Kana’s Standard II – A Rusty Jacket

Right, I am finally ready to show you my Japanese Jacket. I had been hoping to get pictures of it on our little Cornish break, along with the cropped trousers from the last post, but it was way too hot for that!! In the end, I had to give in to the weather and just go for it. The jacket is the perfect layering piece for those typical English “summer” days, or slightly breezy days, and when Autumn finally arrives, I have no doubt that it will get a lot more wear. I visited Daughter No2 in her new flat in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham last week, and on a little walk we found the perfect place for photographs. I love the feel of that area and I’m happy to see so much regeneration of the old workshops, warehouses and industrial spaces. The colours the Victorians and Georgians used are pretty fabulous too!

rust jacket 2
Kana’s Standard II Jacket A9

First of all, the pattern. In the Kana’s Standard II book, the sizing is in Japanese sizes up to 13. On checking the measurements for that size band I realised that if I graded up two sizes I’d be in the right ballpark, without having to redraft. Time saved! So off I went and graded the tops pattern, A. Basically there is one standard pattern with various little differences, length, sleeves, sleeve width and sleeve length. The jacket is A9, with a longer version that has pockets to make a coat, A10. There is a section of photographs of all the different versions of Top A, styling shots all featuring the author wearing the clothes from the book.

collage kanas standard a9 photos
Images from the book featuring the author wearing the jacket
collage kanas standard a9 diagrams
Order of work, cutting layout and instructions

I did a quick “wearable toile” of A1, just a simple top with short sleeves, to check the fit. Width was more than enough, if not a little too much for a top. (Need to remember to take in the sides or reduce the width across the shoulder before using the pattern again) But it needed length across the bustline for a fuller bust than the books will ever cater for!

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I added 3cm in length, creating a bust dart in the front side to allow for the fullness, this was then rotated to the waist and then removed in the side seam, so it’s dart-free. I also widened the sleeve by 2cm, I have fuller upper arms than the pattern allows for. In the summer this is not so bad, because of all the allotment work, digging, etc. My arms shrink in the summer, but when winter comes again, I don’t want clingy sleeves. Those were the only adjustments I decided were needed.

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The pattern pieces fitted perfectly on the remaining rusty coloured linen. I thought briefly of binding the seams on the inside with bias, a Hong Kong finish, but as I really, really wanted the jacket for the Cornish trip and was up against the clock, left that and just overlocked everything instead. The pattern is quick to make, even without English instructions. The diagrams are clear, marked with numbers that indicate the order of work. Seam and hem allowances are marked in the cutting layout in the book, and it’s all metric. For some translation of the instructions, there is a handy page on this website which I used.

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I am very happy with the finished garment, the colour is perfect, just as it was with the pants! For now I’m rolling the sleeves up a bit. I could probably make them more a 7/8 or 3/4 length for the summer, I’m always pushing up long sleeves, even in the winter! For the closure I used the last of the dark bronze snaps I got for Daughter No2’s orange coat last winter. Sewn on with buttonhole stitch, they’ll not be getting pulled off in a hurry.

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I’m already making plans for more of these, possibly using some pinstripe wool suiting (and making a lining pattern) to make a winter version… The loose casual feel of the jacket is something I really like, although hubby would prefer me to wear something more fitted. Not in the summer!!

rust jacket 1

I’m off now to complete some more of the Burda challenge 2018 patterns on my list, July’s edition this year is a bit good, better than last month in it’s offerings!

Smoke and Shadows

My first little foray into making clothes with a Japanese inspiration went well, I’ve worn the gingham linen top a lot in the past few weeks and I really love it as much as the first one I made in January.  I now have all three of the Japanese books I ordered, Clean and Natural and Kana’s Standard I & II.  My first project is inspired by the Flared Top in the Clean & Natural book, and is based on a Burdastyle pattern I made 3 versions of last year.

flared top 3
Modified Burda top 124 5/15

Why use a Burda pattern instead of the pattern in the book?  Because the book has patterns for Japanese sized and shaped ladies, which is not me.  So I was always going to have to draft or alter something to make it work.  You can put large, baggy clothing on slim people and they still look great, but those same proportions on someone a “little” larger don’t work.  I certainly feel like I’m wearing a tent, which is precisely why I don’t use the plus sizes in the Burda patterns!!  Too long and too wide!

flared top 2

So, here’s what I did to get my own version of the Flared Top.  The original pattern has a yoke front and back that starts under the arm and scoops up and over the bustline, the sleeves are grown-on.  The length of the top is 55cm, which is not too long.  The flare though, is substantial.  Lovely on a “skinny minny”.  That yoke line and flare over the bust is not flatterning on someone with a larger bust.  The yoke would have to sit much lower.  I decided on using #124 05/2015 because (a) I’ve made three others, so it’ll be quick, (b) the fit was already good, (c) it had a yoke in a good position, and (d) I’d be able to add flare to just the lower front and back pieces quickly and easily, after straightening out the curved hem.

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I added 2cm of flare to the hem on the front and back side seams of the lower pieces and divided the front and back into thirds.  The first third from the centres became the line where more flare was added.  I slashed and spread, adding 5cm at the hemline.  This meant the front and back pieces were 12 cm wider than the original pieces.  I figured this would be enough flare for me.

flared top 4

I did not toile….  I went straight in with the fabric, I had some lovely misty grey viscose in the stash, bought last year or the year before from Clothspot.  It has that lovely drape and sheen that I love in a viscose.  I used French seams throughout and double turned the hems.  I omitted the keyhole opening of the original pattern and used bias for the neckline.

So, how did it work out?  Pretty well, I think.  I’m not putting this top into full rotation in the wardrobe until it warms up considerably!  I think it’ll be lovely in the summer, the flare will help air to circulate!  The colour is great and I think there’s just enough flare to give a nod to the Japanese pattern, with me still feeling comfortable in it.  I will be making it a little shorter though, I recon 5cm should do it.

flared top 1

If you’re the right size and shape to make a version straight from the book, the diagrams are simple to follow and you don’t need to know Japanese to make anything.  There is a great blog post here to help you understanding some of the terms you’d come across in these books.   For another version of the top, from the original pattern, here’s Sew Busy Lizzy’s beautiful top.

I’m already planning my next projects from these books, and have tweaked my easy fitting bodice block and drafted a Kimono block to help to get me started.  There are many patterns I want to try, I hope they all turn out as fabulous as they look in my head! 🙂  In the mean time, there’s still the Burda Challenge 2018 to get on with, and April is looking like it’s going to be full of sewing, although not that many patterns from this year’s issue have got me excited.  There seem to be more in previous years, but we’ll get to that in another post, shall we?