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.