Papaver Gigantus

Until last weekend – halfway through the month- not much sewing had been done in February, excluding a little coat toiling.  I just haven’t been in the mood, and I was waiting for fabric to come to lift me out of my funk!  At the end of January I ordered a whole pile of flower seeds, and 1.5m of poppy print viscose from Selvedge and Bolts.  The fabric arrived a week later, the seeds took another week!

Anyway, the fabric on the website was super delicious, and I thought long and hard about whether or not I really need it.  In the end, I decided on a pattern and ordered the 1.5m I needed, no extra!  But when it came I was disappointed, to be perfectly honest.  It had a shine I was not expecting – and, to be honest,  I thought I’d bought viscose lining.  I left it in my sewing room for a day or two before I could look at it properly, and then threw it in the wash, maybe that would make the finish better.  It still has a sheen, that’s because it has a satin weave that I hadn’t bargained on.   I really do need to order samples before spending my limited funds!!

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Top E from Asuka Hamada’s Sweet Clothes

In the end, the girls convinced me to make the top I’d planned, and then see how I felt.  So I went ahead and cut out another version of the Top E from Asuka Hamada’s Sweet Clothes.  This was the top I saw in my mind’s eye when I bought the fabric.  As usual, I cut the sleeve on the cross grain to fit the width.  I’ve used French seams throughout and double turned the hem.  The cuffs and bias neck trim are stitched on the inside by hand.  I did the bias by hand because I knew it would slip and slink around under the machine and drive me mad!  Unfortunately, because of the nature of the fabric, you now see all the tiny catches made when stitching.  I might just run it under the machine now anyway, can’t get any worse!

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I still love the print, it’s so huge and gorgeous, but I am wondering now if a top with a smaller sleeve wouldn’t have been better….  Oh well, it’s too late now!!  I am looking forward to wearing this with the rest of my wardrobe, and it’ll be lovely in the summer.

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On the coat front, toiles are all done, alterations made and the cutting out and interfacing has started.  I’ve not got that far, again, I’m just not in the mood, and that’s very unlike me!  I’m thinking back to February last year and how worried we all were for my Dad who’d gone into hospital, and my Mum who was left holding and juggling all the balls.  It’s the lead up to a not very good time, and I think deep down I’m struggling a little.  I had hoped sewing would give me something else to focus on, especially as I cannot get into the garden yet and it’s a bit too early to sow too many of my new seeds! I’ll get there, but it will be much slower than usual.

Sewing Japanese in January

Finally!  I have finally, after two and a bit years, made a pattern from the book “Basically 7 Dresses”.  Except that it isn’t a dress.  But nevermind, it’s done, and I like it!  In my first Work in Progress Wednesday of the year, I shared the beginning stages of the project, toiling and making the alterations to the pattern.  I needed a bit more time than I thought to find a fabric to make it up in though, it turns out my stash consists of less usable-to-me fabrics than I first thought!  But I won’t go into that now.

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Blouse from Basically 7 Dresses and Kana’s Standard trousers

I did decide on using some of a 3m piece of cotton voile bought from Seasalt a while ago.  I love the muted blue background and off white seagulls, perfect combination for a summer top – which means not so good to photograph in the middle of winter – brrr!  As it’s a lovely drapey, thin fabric, I’ve used French seams throughout, and stabilised the top collar and facings with some fine sheer fusible interfacing.  I also opted for lightweight shell buttons, although I really wanted to use some of the vintage glass ones in my button drawer!

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Blouse details

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I went through the trouble of doing a FBA on this, but now it’s finished, I wish I’d added less across the front, it has lost some of the shape and definition. However, I’m sure that when it’s hot and humid in the summer, it’ll be fine.  Right now though, it lets the draft in!  I also think it’ll look better in a plain fabric, to be honest I feel this has gone dowdy – fast!  Something to think of for next time, the facings in the armhole have a tendency to flap out when putting it on – might not be such a problem for someone with skinnier arms.  So I’ll topstitch the facing down around the armhole instead of just catching it at the shoulder and under arm seams.

