I was absolutely delighted last Christmas to receive a Japanese pattern book from my lovely friend Lulu. What added to it is that Lulu’s not even a sewer, but she was all over the Japanese pattern books – loved it!
The particular book that I was kindly gifted was happy homemade vol. 1 treasured collection, by Yoshiko Tsukiori – in English, oh yes! (My Japanese is certainly not what it used to be, and given that it was never much chop to start with… you see where I’m going here.)
This is me, wearing my ‘dress’ (that I’ve actually decided is a tunic – way too short for me as a dress!). I did think about adding extra length to make it more of a dress length, but I like wearing tunic length tops so left it as it was.
Don’t mind the creases!
Here’s a close up of the trim and shirring. It was the first time I’d shirred anything, it wasn’t hard – I’d recommend you give it a go, if you haven’t already of course! The pattern called for four rows of shirring, but I added an extra one (total of five rows) at the top to stop any gaping/flapping at the neckline.
I was lazy and didn’t baste the trim first which made it a bit of a &^%$ to sew on, but by the time I’d hit the trouble spots (namely, the corners) I’d gone too far and was way past stopping so I ploughed on- you know how it is. That, and the fact the print on the fabric hides a multitude of sins – like ugly stitching :)
One other ‘moment’ I had – I stupidly cut out the sleeves together without ‘good sides together’ so I ended up with two sleeves shaped the same. Luckily there was only a slight difference between the front and back of the sleeve in this pattern, so I just altered the seam allowance a little on one to make it work.
A couple of other notes:
- I redrafted the facings to make them wider, and separate pieces, rather than one long, thin piece of about 1.5 cm width. One, because it was easier to sew that way, and two, because the wider facings would sit better while being worn.
- These patterns keep you on your toes – there’s many different seam allowances used and I decided to follow the instructions on this. You need to make sure you’re all the ball and using the correct allowance size on the correct seam.
So that’s my first foray in to the world of Japanese patterns – and I like it! Have you sewn any garments out of any of the Japanese pattern books? What did you think?
PS – Are you watching the Olympics? I’m hooked :)