Sunday, 17 March 2019

Completed: Kabuki Tee

This is the latest installment in my current series known as "Helen Makes Paper Theory Patterns in Insanely Difficult Fabrics".

I've fancied the Kabuki tee since it was released, but it somehow never managed to get prioritised. Probably because I needed to buy both pattern and fabric, and I've been trying to not do that, in order to use stuff up. However, my very kind Mother in Law gave me a Merchant and Mills voucher for my birthday, which I had earmarked for denim, but then Carol very kindly sent me a sample of the Woolsey she had ordered, and Judith did a bit of enabling too, and I ended up going for the Woolsey in the Alta Mare colour.

This is a tricky fabric. It's a linen/wool mix and is like a double gauze in that it has 2 layers. It's pretty shifty, likes to fray and has a loose weave. It was challenging to sew. Pieces seemed to grow and stretch as they were handled, notches literally disappeared in the weave of the fabric and unpicking was extremely not fun.

The pattern is pretty cool. I love the right angles and the wide sleeves. I think you can tell it's Paper Theory's first pattern, as it's maybe not quite as polished as the others. The drafting is predictably great but there are quite a few spelling mistakes and the instructions are less thorough. Having said that, there's a video tutorial of how to sew the right angles (it's the same process as for the Olya), so it's a good overall experience. Top Tip, which I don't remember seeing on the Olya tutorial, if your fabric is prone to fraying (me! me!), put a small L shaped bit of interfacing just right at the right angle. Wish I'd known/thought to do that on the Olya.

It's a pretty easy and quick make once you get your head round the angles, and there are 4 for good measure. With the notches disappearing, I managed to sew my first sleeve on the back to front, which was frustrating since the fabric was so hard to unpick, but also because you snip into the right angle as you sew it, which is hard to do twice. I ended up trying to mend the snip with even more interfacing, which didn't really work. I think it's OK though. As you can see above, I stay-stitched all the edges. It doesn't say to do this in the instructions but I think it's worth doing.

I'm not 100% sure I liked the method of attaching the bias binding at the neck, although it was easier. You sew one shoulder seam, then apply the binding before sewing the second shoulder seam. It is far less faffy, but you end up with a bulky seam at one shoulder, which in this fabric is pretty bulky and wants to poke out at the neck (see below).



As the fabric is bulky, I didn't double turn the hems, instead I overlocked the raw edge and turned once. I actually ended up doing a double row of stitching on the hem because the first line didn't quite catch it all the way round on the bottom, then thought I'd better do the same on the sleeves. I like it although no one else can actually see it. This is definitely one of those fabrics where the stitches sink right in! Other than that, the only alterations I made were to add length to the sleeves. I'm afraid I ca'nt remember how much because I added more, then chopped some of it back off again. I left the sleeves the full width, rather than tapering them at all.





Insides-wise, it's all overlocked. Oh, wait! I have a new Overlocker! I had a bit of a payout on our work sharesaves at the end of last year and so I treated myself. What a difference! I previously had the old Lidl Singer one, which wasn't great. This one is like a dream. It purrs, rather than shakes the house down, the tension is spot on, it's easier to thread and works pretty much straight away when I do. I haven't had a lot of opportunity to use it, as I was making stuff that didn't require it, so it's been nice to use it on both this and the Olya.

When I first tried it on, post hemming and with the longer sleeves, I was completely unconvinced and thought I'd potentially wasted some pretty expensive fabric. But with the hem done and the sleeves shortened slightly the proportions started to look right. It's funny how proportions change something from awful to excellent, isn't it? I still think it's a bit too oversized on me, as it slightly shifts around when I wear it, but this is the smallest size, the 8. The hem is a bit dodgy (you can see it in the photo above when I'm side on). It seems to hang down at the sides, but when measured flat, it's even all the way round, so I'm just going with it. It's possibly the heavy and drapey fabric.




Other things to say? Just that I really love it. It's not super practical. I chose a wool mix for warmth, but the shorter sleeves kind of make that counterproductive, plus the wide sleeves don't fit under any of my cardigans or coats, so it ends up bunched up and creased. Still love it though. And our office is warm, so it's a work top until the proper spring arrives. I fully intend to make more of these in stripes, more solids, maybe a shirting, definitely linen, possibly a sweatshirt version, all the options! I am clearly now a fully-fledged Paper Theory fangirl, having made all 3 existing patterns (hacked LB Pullover not yet blogged) and I have already acquired the new Zadie jumpsuit. Just trying to decide on weather appropriate fabrics...


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3 comments

  1. What a cute top! So stylish! I love the oversized Japanese feel of it and that fabric is lux. Good work!

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  2. That COLOR. The TEXTURE. It's beautiful!!

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  3. I think it looks amazing! Would you wear it layered over a snug long sleeved underlayer? The statement sleeve was certainly never meant for a cardigan was it? Xx

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