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Once the top was done, I realised I might want a new pair of trousers to go with it.  And I had just the piece of left over cotton twill in a nice dark navy in the stash.  The fabric has a lovely sheen to it, and is super yummy to wear.  To go with the theme, I chose to make another pair of the trousers from Kana’s Standard, book number 1.  The pants are in section B, and I decided on the longest, narrowest version of those, style f.  Now this version has straps attached to the top, making braces – I left those off.  I had to retrace my pattern, goodness knows what I’d been doing with the last tracing, it was a mess! 

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These are the size 13 – the biggest size in the book – and they are perfect.  I had previously graded the pattern up 2 sizes, then spent the last two years making the pants that used that pattern two sizes smaller!   The elastic in the back waistband makes them rather comfy!  I can see these being worn loads in both season’s wardrobes, rolled up at the hem, they’re fine for summer.  By making the longer length, they are also perfectly sized for my short legs!  The hem breaks nicely on the top of my foot, so I can wear them in winter without my socks showing.  They’re also well stocked with good sized pockets, two hip-yoke pockets in front and two patch pockets in the back.  Practically perfect pants!

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Distracted by the blackbird tossing all the leaves out of the gutter while racing down the gutter at speed!

I can’t wait for the weather to turn – I know we still have to survive February, but the signs are there, snowdrops are up, hellebores are flowering and the daffs are showing pointy green growth.  But I’m getting itchy to plant seeds and get gardening again, I just want to be outside in the sun!

Work in Progress Wednesday 1/2021

Welcome to another year of Work in Progress Wednesdays!  Now, this will not be a regular, every Wednesday occurance!  Sometimes you’ll get a few in a row, then there’ll be nothing for a month or so, all depends on what I’m working on, and whether I remember to take photos as I sew!!

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The book title translates to “Basically 7 Dresses”, written by Aoi Koda

Anyway, I’m working on my next Sewing Japanese in January project, so thought I’d show it from the beginning.  I have decided to make a version of the cover dress from the book, Basically 7 Dresses, by Aoi Koda.  There are 7 basic patterns in the book, each having different variations, she calls them lessons.  I loved the cover dress from the beginning, it’s lesson number 4.  But, not really being a dress person, figured I’d make one of the variations and turn it into a blouse/top and keep the simple look with the collar.  I’m also not gathering the peplum, it’ll be as if the skirt was chopped short, no gathers for me!

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Line drawings and info for the dress, with picture of the peplum top variation and more line drawings

This book does not have seam allowances included, except for the largest size, which, as it happens, is the size I traced!  The 15, which translates to bust 98cm, waist 70cm and hip 105cm is the closest to me, I’ll just need a FBA.  But – toile first because there’s usually a lot of ease in these patterns and I might get away with not needing much extra.  The finished width at the bust on this one is 112cm, which on a 98cm bust would be roomy, and less so on me! 112cm gives me 6cm of ease, so I’ll check whether that looks right, and feels right in the toile before I continue.  ps, I seriously recommend downloading Google Translate onto your phone for using Japanese patterns, just aim your camera at the text and voila!  Translated instructions!

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With the first, “straight out of the envelope” – as it were – toile, things aren’t going to be as easy as expected.  The fronts just meet, I need more depth in the armhole, and finished length needs to be about 5cm below the current level (which included the hem).  Ok, so the remaining ease wasn’t going to be anywhere near enough!  Shoulders and side seams are all ok, neck feels right, so it’s all in the front.  Time for that FBA.  Now, if you’re after how do to one with a French dart, Maven Patterns have one on their website for their French Dart dress.  It works in the same way as an underarm dart, just in a different place!   So I calculated I’d need 6cm across the front, meaning a 3cm FBA.  Once done in paper, I toiled it…  The result was a pointy, unenthusiastic dart that didn’t point to the right place.

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Toile of size 15 without any alterations. That dart was already raising my eyebrows!

