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!

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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??

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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

 

Sew Japanese in January

Who’s got their 2019 sewing plans started?  There have been a lot of “themes” going round in the last week or two of December to get us all started, and I’m keen to jump onto a few of them.  This one. however, will get me finally using those Japanese Sewing Books I’ve been hoarding.

I spotted the #sewjapaneseinjanuary hashtag on instagram mid way through December and I thought it might be a good way to start the new year.  It’s hosted by @bloglessanna & @craftyjane_makes & runs for the month of January.  I’ve got a few Japanese sewing books now and so far have really only made the trousers from the first Kana’s Standard book & the short jacket from the second book successfully.  There are many, many other patterns I’d like to try, some for me and some for the girls.

I have all the Pattern Magic books, but might to use those this time round.  There are plenty of others to use with patterns already available!  I will have to grade up a couple of sizes.  Starting with the Clean and Natural Book, I’ve always liked the bell/puff sleeve pullover top.  I have some black & white gingham with a 1cm square that I thought would look fabulous in that pattern.

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Clean & Natural
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Puff Sleeved Top

 

Next up are the Kana’s Standard books.  From the first one I still want to make the first top with the ruffle on the sleeve – A, the “gown” E and the cropped version of the pants B.  I’ve also loved the top on the cover, and it’s all because of that ruffle, there’s nothing fanccy about the rest of it at all!  I have a reversible double gauze earmarked for the gown, which I plan on using as a lightweight summer jacket.  I haven’t identified fabric for the other patterns just yet.

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Kana’s Standard, Book 1
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Jacket/Gown E
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Ruffle sleeve top

From Kana’s Standard II, I’d love to make another version of the jacket A and I still want to make the wide pants, E.  I haven’t allocated any specific fabrics yet, but I’m sure I’ll dig something up!  I also love the wrap dress on the front cover, but that I will have to grade up and toile carefully.

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Kana’s Standard, Book 2
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Wrap dress
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Cropped, wide leg pants

The gathered blouse from She Wears the Pants has been on the list to make for Daughter No 1 for a while, but I still haven’t made it, and I’ve always wanted to make the top with Epaulettes for myself.

Then there’s a book I’d completely forgotten about until I browsed the hashtag more thoroughly, Simply Sewn by Michiyo Ito.  There are a few good for me items in this book, but I’m starting with the French Sailor Top.  I like the shape, and have decided to risk it in a viscose, instead of a more structured fabric like linen or cotton.

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Simply Sewn

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I bought myself a birthday present on Etsy that arrived on my birthday itself (I only expected it sometime in the first week of January).  The book is 7 Basic Dresses & Modifications, by Aoi Koda.  I’d seen it on Instagram earlier this year in a post by @sewbusylizzy and it went on my “list of books to have”.  There are a few tops/blouses and a couple of dresses I really like.  Daughter No1 has approved one of the shirt dresses already.

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7 Dresses and modifications

The dress on the cover has been admired by all three of us, so it just might be found in each wardrobe soon!

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I’d like to make this as a shirt, in a lightweight cotton it’ll be lovely
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This is so simple and I can see myself wearing it. Might just change the wide sleeve hem elastic to a narrower one though.

So far I have traced the gown/jacket, the puff sleeve top, top with sleeve ruffle and the sailor top.  I graded the puff sleeve top up two sizes, and the sailor top one size.  I don’t think I’ll need to toile the jacket/gown, it’s pretty much one size fits all apart from the sleeve and armhole.  I’ll get to toiling asap and we’ll see how I go from there!  But by the end of the month I certainly want to have made that double gauze up, it’s been stewing in the stash for too long…

So let’s see how it goes, let’s get our 2019 sewing off to a promising start, shall we?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Pumped up Kicks

 

One more post squeezed into what’s left of 2018!  I made these cropped trousers last month, but had to wait for assistance to get photos.  I really need to make a plan with photographing trousers or dresses on my own.  Anyway, the fabric is English wool suiting, with a textured herringbone stripe and a bit of colour that you really don’t read unless you’re up close and personal sewing it – or doing the ironing.  It was a find from a charity shop!

 

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Burda trousers 120 07/2018

I knew it would become a pair of cropped trousers, there wasn’t enough for a full length version.  And I wasn’t keen on a skirt.  I decided to use trousers 120 from Burda 7/2018 again.  I like the slightly kicked out flare of the extension piece/ wide hem band(?).  They also have a nice fit on my natural waist and are closer fitting around the hip area before becoming wider at the leg. I cut the pocket lining from a piece of navy and white cotton, but the rest is all wool.  I like this fabric – it can go in the washing machine on a woollens cycle!

