.

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  6. I'm curious about how the 1-piece pattern worked in terms of fabric efficiency. (Did you have lots of scraps left over, or did it use up most of the fabric?)

    I agree that is looks weirdly long (unless maybe you wanted to wear it with leggings), but quite cute tucked in. Did you try it over leggings or skinny jeans with a belt? I think it might work better with some kind of waist definition.

    Love the fabric!

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    1. Hey Jennifer, it's one giant pattern piece cut on the fold, so for scraps, you basically end up with two long piece the length of your fabric. I supposed if you shifted the fold over, you could end up with one long, slightly wider piece. I was thinking I might make a coordinating belt with the scraps, but they might be hard to use for anything else.

      It is a bit long, but I wore it to work last week tucked in to a skirt (exactly how I'm wearing it in the photos) and it was pretty great. Haven't tried jeans/leggings, but that could totally work!

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  7. Damn you Seamwork and your alluring designs, but your weird/shotty assembly techniques!! Why do you always have to do things in such crazy ways? And who are these insanely quick sewers?

    Tangent aside, I think your blouse is lovely and it looks great tucked in. That fabric is beautiful! I am so amazed at how much you sew and blog. I think I could probably keep up with you on the sewing front, but you are miles ahead of me on blogging. How's stash mountain? (I wish I could say I coined that term, but I didn't - I am going to use it all the time now though. HA!)

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    1. Ha ha, I agree, some of the sew times are a bit crazy. You'd have to be really speedy and really focused to achieve those times!

      I think I'm a fast blogger because I basically write for a living, so it comes easily to me. Also, I sorta outline the blog post as I make the garment, writing down techniques, changes, critiques and funny things that come to mind as I sew. Then I basically fill in the gaps and drop in the photos.

      Stash mountain is slowing being whittled away! I am staying strong (it helps that I had a gift certificate to spend, which is within the rules... ha!)

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  8. It is pretty darn cute on you! I agree with you about that type of construction technique, don't think/know it isn't as structurally sound.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think I would change up the side seam/side split construction a bit next time for a more neatly finished and secure look.

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  9. It's lovely. I think it showcases that gorgeous fabric really well. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the one piece thing. So it's a piece shaped like a smock with a hole for the head? And then just two side seams to sew up?

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    1. Thanks, Masha! Yep, you've got it! It's a smock with bust darts... you just finish the neckline with bias tape, sew bust darts, side seams and hem and you're done.

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  10. I made this up last week and really enjoyed it. I'm quite a beginner and struggled to get my arm hole finishes lining up with my side seams so I'm happy to hear you didn't feel it was the best method. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Yeah, I think there are better, cleaner ways to finish the armhole/side seam/side split thing, and on such a simple blouse, why not take 5 minutes extra to do it a neater way?

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  11. I'm glad you made this-- I was really intrigued by it. I had no idea it was so long! I want to make this and the pants from the recent issue, but I'm worried they are too slim for my ample thighs and backside. At least I know I could hide the upper half of the pants under this super long top!

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    1. Yeah, a bit long, for sure! But easily modified if long is not your thing. I have the same worry about the pants, too, but I may give them a try out of curiosity...

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  12. Hi there. Your blouse looks beautiful on you. I havent used bias tape that much and I was wondering if 1/4" single fold meant a tape that was 1" wide, with 1/4" folded in toward the centre on each side. Does that sound right to you? What kind of bias tape did you use?
    Thanks so much
    Tash

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  13. This is a very flattering color on you. I like it tucked in.

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  14. I have this one taped and cut just because I was curious! Your version is very pretty.

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  15. Again, such a pretty fabric choice for you. So with one pattern piece, is it like a kimono?

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  16. Meg, you always have such nice fabric! I was really wondering how the Akita would work on a curvier figure and you look really great in it. I would never have thought it would be so long though.

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  17. Gorgeous 😀 glad to see what it looks like with a drapier fabric. I've made two already and have another one planned.

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