Japanese sewing week has been organised by Sara
as a showcase/celebration of all the amazing patterns there are to be found in Japanese sewing books.
I own four Japanese sewing books including 1 untranslated version. They are all packed with content. For the price of what some single patterns cost you get a book with anywhere from 12 to 25+ different designs – and the illustrations for construction are always excellent.
Over the last year or so I have made a lot of designs featured in Linen, Wool, Cotton, Kids by Akiko Mano and a sunny spot 女の子のまいにちの服 by 村田繭子.
One of the things I love about the patterns in these books is because they are all fairly simple styles based around a few blocks many of the design elements are interchangeable, so you are able to swap collars, sleeves etc. between the garments. This is a feature I used in my first make a ribbed-back tunic for H from Linen, Wool, Cotton, Kids.
The tunic is the main reason I ordered this book and this tour seemed the perfect opportunity to finally get around to it. Of course, now that it is wet and windy here in London the lovely white cotton version with flutter sleeves seemed out of the question so I made a long-sleeved version by borrowing the sleeves from the button-back tunic in the same book. For added warmth and versatility I also made it reversible using a beautifully soft brushed denim-look cotton on one side…
Both fabrics are from my local shop (Simply Fabrics in Brixton). The jeggings were
badly quickly made from material salvaged from an old pair of my leggings.
I also thought I’d use the tour as motivation to finally make myself something from one of my other books, Stylish Party Dresses by Yoshiko Tsukiori and She Wears the Pants by Yuko Takada. As with the kids books I love the simple designs in these books but am put off by the fact that many of the designs are made with a petite figure in mind. Many of the dresses don’t feature darts and the sizes are often limited. That said Stylish Party Dresses does include a much wider range of sizes (up to a US size 16). I really have no call for any stylish party dresses in my life, but lots of the designs would look like everyday wear if made in the right fabric.
So, I took the plunge and picked a style I loved even though it seemed very unlikely it would be flattering – the voluminous drape top and made it in a beautiful forest green double gauze I bought when I visited Fabric Depot in Portland this September.
The only changes I made to the pattern was to line the yoke for more structure and a neater inside and decrease the depth of the v at the back, to make it more
practical. I am still wondering whether it would be more flattering if a narrowed the sleeves or gathered the ends, but I definitely love that back detail.
The next pattern I attempted was the super-quick-to-sew-mini-dress from She Wears the Pants.
I found a thick royal blue, boiled wool knit at Simply Fabrics. As it was thicker than the design seemed to require I had to make some changes to construction, skipping the lining and neckline facing and hemming by hand instead. Again I narrowed the depth of the V at the front and back and missed out the cross straps and bow (as I completely ran out of fabric). I will need to find something else to add to the back so it doesn’t fall off the shoulders but haven’t decided what I should use yet.
Some of the hems are still a little curvy, but I’m hoping a wash and press will fix them.
Now to the giveaway! Thanks to our sponsors there are three chances to win with the following prizes…
Enter below – the more entries validated the more chance of winning.
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If you fancy seeing what else can be made with some of the great Japanese sewing books out there check out what all the other particpants have been making.
In a Manner of Sewing | Conversas de Hermanas | Pequenos e Verdes | Climbing the Willow
Bartracks and Singletrack | S is for Sewing | Sew Happy | Mamacosesola
Fairies, Bubbles & Co. | Sewing Like Mad | As it Seams | Sewing For Mini Me
La Folie Sewing Booth | Just Add Fabric | Blogless Anna | Sweeter Than Cupcakes | Needle and Ted
Miss Castelinhos | Made by Toya | Lil Luxe Collection | House of Estrela
Patty Made It | Paisley Roots | Rita Pirolita | Call Ajaire
So-cal Sewing Mom | Kiwi Crafty Chemist | Sew Shelly Sew | Made by Sara