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!

collage translated

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!