So I traced another front and rotated the dart to the underarm position, then did the same FBA and rotated the dart back to where it was supposed to be again.  With fingers crossed, I unpicked that unsuccessful front, cut another two and stitched them onto the back.  Much better this time!  I’m happy with the ease, the reach across the bust, etc.

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Just the bodice fronts and back, to check the dart before going any further

Back to the paper and I added 1cm of depth across both front and back from the centre armhole, altered the front peplum piece to accommodate the FBA width and lengthened both peplums by 8cm.

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Pattern alterations, smoothing out the armhole after the fba, the large dart created by the fba and the extra 1cm depth added across front and back.

I quickly cut those out of the toile fabric and added them to the bodice, and I’m happy!  The length, once the hem is turned up will be fine, the bodice fits nicely over the bust and the shape is good.

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Checking out all the angles

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I like position of the join between upper and lower bodice, the flare on the lower half is ok too.

Now I have to find fabric… Shopping the stash for this one, no fabric purchases allowed this month!

Sewing Japanese in January

I have plans!! I need a push to get my sewing off the starting block this year, like a lot of us I think. I love the idea of starting the year with a couple of challenges, and this one is my first.  I have made one item already (admittedly, I only needed to finish it this year, having started it at the beginning of December). But I’m claiming it for Sewing Japanese in January 2021! I also want to make another pair of trousers from the Kana’s Standard book, and finally get to use a pattern from a book bought back in 2018.

But today I have another beautiful, big sleeved blouse in my wardrobe. I bought the spotty viscose from Rainbow Fabrics, it’s lovely and drapey!  I decided to make another version of the blouse I made in October from the Asuka Hamada “Sweet Clothes” book.  This time, I altered the pattern front before cutting, I had decided to make a small FBA, just to make the fit a little better.

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Top E from Sweet Clothes, by Asuka Hamada

 Now I’d love to say I’ve devised a brand new method of making  a FBA without a dart, but I’d be lying.  There’s a very good method I use in the book, “The Perfect Fit” available from Amazon and I’m sure, other sellers too.  Here’s an extract for you:

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It’s a dead easy method, and works well without having to fiddle about with adding darts and then trying to get rid of them again. I had decided that 1.5cm over the half bodice would be enough for me, while I didn’t need masses of room over the front, but a little more length in the front would be nice, so  I added 3cm in the length.

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In order to save a little fabric, I cut the back in two with a French seam in the centre.  This meant I could cut the font and back next to each other on the fabric, and then placed the sleeve on the cross grain (because it’s so wide!) with the bias for neck and narrow cuff pieces filling in the banks spaces.  This means that from my 2m originally bought, I have enough to make something else!

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I love the way this version drapes, the first one being cotton voile is a little crisper, and the sleeves keep their blousiness better.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like the way they are in the viscose though.  I could live in viscose all year, it just feels so luxurious. 

I made this blouse in the same way as the first, ignoring the elastic in the narrow cuff and using the revised neckline.  I like the extra length in the front the FBA has given me, and the little more room across the bust is an improvement.  Very happy with this, and it’ll be worn a lot, even if ironing those big gathered sleeves is a pain!

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Now I really need to toile the patterns I’ve traced, and figure out what adjustments they need.  Also, those pants, they’re so quick to make!  In the mean time, and totally unrelated to Japanese sewing patterns, I’ve added more vintage patterns to my Etsy shop, I need to make a concerted effort to empty at least one drawer to make space for the modern PDF patterns I keep buying!  So help a gal out won’t you, see if I’ve got anything you fancy.  I’m adding constantly, so keep going back.  It takes a while to go through each and every pattern to make sure all the bits are  there.

 

Book Review – Sweet Clothes by Asuka Hamada

As the blouse/top posted last week got a fair bit of interest, I thought I might go into a little more detail about the book, and what it’s like to use. Now, if you’d clicked on the links from the previous post, you’d have gone straight to the book listing, where the seller has penty of photos of the inside of the book, showing the projects you can make. So I’m not going to add too many, but I’ll give you a quick run-down.

