Magic Flop or not?

I’m continuing doggedly with my drafting review of “Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics”. Today, I looked at ‘Straight Lines and Curves A, the instructions on page 93 of this volume by Tomoko Nakamichi.

I unintentionally became expert in the technique used in this pattern whilst hamfisting many a knitwear seam, accidentally stretching one side against the other as it went through the machine and making waves. Someone must have been looking over my shoulder as I got going with the stitch ripper, and passed this design innovation around. (No, I haven’t shelled out for a walking foot, and don’t have differential feed by the way.)

The waves in SL&C A are built into the pattern. I’m not sure why they’re married to a much shorter length of fabric. From the front view, with everything pulled carefully into place for the shot, the effect is really pretty.

There’s a curve over the shoulder, and another lower down on the sleeve, and if only it would stay in place, I’d go for it. But, the curves flop, as you might expect they would.

If you stiffened or padded the fabric, you could probably get the curves to stay put, but the shorter piece on the shoulder length would always be pulling against the wave structure I think. And padding and stiffening runs counter to the properties of knit fabric. Why wouldn’t you just use a centre shoulder panel cut straight, but the length of the curved pieces?

So, readers,  have I got this completely wrong? How is it supposed to look? The example in the book, which is also on the cover, isn’t terrifically inspiring. It looks lumpy and bumpy in a warty toad sort of way. That might just be the colour, more grey. I suspect its the draft though. The overall shape is good, its just the way the fabric falls, wrecking the curves.

Here’s the pattern, a very simple draft.

You work on the front block, make a simple kimono sleeve, shorten it at the waist, draw a line for the panel which runs along the shoulder, and draw the curves.

Then you reverse it for the back, raise the neckline and adjust the shoulder line a little bit, and lower the centre back.








About jay

I design and draft patterns
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7 Responses to Magic Flop or not?

  1. prttynpnk says:

    I so enjoy these posts- I ahve no deep thoughts to contribute, but I love reading them, heehee!


  2. nehmah says:

    Question #1: From the photo, which is very good, I’d say the fabric is wrong for the design (which I do not like!) Also, I’m far too lumpy to be adding rows of foothills down my arms.
    Question/comment #2: Why keep fabric in a stash? Are you having problems finding the “perfect” pattern. Keep at it. I do like your choices in fabrics. Nehmah62


    • Pella says:

      Hi Nehmah, I wondered about the lumpy look too – cutting edge or cutting room floor? Why stash? oh a zillion reasons, the main one being that I cannot resist a great fabric at a bargain price without thinking about what I’ve missed until the next time. The linen is already on the cutting table, so virtue intact there. The jersey, well I rarely find a lovable one here, we have much less choice than in the States. The bold print will be a simple shift dress. The blouse fabric is a sensible wearable, but with a bit of a special look. I rest my case.


  3. Lakaribane says:

    I love all the fabrics you bought! Best time killer you could find, IMO. Obviously from a budget or stash point of vue, might not be as positive an act but still. Carpe diem!


  4. I think the top has potential, especially as you described over a dress. What if you eased the curves in like you would a sleeve to help smooth them out? I’ve never done this before but would a light, fusible, knit interfacing ironed on over the seam on the wrong side of the fabric help give it enough body & stability to maintain a wrinkle-free shape?


    • Pella says:

      definitely worth trying Dispararedisciplines. I also want to see what happens if I do recut the centre piece so its the length of the curves. In the pattern its much shorter and you ease it in.


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