Misrepresentation!

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Kandel Knits, you lie!

This pattern was one of several by this company, which I had not run into before, in the haul of old patterns Ra pulled from the dumpster for Stylish. It appears to be another in the radiation of knit-specializing indie pattern companies that appeared in the late 60s and 70s as the big 4 failed to fill that niche adequately. It claims to be produced by a professional knitting mill, so they should know what they’re talking about, right? The most interesting thing about the pattern, of course, is the front-shifted side-seam on the bottoms, although the top is cute as well.

I made the bikini bottoms, although of course I made them up as underwear, excited by this unusual seaming feature.

Well, of course as soon as I traced the pattern, I was wondering how that was going to happen. The width of back and front pieces was pretty comparable and there was no recognizable “shifting” of the seam toward the front. Nonetheless I soldiered on.

Sizes and pattern

Sizes and “True Measure” pattern

The pattern instructions weren’t great, but they were interestingly patchy—a lot on different ways to sew knits, quite a bit on fitting (maybe if I’d followed that part more closely I’d have had more of that front-shift to the side-seam), but then the actual instruction was along the lines of “sew this seam. Now hem this.”. There was no crotch-liner piece, but it was pretty easy to improv one. There’s no information on the sizing on the pattern or envelope itself, although I THINK it’s the same sizing Kwik Sew uses for underwear—but fortunately (?) for me, the helpful previous owner had written most of the sizes and measurements out from the front. As you can maybe see in that first photo, the pattern sizes are, um, small. 32″ hip for a size 7 (I guess that’s about the same as the standard Miss’s size 8.) Even more fortunately for me (I do not have a 32″ hip. My 13-year-old does not have a 32″ hip.), the pattern is drafted for “fabric with very little stretch;” I’m thinking the “True Measure” thing means it’s drafted with 0 ease. ┬áMy fabric, while a nice, stable cotton-lycra, has a very decent amount of stretch. I used comparison with my McCall’s 4471 pattern to verify that the size 8 should be just fine. (Actually, in terms of overall width and length, AKA rise, the two patterns were reassuringly similar.)

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Finished set. Very adequate. Side-seams pretty much right at side.

And when sewn up, they did end up being pretty much fine, ordinary underwear (I lowered the rise a teeny bit, especially in front, but that’s typical for me), but, as suspected, that promised shifted side seam is not at all evident.

My biggest hold-back on making underwear usually ends up being the elastic. I have zillions of little scraps of knits I could use, but I tend to only buy elastic in small quantities as I need it. And then use it up pretty efficiently. So for this pair I tried something I had read about on someone’s blog (but damned if I can find where)—just using a self-fabric band. I’ll report back on how it works when I’ve road-tested them for more than five minutes, but initial fitting seems promising. As with Kwik Sew 2100, the crotch is a bit wide, but now that I’m actually paying attention that’s super-common in my storebought underwears as well. It’s not uncomfortable, just something to maybe be trimmed down in the future (and it’s worth noting that I added a band, while typical swimwear finishing would fold over at least 1/4″ on each side while attaching the elastic.

In conclusion, seems like a decent basic bikini pattern, but that shifted side-seam is nowhere to be found.

There’s an obvious solution, of course. I’ll have to draft one for myself.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Misrepresentation!

  1. When I saw the line art for those bottoms, it reminded me of a pair I made years ago (which I *ahem* still wear to this day). I actually sort of colour blocked, because the t-shirt I was making the pair from had a cute little design on the front side over the heart, and thus didn’t have enough width to cut the whole from out of. I just added a section in black to contrast with the cute details on the shirt, and it worked out great!

    http://sewingonpins.blogspot.ca/2010/07/pantified-tees.html

    But boo on lying patterns. That’s pretty lame.

  2. If you are interested in a forward seam panty, Jan Bones (a Canadian) pattern does that, I have it, like it, it is meant for underwear but I have made it as a bathing suit bottom.

  3. I reckon having a slightly forward-shifted side seam is a genius idea for avoiding the VPL! because right on the hip is kinda more obvious that just a bit round the corner, if that makes any sense.
    I’ve found all my undies patterns need tiny tweaks here and there too; even the smallest of shaving off here and there, especially the width of the crotch, can make all the difference in comfort :)

  4. Odd that the sides didn’t end up being more forward like the line drawing, though it wouldn’t be the first time a line drawing has lied. I’m planning to cut out a couple of pairs for #RedOctober to get me back in the sewing “groove”, and I bought some really narrow elastic to put in a casing. I’ll be interested in how your self fabric binding works out too though, since FOE is a hassle and I dislike the way that picot feels against my skin. (I’m so darn picky sometimes!!)

    • Ok so having now given them a solid day’s wear—the band finish is super-comfy, soft and not at all chafing. I think depending on the cut it might not help much with riding up, but for a style like this it seems to work really well. It’s got more recovery than the stretch lace half my RTW pairs use, anyway.

  5. anothersewingscientist

    Loran did two posts about using self-fabric instead of elastic:

    http://loransworld.com/?p=715
    http://loransworld.com/?p=827

    I haven’t tried it myself yet, but she swears it’s the best way.

  6. How strange! The drawing reminds me of the Ohhh Lulu Grace panties, which I will get round to making soon!

    • LinB

      Perhaps the model is looking away from the viewer not because she is coyly avoiding looking at you looking at her in her skivvies, but because she is a blatant liar and is not able to look you in the face when she promises that the panties will have a forward side seam without exposing the truth.

    • Hmm, now I’ll have to go ogle those, too… ;)

  7. That is sad panda inducing- the forward seams look fab! Self drafting could be fun!

  8. Emma

    have you looked at makebra.com? They have a knicker pattern which has the side seams shifted forward.

  9. You’re right – easy enough to fix, but jolly annoying that the pattern isn’t the same as the picture. I’m yet to try making my own undies. I don’t even know if I want to!

    • I guess that might be why they aren’t in business any more… ;)

      It’s taken me a while to work up to wanting to make my own—but right now a quick project I can have done in an hour or two is what I need!

  10. Bummer that the cute seaming was a red herring. But the cut is still nice. I wonder if the wider crotch is for extra coverage since it’s meant to be a bikini (and not bikini brief/underoos) pattern?

    • I dunno—it seems like an odd place for extra width—it just bunches up between the legs. I suspect a big part of it is that the bands add almost 1/2″ on each side—that’s a lot of width in that area.

  11. I went on a panty making excursion last night. It was a lot easier than I thought, though its a pretty dismal attempt anyway.

  12. On the pattern envelope, that bikini looks so nice. Such a shame that seam feature is not actually in the pattern…
    It should be pretty easy to draft though.Those side seams look like fairly straight lines so you could just tape them together and cut a new seam more to the front.

    Oh, and I think a lot of ‘early’ jersey had less stretch and less recovery than we’re used to now. It probably has to do with the development of elastic fibres like lycra.

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