 

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I’ve worn them a few times now, and I can say they’re really comfy to wear, are the perfect length and always get compliments!  Today a little old lady told me I looked nautical”.  I’ll take that.  🙂  Now, the only thing I can think of that might be missing from this pattern is a pocket on the bum.  Such a handy thing to have, don’t you think?  If you want to see the inners and a bit of construction, I posted  a Work in Progress report on it that you can read here.

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I’m hoping I’ll be able to get more photos of the other trousers I’ve been making and blog them soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 of 2018 The Misses

 

It’s harder to find misses than it is to find hits!  But it seems they’re all my projects, and they’re not Burda patterns….

The first one is the jumpsuit I made in the summer.  This was sort of a wearable toile.  I had toiled it, made adjustments to the leg length and graded between sizes for the hip-waist-bust areas.  I used a 3m length of border printed viscose.  I haven’t even blogged these, never managed to get photos, which is a shame.  They’re good, but still need many adjustments, not least of which is to shorten the crotch depth and lift the point of the v neck.  I also need to find a lightweight invisible zip.  The one I used is too stiff really for viscose.  However, it was super cool and comfy to wear in the long hot summer we had this year.  I hope I’ll be able to make the pattern again next summer and fix the issues this jumpsuit has.

This top had various issues, I’d self drafted a copy of a top in one of the Kana’s Standard books, and initially I thought it was good, but on wearing more, the neckline is too wide (I did that on purpose, but it’s not right) and it’s just a little too billowy at the hem.  I’ve put it aside to recut and reuse in some way.

Another attempt at a copy of a Japanese pattern was this top, I’d used a Burda pattern and altered it to get the flare.  But it was too long and too flared and I wasn’t all that comfortable in it.  The colour’s not quite right either, it’s a beautiful viscose in a silvery grey, but I think it needs to be darker.   It’s joined the above top to be sorted, but I’ve yet to get to it.

It seems that the issues were to be had with me trying shapes I don’t usually wear, and finding those a little “not me”.  They’re not disasters by any means, and can be fixed in some way.

Top 5 of 2018 The Hits

Gosh, the end of another year – how do I decide on just 5 here?  Especially as I have yet to blog all the projects I finished…  I’m joining Gillian on the round up of projects for 2018.

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I’m not going to rank my favourite projects, but I am going to start with this, the paprika linen wide leg Burda trousers I made in June.  They sort of top the list because it’s the first time I’ve made myself anything that is this colourful!  I already knew the pattern would work, I’ve made it a fair few times.  But the colour!!  It’s worked so well with everything, and I found myself looking for them as soon as they were washed to wear again!

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I’m going to say the next best thing was the windowpane wool culottes I made daughter no1 in the Autumn.  She just loved them and has apparently worn them every week!  The fit is great on them and the colours work brilliantly with the rest of her wardrobe.  Actually, that pink-copper trench would look fabulous with those culottes!  The warm tones would just be great together.

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Staying with the girls, Daughter No 2 says her top make was the linen stripey shorts, she can’t wait for the summer again to be able to wear them to death.  She’s also put her blue and white linen shirt dress up for consideration.  She loves that it can be both a dress and a jacket.  And that she has worn quite a bit.

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The last project is one that really isn’t just one.  Rather, it’s a pattern.  I’ve made a good number of Toaster Sweaters since November last year, and it’s been the one most requested whenever the girls decide they “need” another warm top for cold weather!  I’ve actually made them each another one for Christmas.

I’ve made so many good things this year that it’s tricky to choose just 5, but I think these are a good selection!  I’ll now try to decide on which projects didn’t quite live up to expectations.

The Trench Coat Edition

 

The trench coat 103 in the February issue of Burdstyle 2017 has been on my “to sew” list since it came out.  There was just something about the style, length and simplicity of the design that appeals.  Daughter No1 was very keen on having it, and I really wanted to make it in one of her fabric designs, but the price of doing so was just too much.  I still hope that one day I will be able to do that, but in the mean time she has her coat, and she’s still happy with it.  And so is Daughter No 2….

 

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The spy coat!

I guess I’d better explain!  🙂  Both girls liked the coat, and both wanted a version.  So I went looking online for suitable fabric and found a rather nice pink/copper cotton twill at Croft Mill Fabrics for just £5/m.  I bought 5m, which was a real bargain.  I wasn’t sure whether the girls would like the colour, but as it was cotton, I was quite prepared to dye it to whatever colour they wanted.  As it turns out, however, they were both perfectly happy with it!  That makes it easy for me then!  My Work in Progress post will take you through all the construction details.