Sweet Clothes, Asuka Hamada
Sweet Clothes, Asuka Hamada

There are 13 top patterns, one is more a sweatshirt, and two are made from cleverly seaming a rectangle. Some use the same bodice and have different sleeves or neck treatments. For example, the top I made, style E, uses the same body pieces as D, it just has different sleeves. There is one jumpsuit/dungaree pattern and one tunic, 4 dresses, one pair of trousers and a bag. You really need to look past the thin model and her odd stance (and sometimes the fabric choices!) to see the potential. I’m definitely making up a few more of the patterns, some for me and some for Daughter No 2.

The patterns are all clearly marked on the pull-out sheets in the back, and are easy to trace. Each sheet has a section showing the letters of the patterns (no numbers) and around the edges of the sheet, those letters have lines joining them to the pieces you need to trace. There are no seam allowances included on the pieces, and the instruction section shows you how much to add, and where to add it, in the cutting layout. The size table is in the section at the back with the instructions. There are three sizes, Small to Medium, Medium to Large and Small to Large – which means one size fits all! The first size accommodates bust measurements 75-83cm, and the second 83-92cm.

All instructions are in Japanese, but if you download the Google Translate app onto your phone and hover it over the text, you’ll be sorted! I tend to make pencil translations in the areas where I know I’ll be back, looking and checking info. Each pattern has a diagram showing finished width across the bust, as well as numbers showing you the order of making up. There are diagrams with Japanese text as well, and for the most part the diagrams are good enough to be able to make the garment up, but you can use your Translate app for areas where you’re not too sure.

All in, I was happy with my purchase of the book, I know I’ll be making more of the patterns, most likely the tops, just because I’m not really a dress person and the trousers in the Kana’s Standard are nicer! I hope this makes it easier to decide whether Japanese Sewing Books are for you or not!

Clouds & Smoke

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  In this topsy turvy year, not much sewing is happening, and what is isn’t always big-time blog worthy.  Not that I don’t want to show you everything, but once you’ve seen 3 or 4 LBPullovers, how many more do you really need?  So yes, I’ve been sewing, and no, it’s not all made it on here.  Except for this top.  This deserves a blog post all of its own.

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Top E from Sweet Clothes by Asuka Hamada

Earlier this year, after seeing someone post on Instagram about her new delivery of Japanese sewing books, I ordered Sweet Clothes, by Asuka Hamada from my favoutite Etsy book seller.  It arrived well within a week and was devoured pretty quickly.  Some patterns are definitely not me, or the girls, but others have massive potential.  Potential that was not fulfilled until this month.  On reclaiming my sewing room just over a week ago, I made a short list of projects I’d like to have done by the end of the month (today), and included a toile of one of the tops in the book.  The pattern is for Top E, a simple boxy bodice with 3/4 quarter sleeves, gathered into a narrow cuff, with a bias finished boat neckline.

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I’d traced sizes 1 & 2 and decided to go with the 2 for me, the finished width looked ok, so I went for it.  The only thing I needed to change was the neckline in the front, it was strangling me!  Amazingly I decided I didin’t need a FBA, the length was perfect and I was happy with the fit around the bust.  Now this is just me, someone else might prefer more ease and so add an FBA.  I prefer not to drown in nice big sleeves ans well as bodice fabric.  And these sleeves are very nice and very big!

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The sleeves were so wide I needed to cut them on the cross grain to fit them onto the fabric!  They are gathered at the cuff into a narrow band that should be elasticated, but I did away with that as the cuffs fit me just fine.  It’s all that digging on the allotment, I have muscular forearms!  After lowering the front neckline 4cm I started cutting.  It was the fabric that dictated I use this pattern, by the way.  It was a purchase from last year, from one of those deadstock websites, but I cannot remember which, and I doubt they still have any.  I was taken by the swirls of black white and grey, and the 100% cotton tag, but when it arrived, it proved to be much lighter in weight than I’d expected.  I was going to make a jumpsuit with it..  But this is cotton voile, definitely not jumpsuit material!

