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!!

poppy 2
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!

poppy 4

poppy 1

poppy 5

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.

collage poppy

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

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.

asuka spot 3
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:

img_3604

img_3605

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.

asuka spot 2

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!

asuka spot 4

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!

asuka spot 1

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.