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.