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The insides are all French seamed and the hem double turned.  You finish the neckline first, before doing any other sewing, I guess it makes sure it doesn’t get stretched out.  There’s no interfacing anywhere, and if you leave out the elastic at the cuff, it’s a very quick make.  I absolutely love this top and I know I will get a lot of wear out of it.  It looks fabulous with the copper/rust/cinnamon colours in my autumn/winter wardrobe and I think it’ll do nicely with jeans too.  Apart from the sleeves, this is not a fabric hungry pattern, so of the 3m of fabric originally bought, there’s a bit left.  So I thought I might make the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory

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Looking smug and very happy with myself!

Work in Progress Wednesday 2/19

Last week I found a bargain at a local charity shop – 3m of what I suspect is a wool and silk herringbone fabric in sage green and off white.  It was just hanging on a hanger in the curtains and duvet covers section, looking sad and unwanted.  Well, not by me!  It didn’t take me long to decide I was having it, even though all I’d gone in for was a couple of books.

I popped it in the washing machine straight away and let it dry.  It was when I ironed it that I thought it might have a silk content, and a bleach test on the fibres confirmed that.  Woo!  But what to make??  I didn’t think too long, I realised it would be perfect to make another pair of Kana’s Standard trousers B-a.  Not for now, it’s too cold, but for the spring they’d be great!  I though I could line them, or have a Hong Kong finish on the seams, put in jetted or welt pockets at the back instead of the patch pockets – and generally just fancy them up a bit.  All because the fabric was so nice!

The fabric frays quite badly, so the first thing was to overlock all the edges and then interface where necessary asap.  I don’t always interface the hip yoke pocket opening, but on this stuff with it’s tendency to wiggle around, interfacing was definitely called for.  The pocket facing in understitched and then I topstitched too – just to make sure it was all secure and wouldn’t stretch out when I over use the pockets.

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Interfacing on the opening edges of the hip yoke pockets

Hong Kong finish was scrapped, this fabric is too drapey and that would stiffen the seams too much.  I also didn’t line them in the end because the colour needed didn’t exist in the stash with enough meterage.  I didn’t want to buy anything, it would cause delays (shock – horror!) and I’m trying (not very hard!) not to buy stuff!!  Oh dear, that didn’t last long, did it??

But I did make fancy pockets on the back!  I cut the standard patch pocket out of the outer fabric, and another from the limited lining.  Then I cut 2 bias strips 6cm wide by 16cm long.  I wanted narrow jetted pockets, possibly with a loop and button to hold them closed.  For the loop I cut a bias strip 15cm long and 3cm wide.  This I fed through a bias tape gadget and then folded double and topstitched shut.  Much easier than making a strip and then trying to turn through.  I just knew this fabric wouldn’t like that very much.

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Starting the jetted pocket

To construct the pocket, these are the steps I followed.  First, interface the bias strip for the welts, then interface the fabric on the trouser piece, wider and longer than the pocket opening.  I drew a line with blue chalk down the middle of the bias strip – on the wrong side, marking the begining and end of the pocket opening.  Then I stitched, starting and ending exactly on those markings with the edge of my sewing machine foot on the blue line, one line on either side of the centre marking.  Next, I cut down that centre line and cut diagonally to the end of the stitching.  Make sure you cut straight!  You don’t need to stitch a box, in fact, that can hamper things.

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Making the welts

Now turn one side at a time up and press well, all along the fold.  Once that’s done, turn the bias strip to the inside and press those little triangles back well. Now you have to use the “seam allowance” as the “stuffing” for the welt, and fold the bias strip down to the inside over it.  Make sure you’re folding straight and accurately, it will show on the outside if you don’t.  Pin and press and baste as you feel necessary to get the right shape/line.  Make sure the welts aren’t overlapping or smiling at you, the folded edges should be touching “kissing”, as my tutor used to say.  Now you can stitch in the ditch along the length of the welts.  Then turn it all upside down, fold back those triangles and stitch along the fold, securing the edges in well.  Now you’re ready for the pocket bags.