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I traced the 38 and toiled it in an old duvet cover from the charity shop.  On trying it on Daughter No2, we noted the following alterations:

  1. Lengthen sleeves by 4cm
  2. Broad shoulder adjustment 1.5cm
  3. Lengthen coat by 4cm
  4. Lengthen belt pieces 1.5cm

For Daughter No1, these were the alterations:

  1. Forward shoulder adjustment 1cm
  2. Lengthen coat by 4cm

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chace coat 2

So, I was going to make Daughter No1’s coat first with her alterations, then reverse the shoulder adjustment and make the adjustments for Daughter No2 and make her coat. The coat itself is pretty straightforward to make.  Although Burda call it a “gathered trench coat”, there’s actually no gathering.  The waist is formed with dart tucks in the front and back, and the belt piece starts in the back panel seam to be fixed in the front with a button.  It does have the effect of  cinching the waist in a bit, but definitely not gathering.  The button is sewn through all the layers, there is no buttonhole.

tayla coat 8

 

chace coat 4

I did make them slightly differently, the coats have topstitching in different places, and Daughter No2’s coat has no shoulder pads.  I used shoulder pads in Daughter No1’s coat because of her posture.  I halved the thickness of the pads, she didn’t want “Dynasty shoulders”, but she did need the shaping they give.  Can you tell that the shoulders are different?

collage tayla coat

chace coat 11

Linings for the coats were chosen for each girl.  The coat wasn’t intended to be lined, the Burda instructions have you use Hong Kong finish on all the raw seams, and that would be fine for a Spring/summer coat.  We wanted these to be warmer, so I needed a lining.  I’ve not used traditional lining fabric for the main body, but I have used “proper” lining for the sleeves.  There’s nothing worse than your sleeves getting bunched up under your armpits when you put on a coat!

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I’d found the cotton poplin William Morris inspired print at Fabworks and knew it would be perfect for Daughter No1.  Daughter No2 needed something more contrasting, and I was looking for something geometric with a grey and white colour but was coming up empty handed.  Eventually I found a blue and white paisley print with bronze detail at the Rag Market in Birmingham.  It is viscose and cost a mere £2/m!  It was the right choice and Daughter No2 approved.

tayla coat 1

 

collage chace coat

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My next problem in choice was the buttons.  I raided my button box and then all the charity shops in town.  I ended up with 3 rather yummy plum/maroon vintage buttons for the front of Daughter No2’s coat.  But there weren’t any for the sleeve tabs.  Another rummage through the button stash revealed 3 pretty pink mother of pearl buttons that would work.  So that was one done, Daughter No1’s buttons were more tricky to decide on.  She didn’t want a colour that would stand out too much, she decided subtle was the route to take.

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Buttons!

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In my raid of the local charity shops, I had found 4 beige-y/pink buttons, BIG ones!  So the colour was subtle, size – not so very much…!  But – they have worked rather well, and I found a couple of smaller similar coloured buttons in my stash that I used for the sleeve tabs.  So, there you have two pink/copper coats with different linings and different buttons for two different girls with different styles.  Although the shell colour is the same, and I used the same pattern, they do look different on.

collage coatsThat’s another Burdachallenge2018 entry for the year, and I’m glad to have made the trench coat.

 

Jeans or Trousers

 

Finally!  I have some photos of the trousers I was making two weeks ago.  I’ve worn them quite a bit since making them, mostly because I thought I’d be able to get photos, but no…  Instead I had a comfy, warm day of wearing my new pants.  I really do like this pattern, it will be good to make in a summer fabric too, linen or even viscose.  A reminder that the pattern is 117 from November Burda 2018.

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Burda trousers 117 July 2018

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They were really easy and quick to make and they’re fab to wear.  That could be because of the stretch content, of course!  😉  The piping in the waistband has the advantage of stopping the waistband stretching out.  So it looks good and has a proper purpose!  Detailed photos of the waistband and pockets are in that WIP post, link above.

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The welt pocket is also good.  Next time I’ll widen the welt and resulting pocket by 2-3cm.  The original 14 cm is fine, and fits the phone, but it could do with being slightly roomier, making it easier to access said phone.  For people with a wider phone than mine, it would also be a good idea to make the pocket wider!

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A proper, workable back pocket!

The leg length is just fine.  I had shortened the legs by 4cm and crossed my fingers that it would be ok.  I still get a break on the top of my show, and honestly I wouldn’t want more than I’ve got in a stiff fabric like the denim.  In a softer fabric, more of a break would look fine, so a longer length would work.

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I just can’t decide what these are, jeans – or trousers?