Sunday, April 7, 2013

Miyake Dress 1309

I love Issey Miyake's Vogue patterns, mostly the ones from the 80's, I think I've made them all. 

1309 seemed a classic, so I bought it and pondered. Going into the Pattern Stash contest, I knew I wouldn't be able to crank it out like I normally can (damn left thumb) but it was a good excuse to make things I've been thinking about.

I knew that I wouldn't fit the tunic as is, so I wanted to make a muslin to check fit points and potential alterations. I also knew I wanted to get rid of the exposed back zipper, and previous Miyake patterns have convinced me that there is always a chance you can lose the zipper.

Above all, it is a legendarily tricky construction, being just three pieces turned this way and that, so a failed tablecloth (loves me that Ikea curtain material!) stepped in for the trial run.

 And yes, it wasn't wide enough, and the armholes are too long. So more muslin piecing, adding about 4" to a size 14 gave me enough to get around the backside of 41".

 It's one big piece, sliced up the middle and crossed, with a short right side panel and a long left side panel.

So, armed with knowledge and a sense of "oh, what the hell", I dug out three yards of this cotton hand-painted stuff that just hasn't suited anything up until now. I had to wash it again, because it was so dusty from being moved several times from house to house. I've probably had it longer than I've been married. Which clocks it at 30 years old.

I inherited a serger from family, so for this version, I cut out the big pieces and serged the edges. 
Three pieces, serged and ready for marking
I decided to widen the big piece (2" each side) to add the necessary width. I felt the proportions would be better. 

The red line is the alteration in the pattern to shorten it.

I kept the center line pinned to make putting the tape markers on  an easier task
I used masking tape (should have used the blue stuff, easier to remove) to mark the join marks. This way I could really see which were circles or squares, and clearly identify them by their letter codes.

I don't have photos of the part where I cut the center slash and then serged it. Examining the muslin, I didn't think I needed to go the whole bias tape route. I did have to move the tags off the center line, and then there's the part where I forgot to raise the serger bar and ....had to rethread the serger from zero. The actual sewing time for this was under 30 minutes. The total amount of time was probably several hours (there are a lot of marks to transfer to the pieces) (I am really bad at threading the serger. Now I'm very good at it.)

I zigzagged the edges together and pressed them out for the shoulder join

Now the armhole is a good height.
 Only problem is: in widening the big piece, the shoulder pieces are waaaay too wide. They got rolled in and sewn.
The only place you can see the serged center (where I didn't do the bias edging) is on the back of the right side armhole

It even looks better on me! A Miracle!

Taking in excess shoulder width by folding it in and overcasting on the serged  edge

Tacking down center so I don't flash anyone. Also a good cheat as to which side is the front...

Because I will forget which is the right and which is the left...
This works out great, as it is a perfect summer weight dress for overheated me. Camouflaged enough to disguise a lack of undergarments when it turns hot. 

To celebrate, I bought another "new to me" Miyake this week on Ebay!


  1. Oh that's fabulous! I have the pattern too, but haven't even thought of trying it yet. Now I will, well, maybe in the summer. So are there more? I want to see all the ones you've made of Miyake.

    1. I've been going back through the wardrobe and photographing the previous Miyakes. Nowhere near posting anything, but getting there.
      A great photo of marking this pattern is at Cat Mukai on Pattern Review


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