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Finishing off the welts

Start with the lining, line the fabric up with the bottom edge of the bias strip on the lower welt, right side of lining to wrong side of trouser.  Lift the seam allowance up and pin and stitch from the welt side, not the lining side.  I tend to stitch twice, once roughtly down the middle of the allowance, this could be called either a holding stitch, or a reinforcement stitch, it does both jobs!  Then I go back and stitch again as close to the welt stitchline as I can.  Fold the lining down and press well.  If you’re going to use a button loop, now’s the time to get it in.

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Adding the pocket lining

Mark the centre of the pocket opening and pin the loop to the inside of the welt, centred on that marking.  (I usually use a pin to mark.)  Again, lift up the allowance and stitch the loop to the bias strip.  Now you need to whipstitch the welts together.  This keeps the pocket closed while you fiddle in the inside sewing the pocket bags together.  Now line up the pocket fabric with that allowance and stitch as you did for the lining, right side of pocket fabric to wrong side of trousers.  Once you’re done, smooth the pocket bags down and line up the sides.  You will have a longer lining piece than pocket bag, just trim it to the same length, pin all round and stitch.  I then overlocked the pocket bags together.

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Finishing off

All that’s left is to sew on your button, and voila!  You have a fancy pocket!  Now I just need weather suitable to wear these in, it’s a bit chilly here at the mooment, but not half as cold as it is in the States!  Keep warm guys!!

Sewing Japapese in January – Part 3

 

On a roll here!!  This time I’m using the Clean & Natural book and making the puffed sleeve pullover, pattern S.  It’s a loose fitting top with boat-neck(ish) that finishes mid hip and has a yummy, puffed sleeve.  The fullness in the sleeve is at the hem, rather than the sleeve head.  This book has a handy size table and the pattern sizes are S to LL.  I graded the LL up two sizes, going by the body measurements and the finished measurements of the top.  Remember, I don’t like too baggy…

 

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I toiled the pattern in some remnant cotton sheeting and made the following conclusions.  I needed more ease across the bust and length of about 2-3cm.  I also wanted the top to finish at the length it was un-hemmed.  So I needed an FBA of 3cm and to lengthen the top 3cm.  The sleeves are ok, finished at the right place and weren’t tight at the hem.  On creating the dart and FBA, I rotated it all out and am left with a no-dart top, just like the original.

Fabric is newly in the stash, after being bought last year at the NEC in March/April.  To be fair, I’d sort of allocated it to this top from the beginning, I just never got round to the grading and tracing and toiling last year.  The cotton is a woven gingham check, black and white.  I thought it would look pretty good with all the linen trousers in my summer wardrobe, and now I’m thinking it might be worn in the winter with a long sleeve layering tee underneath too…

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Construction is fairly straightforward, I overlocked everything first, and used ordinary seams.  The seam and hem allowances have to be added, by the way.  The facings are interfaced with fine sheer fusible.  The sleeve is pretty big, and only just fitted on the width of the fabric!  You gather the long curved of the oversleeve onto a pleated straight undersleeve.  This is what creates and holds the puff.  That’s the only time consuming part, gathering and evenly spreading all the gathers!

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I like how the back looks here, as if I’ve used a contrast neckband.  Maybe that’s the answer.

I had a quick try-on before hemming and decided it was too long!  I’m blaming the fabric here, the pattern.  It blinded me…  So I duly chopped off the 3cm I’d added to the length and turned up a 3cm hem.  Then I popped it back on over my head and – whoa!  I shouldn’t have done that…  I probably didn’t need to remove the whole 3cm.

I also had a problem with the neckline.  On the toile I didn’t add the facings and I was happy with where it sat.  On this garment, with facings added, it was too high!  I don’t like feeling crowded against my neck, and the other issue was all that pattern!  I think I could have done with less.  So I decided to change the shape of the neckline in the front, put the toile back on and drew a scoop to the depth I wanted and transferred that to the gingham.  I added seam allowance and chopped again.  Then I realised I didn’t have enough fabric to cut new facings.  Not going well, right?  Anyway, I cut bias strips and sewed them together and made a bias trim for the neck.  I actually like this better than the original facings anyway.

