...that is the name of this top; my latest foray into Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi.
The folds/tucks on the front of the design are like the new shoots on bamboo, spraying out to each side in graduated offset arcs.
I chose to make this design into a little top with short cap sleeves, a buttoned up back, and a wide loose waist band; necessarily a shortish top because of the constraints of my fabric. Yup, I was using up scraps, as per usual! From this linen shirt I made for Craig... (I know it may seem like most of my clothes are made from scraps, and I have to admit a fair whack of them are! The thing is, I loathe waste with a passion... and have been known to hoard scraps for years.... hehe. Some day I will have to round up in one post the projects I have made, purely from scraps)
I like this style of blouse, it brings back strong memories to me of the blouses we used to wear in our winter school uniform, over our plaid wool skirts. Except our school blouses had a collar and were buttoned up at the front, naturally. This top is quite loose, so I can leave all the buttons done up except the top one and slip it over my head. This means only the top button needs doing up behind my neck, which is good, since I discovered that doing up that middle button requires a solid command of yoga... And about that; I'm thinking it is about time some new moves were introduced into the Yoga repertoire along with saluting the sun, and the down dog and all that; may I suggest "lady doing up her back buttons/zip"? I think that would be a pretty useful new move, yes?
The neckline is faced, the side and shoulder seams are flat-felled, and the armhole seam allowances are finished with HongKong seaming. The buttons are the little shell buttons that I bought in Tokyo, whilst out shopping with Yoshimi, Novita and my daughter Cassie, so I felt it was quite right that I use Japanese buttons for a Japanese designed garment. Fitting, yes? The buttonholes on the button band are vertically aligned, whilst the buttonholes on the waist band are horizontally aligned, this is a little feature that I recalled from my old school blouses, and wanted to have it in this blouse too.
The darts/folds were a little tricky. In the photograph in the book, it doesn't look as if there is any stitching yet, but just folded in place. When I first stitched mine in place they didn't look nearly as nice... so I unpicked and re-stitched and pressed them one by one, slightly inside their seam allowance, so the stitching is hidden just inside the fold, about 3mm. This seemed to do the trick, and looks more like the picture in the book.
Top; based on the "bamboo shoot" design in Pattern Magic, by Tomoko Nakamichi, finished blouse of my own design, white linen
Skirt; skirt "m" from Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa, pink linen/cotton, details here
Shoes; Bronx, from Zomp shoes
So, with regard to the Pattern Magic series, I have some further comments it might be worth noting here for others wishing to make use of these excellent and very innovative design books... I have made up a few designs from all three books now and in my opinion the third book has by far the easiest projects; being both very easy to fit (they're all stretch-knit, and really, who can't fudge fit a stretch?) and also that they are all in the form of complete and finished garments.
A lot of the designs in the first book are in the form of design concepts, a fabric manipulation "idea" that one can take and build on; apply to some nebulous garment, the exact form of which is entirely up to the individual. I like this flexibility, but it does take extra thought and some dressmaking experience to self-draft those little extras that are needed to get yourself a finished and wearable item. For example, take the sleeves on my new top here... the Pattern Magic book does have dimensions for a sleeve sloper to get you started. I discovered in my very early experiments in this book that the sleeve needed tonnes of adjusting to make it work for me. Eventually abandoned the given sloper and made my own (the one I used here) based on the measurements of my bodice sloper and partly on sleeves in patterns I already had. I found that the one in the book had a very shallow sleeve cap, that was like a straitjacket on my ginormously hefty arms ... Actually I'm joking there. I'm not hefty by Australian standards at all, but when I am working with Japanese patterns I often feel a bit, er, well huge... by comparison. Let me put it this way, when I am tracing the designs from Unique Clothes Any Way You Like, by Natsuno Hiraiwa, I use the largest size, whereas in Vogue patterns I am a 10, and even then I always take in several centimetres off the waist.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a complaint about the books! I love these Japanese pattern books with a passion, they are completely without parallel in the pattern world and I just wish more of our "ordinary" patterns would take note and branch out a bit. Get out of that rut. Just thought I would say more about my experiences here in the hope it helps anyone else wishing to make something out of these excellent books.