Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Made! - Marimba Spiritual tunic

What's a Marimba Spiritual, you may ask? I'll tell you.

It's a piece of music by Minoru Miki that I had the privilege of performing Monday night at James Madison University.  Scored for a marimba soloist (me!!) with percussion trio, the piece is one of the staples of percussion repertoire.  Though I've performed portions of this piece before, this will be the first time I'll play the entire thing. It's very exciting!!

8am photos...
The back hem is supposed to be angled, which I rather like, actually.

As a musician and a maker, what else is there to do while prepping for a concert than making an outfit for said concert?  This tunic is my second version of Vogue 2064, an OOP Donna Karan pattern.

I've previously made View B with no changes, but this time I added overall length and combined it with View A. Though I love the one-shoulder design, I don't enjoy the anxiety (however faint) that comes along with it.  At concert time, though I trust my own sewing, I'd rather not worry about it flashing some side boob.  Phrases, dynamics, and musical images I'll worry about.  But wardrobe malfunctions?...I'll leave those to the pop stars of the world.  Side note: Do you think I'll get more random Google hits on the blog since I used the word "side boob"??

Close-up. The right front wraps over the left.

For my version, I used the left front of View A, folding under and stitching the armhole allowance rather than attaching a sleeve.  I enjoy the right sleeve in View B: it doesn't get in the way or pull on the bodice, since it's only connected at the lower armscye.  This means big reaches across the marimba, like I have to do in Marimba Spiritual, aren't at all inhibited by clothing.

Here's an example of my first Vogue 2604 in action.

I love this shot! (Sidenote: This was back when I was lifting weights and running often - gotta get back to it!!)

The only tedious part of construction is adding almost 5 feet of thin elastic to the top edge. The instructions say to make a channel and then insert it through, but I found that the material wouldn't stop gathering as I did that, so I had to rip it out and just eye-ball it in place, gently pulling to stretch the fabric while I sewed the channel with the elastic already in it. I'll make sure to do this next time without trying the other method first.

This fabric is nothing sentimental. I think I bought it during one of JoAnn's Red Tag Clearance sales, so I paid maybe $8 for all of it.  I used a ball point needle on my machine for this, though it would be just as easy to use a serger.

Since this is a performance top and I knew I'd move around a lot, rather than using a hook and eye, as the pattern suggests, I attached the drape around the back with a safety pin or two. This way I knew it wouldn't go anywhere, and nobody sees it anyway.

I wore this top with  my concert pants, which I made a few years ago from View C.  You can see them in the photos. They are made of a thick, shiny ponte, which makes them look fancy from the audience, but nobody knows that they are perhaps more comfortable than my yoga pants! :)

Here are the side views.

Left side

Right side

The concert on Monday was great! I was overall happy with the performance, and proud of the work the students did for all the rep, not just Marimba Spiritual.  I'll be making a video (*hopefully*) if I got some good audio and visual.  I'll also try to get some stills of this tunic in action!!

Yay, marimba and sewing coming together!!