Sewing Japanese in January

Finally!  I have finally, after two and a bit years, made a pattern from the book “Basically 7 Dresses”.  Except that it isn’t a dress.  But nevermind, it’s done, and I like it!  In my first Work in Progress Wednesday of the year, I shared the beginning stages of the project, toiling and making the alterations to the pattern.  I needed a bit more time than I thought to find a fabric to make it up in though, it turns out my stash consists of less usable-to-me fabrics than I first thought!  But I won’t go into that now.

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Blouse from Basically 7 Dresses and Kana’s Standard trousers

I did decide on using some of a 3m piece of cotton voile bought from Seasalt a while ago.  I love the muted blue background and off white seagulls, perfect combination for a summer top – which means not so good to photograph in the middle of winter – brrr!  As it’s a lovely drapey, thin fabric, I’ve used French seams throughout, and stabilised the top collar and facings with some fine sheer fusible interfacing.  I also opted for lightweight shell buttons, although I really wanted to use some of the vintage glass ones in my button drawer!

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Blouse details

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I went through the trouble of doing a FBA on this, but now it’s finished, I wish I’d added less across the front, it has lost some of the shape and definition. However, I’m sure that when it’s hot and humid in the summer, it’ll be fine.  Right now though, it lets the draft in!  I also think it’ll look better in a plain fabric, to be honest I feel this has gone dowdy – fast!  Something to think of for next time, the facings in the armhole have a tendency to flap out when putting it on – might not be such a problem for someone with skinnier arms.  So I’ll topstitch the facing down around the armhole instead of just catching it at the shoulder and under arm seams.

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Once the top was done, I realised I might want a new pair of trousers to go with it.  And I had just the piece of left over cotton twill in a nice dark navy in the stash.  The fabric has a lovely sheen to it, and is super yummy to wear.  To go with the theme, I chose to make another pair of the trousers from Kana’s Standard, book number 1.  The pants are in section B, and I decided on the longest, narrowest version of those, style f.  Now this version has straps attached to the top, making braces – I left those off.  I had to retrace my pattern, goodness knows what I’d been doing with the last tracing, it was a mess! 

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These are the size 13 – the biggest size in the book – and they are perfect.  I had previously graded the pattern up 2 sizes, then spent the last two years making the pants that used that pattern two sizes smaller!   The elastic in the back waistband makes them rather comfy!  I can see these being worn loads in both season’s wardrobes, rolled up at the hem, they’re fine for summer.  By making the longer length, they are also perfectly sized for my short legs!  The hem breaks nicely on the top of my foot, so I can wear them in winter without my socks showing.  They’re also well stocked with good sized pockets, two hip-yoke pockets in front and two patch pockets in the back.  Practically perfect pants!

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Distracted by the blackbird tossing all the leaves out of the gutter while racing down the gutter at speed!

I can’t wait for the weather to turn – I know we still have to survive February, but the signs are there, snowdrops are up, hellebores are flowering and the daffs are showing pointy green growth.  But I’m getting itchy to plant seeds and get gardening again, I just want to be outside in the sun!