Thursday, May 9, 2013

PPM #4 Knot Dress (Musubu)



The results of the poll were very clear: 68% of you wanted to see the Musubu as my next project. 25% chose Dekoboko, and only 6% chose Otoshiana. So I guess you still have a preferance for pretty dresses with big bows, huh? It was funny to see the result, I thought as a pattern the Musubu was the least interesting and not something I'd wear even though it looks the most wearable. Turns out I was wrong! I had so much fun making this. And as a bonus it turned out to be very wearable even for me, so you chose well. Thanks for participating! I included some sewing instructions, because I have a feeling you'll want to make one too. I'll do a special post on how to tie a nice bow later this week. I hope it fulfills your expectations!



Drafting and cutting
Drafting this pattern is not very difficult. Ofcourse I know by now how the slash, spread and redraft method works, but still I think there is enough explanation in the book. Other people also noted that this is no a hard pattern to draft. I used the sloper that comes with the book, and then compared it to my own sloper. The terms sloper and block are used interchangeably in the book, but normally a block has ease, and a sloper doesn't. Since every magic pattern adds ease first, I guess they are slopers. Anyway, I found out my waistline is more than an inch lower than that of the sloper, but only after drafting. I guess I had noticed before but forgot. I didn't draft a new one, but if you make it and you have your measurements, check your waistline against the Bunka sloper. I won't go into drafting too deeply here, if you do draft this you can always ask me if something is unclear. Another thing I did differently is move the zipper from the CB to the side seam. This way I could cut the back on the fold and have a more clean look. Widen the neckline if you do this too, or you'll not be able to pull it over your head. I also think my bow sits a bit higher than others, maybe I could have lowered it a bit.




Fabric
I didn't expect this to turn out wearable so I didn't want to use an expensive fabric. Since this was a project you chose I didn't want to use muslin. I was curious what the pattern would do with stripes (and the other way around), and thought these irregular stripes were pretty. It's always hard to estimate the amount of fabric you need for these patterns, it's never specified. I got 2 yards but at 120 cm (47") it was not enough to get the full length. I could have left it that way but got the idea of colorblocking. The black fabric is a heavy bi-stretch from my stash. Stretch is not needed, but it's what I had and it worked fine. The stripes created a nice circle effect at the top of the dress, so it worked out very well.



Sewing
I stared long and hard at some other knot dress projects I found on Burdastyle to confirm what I thought was the right sewing order (my favourites here, here, here and here). The sewing instructions on this pattern consist of ONE sentence. I started with sewing the separate front pieces, matching points C and A on each piece and sewing between these letters. You'll have to make a bit of a weird turn there, but it'll be fine. Then you can join the fronts at the CF and follow the one sentence: sew the bow section into a tubular shape up to C. Prepare the back by sewing the pleats and shoulder darts. I made my pleats a good inch deeper to get some more shape, and lowered them by more than an inch to get them to sit just above my waist.

  

Finishing
I channeled Ann from GBSB through the making of this dress, and I was very pleased with the outcome. Every time I wanted to rush, I stopped myself and took my time to try and get it right the first time. It worked very well, I hardly unpicked any stitches. The blind zip went in like a dream. I used a combination of french seams and the turnover edge trick to finish the raw seams. I used bias tape to finish the hem, armholes and neckline, and the tubular sections of the bow. Quite a lot of work all in all, I sewed for about 11 hours in two days. But I'm very pleased with the result, I've never made armholes this nicely with bias tape.




Result
Now onto wearability. For a lot of people this dress is probably very wearable. For me, I like the way it looks but you know that big bow doesn't really suit me. But lo and behold, when you lengthen the straps, this dress has some serious possibilities! What about tying the straps behind your back? Or tying a knot and just letting the straps hang down? These options make it much more likely for me to wear this dress. I love that you can dress it up or down by just tying the straps in a different way. I'm curious what you think, and how you'd wear it. If you like the result, I'd recommend this one as your first Pattern Magic Project!



Next date will be May 29th, the first pattern of Book 2. I'll try to be on time :) As always, if you have pattern magic projects to share, please do! Previous projects in these series can be found here.

17 comments:

  1. i also bought this book. it looks so interesting. i have not try anything yet but gathering hole looks nice.

    maybe if you sew bow behind? or onto hips level? and just other side on the dress? just thinking that i also really dont like big bow on my chest so.. i would like it more on the hips..

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    1. Yes I also thought of placing the bow somewhere else. But before I radically alter a pattern I rather make it as it's supposed to be. And it felt a bit like cheating because this was seen in request :)

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    2. true. :) i like your dress fabrics. sripes went nicely on the top. :)

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  2. I like the dress, but i don't like the big black bits at the end. Nice to see you in a dress though!

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    1. This is where you can practice constructive criticism Daphne :) What is the reason you don't like the black parts? All of the black or just on the bow ends? And yes maybe I should make more dresses!

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    2. Okay, well It's hard to say why i don't like it. Maybe it makes the dress look a bit heavy or formal, (christmassy?) Also, it looks like the fabric is more stiff than the other fabric. It draws my attention only to the black parts of the dress, than to the dress, and than finally to you. Where i think without the black parts, the attention would go more to you and the dress.

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    3. Thanks for the feedback. I see what you mean. This pattern needs a heavy fabric in order for the bow to work, but it would have been better to use a less heavy fabric for the black parts. I also knew that if I left off the black part at the hem I wouldn't like the length. These patterns are always an experiment. It's as much about the process as the endresult. So I'm happy with the dress because the draftimg and sewing process went so well, I practiced finishing techniques, and the result is more wearable than I expected. But judging solely on the dress, your comments are valid.

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  3. I love it with the ties pulled round to the back... very cool!

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  4. Looks great! I like that you can tie it in different ways because having a giant bow right there might get annoying

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  5. I love this dress! By the picture in the book, I thought the bow would look weird, but it looks good on you! I especially love the way it looks when you tie it behind your back. Genius!

    I'd love to try this, but I'm pretty lost on the drafting. While I've drafted simpler silhouettes, this looks a little too advanced for me!

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  6. I love the way you've styled it with the ties! I don't think I could do a large bow either, and you are rocking it with these pulled around to the back. The stripes and black work perfectly together :)

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  7. Damn, I think you just reordered my sewing queue. The look with the knot at the back is awesome.

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  8. This dress has much more of a wow factor than I would have expected. I love the bow on the front, although I agree that it's probably not an everyday look. It would be very pretty for attending a wedding or party. I like the knot at the front as an alternative. I also really like your choice of fabric and the black colour-blocking. Fab dress!

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  9. I love it! this has to be one of my favourite patterns from the book. the bow is adorable but I can understand your issues for wear-ability with it, I love how it looks just tied and left hanging down. Great work!
    I'm still yet to make something from the books but my aim is to do a least one project this year, can't wait to see the next one :)

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  10. Lisa, this may be a little late to the game but your version has sparked my imagination...can this design feature be made anywhere on the garment? (Can it be used on trousers....?)

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    1. Trousers! What a good idea. I think it can easily be made in other places!

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  11. A-ma-zing!
    I discovered your blog just now and this dress is so stunning!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts, whether it's positive or constructive critisicm! If you're commenting on an old post I'll have to moderate it, so don't worry if it doesn't immediately show. Thanks!