Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Crafting: Hadajuban (Part 2)

Welcome back to our Workspace Wednesday Crafting series! Last week, we started work on hadajuban, a simple undergarment appropriate for summer wear. This week, we're going to pick up with pattern layout and cutting! As I mentioned before, I do not intend for this to be a full, step-by-step tutorial, but a sort of hints and highlights of things I have learned to make garment construction a little easier.

Fabric off the bolt in the United States and Europe is so much wider than the fabric that would be used for traditional kimono construction, so I start out by folding my fabric, not in half, but to a width that approximates the width of a tan of kimono fabric. This is usually about 14 inches wide, from the fold to the selvage. If your pattern pieces are wider or narrower, you can fold accordingly so that they will sit on the double-layer with  little fabric waste.

Cats are not vital to the sewing process, but they like to think they are.
In the image above, the ruler is flush with the fold of the fabric, and I've brought one edge up to the width I need. The ruler is sitting on the excess, and this is fabric that I will use to cut different pattern pieces. From here, I will pin the two layers of fabric and continue in this manner for the entire length of fabric. Using this layout technique, I can cut a hadajuban from as little as three yards of fabric. As my fabric is a solid color, there's not really a 'right' or 'wrong' side, but if you've chosen a patterned fabric for this project, be sure to fold it right, or patterned sides, together.

Pattern piece for body laid out and pinned.
This is the pattern piece that is going to make up the body of my hadajuban. It's based on the body pattern from the Folkwear kimono pattern, so the front and back are made in once piece with no shoulder seams. This is also an older piece, and a little more narrow than I wanted for this particular garment, so I have placed the center back seam side closer to the selvege and will cut along the fold of the fabric, not the pattern piece itself, to make the piece wider. If  you ever need to add width to a kimono or kimono-like garment like this one, the side-seam, not the back, is the place to do it! If you add the width at the back, you will be lengthening how long your collar needs to be, and that in turn will skew the final fit.

We have a cut piece! The scissors are pointing towards the neckline and center-back seam.

Remember how we had that 'extra' fabric that was not covered when we folded the material to lay out our body pieces? That's what we're going to use for cutting our overlap pieces.

Overlap piece pinned to fabric. The longest edge is along the edge that was formed when we cut out the body pieces.
Here, I took the end of the fabric and again folded it back on itself, but only to the length I needed for the overlap piece. Because I do a number of other fabric crafts, I try to conserve as much fabric as possible, which is why the long edge is along the same edge that was formed when the body pieces were cut, leaving another continuous strip of fabric available. I might use this somewhere else, as a sleeve facing on a juban, or for quilting. Again, if you've chosen a patterned fabric for this, be sure to fold with the right or patterned sides together!

We only have two more pieces we need to cut-- sleeves. For this project, you will want to create your own pattern piece for the sleeves as a traditional kimono sleeve is not the ideal shape or fit for this garment. Fortunately, the pattern is little more than a rectangle. You will want it to be a bit shorter than your regular kimono sleeve, as well as much narrower. My sleeve is 9 3/4" x 14" and this includes a 1/2" seam allowance.

Remember when I folded my fabric to approx 14" prior to laying out my body pieces? The length of my body pieces did not extend that full length and that is where we'll be getting our sleeves. As with the overlap pieces,we're going to fold the fabric back on itself to the length we need for the sleeves.

The pin is marking where I wish to fold the fabric over on itself to create the fold needed for a full sleeve piece.

Sleeve pattern pinned in place against fold of fabric.

The sleeve could be done in two pieces, but I think this way is much easier. Not only does cutting on the fold mean that you have one less seam to sew, but also means that you do not need more fabric to account for that seam allowance. It maintains a smooth line over the top of the arm and reduces bulk. This is how kimono sleeves are constructed, so there's no reason to not use the same technique here!

With the cutting of the sleeves, we now have all of the pieces we need to begin construction! Please join me again next week when we get to sewing and finishing.

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