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I think there’s just tooo much patterned fabric here for me.

As it’s ever so slightly chilly here in the UK this week, I decided to wear it today with a long sleeve scoop neck tee, and I rather like it like this.  I think it would also look good with a rounder neck tee, or even a floppy poloneck.  I also think it needs slim fitting pants, looks good with the Birkin Flares, not so pretty with pleated, fuller trousers.  It’s the second Japanese pattern that hasn’t turned out quite the way I had imagined in my head.  I know I’m not the same shape and size, but I thought I was picking patterns that are similar to those I like in the Burdas, so I was hoping they’d come out the same too.  Guess I’ll be sticking to the trouser patterns! 😀

 

Sewing Japanese in January – Part 2

As far as the resolution “take it slower this year” goes, I’m not doing that well…  I’ve made three garments and two toiles, mended/fixed/altered a bag full and I’ve got a LIST for the month that really should be quartered.  Ah well, if I can’t have fun in January, when can I have it??

So, the next garment in the sewing from Japanese sewing books saga is another pair of Kana’s Standard trousers from the first book.  I had intended to use the wide leg pattern from the second book, I graded up two sizes, toiled and fitted (it worked perfectly!) but when it came to laying the pattern on the fabric, I didn’t have enough.

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Kana’s Standard trousers B-a

The fabric I wanted to use has been lurking in the stash for a long time.  I’d bought it from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon years ago in the remnant bin.  It was 1.8m, pinstripe navy English wool, but with a problem.  It was labelled as a second, and I found the flaw straight away, running the full width of the fabric about 15cm in from the one cut end.  I figured I could deal with that, depending on what I was making and bought it anyway.  Then followed various attempts at fitting various patterns onto the fabric, which, it turned out, had more flaws than the one I’d seen in the shop.  There was another flaw running the full width about 30cm from the first one, as well as two holes about 10cm in from the selvedge on the opposite end of the fabric.  So nothing fitted, even though I tried.  I thought I could get this pattern to fit, heaven knows why, it’s a wide leg pattern, needs length!!

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But I was determined, this time the fabric was getting used!  So I pulled out the pattern for  trousers B-a from the first book and did a little tetris around the flaws.  I had to shorten them by 2cm to their original length to fit the legs into the area between the end and the first flaw, and cut really close to the fold, shifting the pants pieces as far from the selvedge as possible to avoid the holes, but I managed it!  The pockets fitted into the 30cm between the two flaws, as well as one of the waistband pieces, and the other waistband piece fitted between the first flaw and the end of the fabric.  DONE!

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I overlocked all the pieces before starting to sew, and then it was easy.  The pattern instructions are easy to follow from the diagrams, I’d already added the required 1cm seam allowances & 4cm hems when I traced the pattern.  So on Sunday, while hubby was working checking drawings, I was happily making a new pair of trousers.  Now, if you remember, the corduroy pair I made last seemed a little too roomy.  So to combat that, I decided to increase the seam allowance to 1.5cm on the inside leg seam and from the base of the pocket to the hem on the outside seam.  This wool is not as stiff as the cord, but I like the more streamlined look.  Makes me wonder why I graded up two sizes! 🙂

pinstripe 5.jpg

But that takes you into the realms of fitting, and what you personally like.  The pants are supposed to be baggy, and not necessarily sewn in a stiff fabric like corduroy.  The thing is, I don’t want them too baggy on me, so I slim them down.  I have the same issue with the tops in these books.  If I actually graded up to the right size and proportions, I’d feel like I was wearing a massive tent, I just don’t like that amount of baggy.  Even though it looks great on other people, and in the books.  I can do baggy, just not tent.  That’s why I never use the Burda Plus patterns.  They’re just too big, too long and too “cover everything over”.

pinstripe 6.jpg

Anyway, I digress.  This is my third version of this pants pattern, I might venture in to the shorter versions and maybe the jumpsuit version in the summer.  It might be nice for wearing on the allotment with a Basic Instinct Tee underneath.  Even the “dungaree” version might have legs 😉  So – so far, the purchase of the book has been vindicated by the use.  Especially if the toile for the gathered sleeve blouse works!!

