Sew Japanese in January 2023

Why do I wait until the last few days in the month to get all my photos and writing done? Making is the easy part, writing a little less so, but photos in January… These are taken on my phone and the qualty of the light wasn’t terribly good. But, needs must! Along with the trouser sewing and the making of the jacket that featured in a Work in Progress post weeks ago, I cut and made another version of Top E from Asuka Hamada’s book, Sweet Clothes. Other versions can be found on the blog by searching “Asuka Hamada”, and there’s a review on the book hidden away somewhere too. I still intend to make at least one other pattern from this book, but I love the sleeves on this one so much!

So yes, it’s a pretty simple top, I’ve added a FBA and altered the neckline slightly, but otherwise it’s the straight size 2. As mentioned before, I haven’t added any more ease, being comofrtable with it as drafted, although someone smaller than me would have a considerably looser top.

The fabric chosen is from Croft Mill Fabrics, part of a large bundle I bought back in July last year. It’s viscose crepe, but very lightweight, and it moves on the draft made by a buterfly’s wing… I cut it to pattern match around the body but didn’t worry about matching the sleeves into the armhole. French seams keep everything on the inside nice a tidy and fray-proof. This fabric does like to fray! Perhaps if you’re a fan of spray starch for viscose, this is the fabric on which to use it!

I altered the neck binding slightly, the instructions have you encase the 5mm seam allowance and turn it in, I find this narrow strip of binding tends to fray, not fold iin properly, and generally need intervention later on. I folded a wider bias strip in half, sewed it onto the neckline and turned the whole thing inside, topstitching on the outside to hold it down and enclose the raw edges. It hasn’t made any more bulk or weight to the neckline, so I’m much happier with the finish.

I think I’ll always return to this pattern for a quick satisfying, big sleeve sew. And for wearability – might be a little too thin for winter wear without something underneath, but it will be worn in the summer!!!

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