Weirdest Sleeve Ever

I was a guest blogger this week on Sewcialists, blogging about the “generation gap” between younger and older sewists, and their derision or devotion for indie vs. Big 4 patterns. Here’s a link in case you missed it and you want to weigh in. Oddly enough, the WordPress comments mostly were pro-Big 4, while the Instagram comments were mostly pro-indie. And there were plenty of comments from people who like both.

To prove that I am not that old, I do sew indie patterns from time to time. Right now I am working on the weirdest pattern I’ve ever tried, the Joker shirt from Oki Style:

Fascinating, no? I have been obsessed with it since I first saw it while reading up about the designer. Oki is originally from Mongolia and lives in Germany. She says that some of her designs are “experimental,” which is charming and true. But many, including this shirt, also look very wearable.

The Joker shirt accomplishes its asymmetrical shape both from lots of huge darts and pleats, and from asymmetrical pattern pieces. Here’s a picture of the cutting layout so you can see what I mean:

Cutting layout for the “Joker” shirt from Oki Style.

Piece 8 is the heavily darted and pleated asymmetrical back piece – definitely not a “cut on the fold” job! And it takes almost every inch of a 60″ wide shirting fabric.

I spent 7 euros (about $8 US) for the pattern and $4 to have it printed on large-format paper at my local printing shop, because I wanted to tissue-fit this before sewing it up and the thought of taping this crazy thing together made my brain ache. (This is a good example of an indie pattern that is not overpriced, BTW.) I added extra seam allowances too – 1.5 cm to everything but the collar pieces, just to have a bit more wiggle room. If I don’t need the room and if I feel extra insane, I will flat-fell the seams.

I was mostly worried about the sleeves, since I usually need full-bicep adjustments for my dinner lady arms. They’re sort of a raglan sleeve/yoke combo – piece 10 in the layout is a yoke of sorts, cut on the fold, that has a raglan shape at the neck and also wraps partly down the back of the arms. The unnumbered piece in the layout is the rest of the sleeve, cut on the bias. Here’s how they work together.

IMG_20171029_140133 The fit was fine! Good to know, since I have no idea how I could adjust this. Plus, a bias-cut piece will probably help with fit and movement if it’s a bit tight. Also, I am using some stretch shirting for this. It’s plain white fabric, but I can see this looking very interesting color-blocked or with a pinstriped fabric too.  The wrong side shows a bit at the hem, which could also be interesting, with the right fabric.

It seems like a quality pattern for other reasons. There’s a proper collar with a collar stand, and a hidden button placket, which I adore. Wish me luck!

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

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