Sewing Japanese in January -Part 1

So, by the title, I am hoping (planning) on there being more than one post of a Japanese pattern this month.  I had a little re-think of one of the tops I posted about last time, the viscose for the Sailor Top in the Simply Sewn book.  I think it’s going to be too drapey, so I’ll be re-thinking and digging though the stash to see what else I can find for that.  I also just may have found fabric for the wide, cropped pants from Kana’s Standard.  Just need to be sure the pattern fits on the fabric!

ks jacket 1
Gown/Jacket E-a from Kana’s Standard

But – I have made the first item!  Woo!  I started with the Gown/Jacket E from Kana’s Standard.  Why that one?  Because I had planned on making it last year, the fabric’s been hanging around since 2016 and it looked quick and easy. What else could you want for a sewing day on New Year’s Day??

collage gown
Gown E-a in reversible double gauze

It turned out to be very easy to make, and relatively quick.  I didn’t rush it, there is an awful lot of double turning of long hems and edges to keep it all neat and tidy.  That’s because you really do see the insides while you’re wearing it, so it’s got to be done properly.

gown 3
Spotty, inside and out! Decent sized pockets too.

The instructions are all in Japanese, but the diagrams are pretty clear.  Once all the pieces are traced – main body, sleeve and pocket, you need to add seam and hem allowances.  So that’s 1cm for seams and 4 for hems and edges.  The main body is one size, with an option of size 9 or 13 for the sleeve and armhole.  I went for the 13.  Now, in hindsight, I could/should probably have added 2-3cm on the fold to the centre back.  I think it would have helped to have had extra room in the back portion of the jacket.  I’ve made that note on the pattern pieces for the next time.

img_20181230_183702_5278386519509938883891.jpg
The “how to make” part in the book.

Order of construction is simple, make the sleeves, make the pockets, sew the pockets on at the marked placements, sew the sleeves into the armhole and hem everything.  Done! 🙂  I’d love to make this again in a soft, washed linen.  I found this shop on Etsy with lovely looking linen.  And Daughter no2 has looked accquisitorially at it already!  It used just under 3m of the double gauze I had in the stash.  It came from Organic Cotton Plus as part of a prize package.  I have a bit leftover which I think I’ll use for a kid’s outfit of some sort, there’s not enough for a grown-up!

gown 5

I like the look of this jacket, I had in mind for it to be a light covering in late spring and the summer, especially when sitting in my garden and the breeze gets a little nippy.  But it would also make a lovely dressing gown, and at least it has pockets for your phone and morning biscotti!  I just can’t quite get comfortable wearing it.  Because it’s basically a rectangle with armholes and sleeves, it doesn’t sit on the shoulders nicely.  I end up with it wither hangind down the back or having to haul more of it up around my neck.  If anyone else has made this, please let me know how you manage to wear it comfortably!

 

gown 1

I thought, maybe it’s just because I’m wider than the pattern is meant for, so I tried it on Daughter No 2.  It does look better on her (in my opinion) but she has the same issue with getting it to sit and stay!  I have a feeling I’m going to need to make a couple of darts in the neck edge to give it some shape.  In a jersey or fabric that has more give, I think it would eventually form a shape over the shoulders, but this just isn’t.  And it’s such a shame, because we both love the gown/jacket.  It’s just not nice to wear!  And we both have a problem with the armhole, it feels like it’s in the wrong place, either too low or not low enough!

gown me 3

But I have a feeling this garment will be going home with Daughter No2, although I like it – I just don’t think it’s me…

gown me 2

 

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