Thursday, 18 September 2014

Missoni Plantain by Deer & Doe

I originally purchased this Missoni fabric from emmaonesock in order to make a cardigan.  I had a Burda pattern that I thought would work, but adding seam allowances was such a catastrophic step that I never did it.  I also wondered whether some gathering necessary in the pattern would suit the fabric, so I waited.

While I made my birthday Plantains, I realised this fabric would be a perfect plantain!  Easy to put together, and I thought the drape of the fabric would accentuate the nice flare this shirt has.  I was right, and I love the results.

My only changes: I lengthened the sleeves as long as I could on my fabric, and they ended up just wrist length.  I also used the selvedge as my hemline, which meant that I changed the flare slightly since I didn't cut up at the sides of the hem.  I cut my fabric on the cross-grain in order to have horizontal stripes, and to make use of the selvedge.  I used the same size 38 as before.

First lesson: I cut my neckband short, assuming that this loose knit fabric would have more stretch.  But I mixed up mechanical stretch with stretch caused by elastic fibers like lycra - in fact Missoni knits have NO lycra type stretch, and so my neckband was about 3 inches too short.  I learnt this the first time...when I sewed the band on inside out.

Next lesson: it is total torture trying to unstitch Missoni knits.  First of all your eyes cross looking at the pattern of the fabric.  It's hard to even see one single layer of the stuff.  My machine stitches vanished deep into it and trying to remove them without making holes was not entirely successful.  I had to take off the entire neckband and put it on right side out.  That was when I realised there was no way the band was long enough, so I put a pleat more or less mid back.  While I like the pleat and all, it pulls the shoulder seams and puts additional stretch on them.  (Apologies for the smiley face!  My nurses did it!)

Good news: for the most part the sewing machine had no trouble with this fabric.  It is heavy and dense enough that the feed dogs worked well, and it didn't shift around.

Pattern matching:  My technique is sadly unscientific.  I cut out each piece starting at the same stripe of the pattern, and tried to account for seam allowances, vaguely.  (So the top of the side seams, plus the top edge of the sleeves were at the same spot.)  I'm really happy with how it turned out, although I'm aware that a more sophisticated approach would have matched the stripe positioning better...

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