I didn’t expect to be reviewing another Japanese pattern book so soon, but I found this green top which was made using a pattern from one of my newer books Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe by Sato Watanabe. I’ve had this book for quite a while but did not notice the detailing on this dress pattern probably because all the designs are in black, hence the name. That is really the only negative I can find with this book. It is one of my two favourite Japanese pattern books. It describes itself as being edgy and I suppose it is when compared to other Japanese pattern books. I just think it is more stylish and definitely more to my taste. The patterns are slightly more confusing than those in other Japanese pattern books due to them being all squashed onto (both sides) of just one sheet. But I quite like the challenge.
So, here’s my version of this pattern:
This is not at all what I intended. I had a beautiful piece of fabric lined up. It was a silk cotton mix in a very pale peach with a slight gold shimmer to it. (The darts would have shown up beautifully on this fabric, unlike the patterned fabric I ended up using.). This fabric was tricky. It did not even like being cut. I spent ages getting it cut out, measuring and pinning the darts (all six of them). I was just about to start sewing when I noticed the fabric looked almost transparent in places and when I investigated, it just started falling to pieces. Hence the change of fabric. This one is a cotton poplin which might not drape as well as the silk mix but I knew it would stay put while I cut it and I could iron it into nice sharp darts. Good old cotton. I did like that other fabric though.
So, when measuring the pattern I thought the boat neck might be a bit too wide, but decided to make it as the designer intended except that I was making a top and not a dress. The neck is a bit too wide, but still wearable. I should have made a smaller size and will probably have to do a few alterations to rectify that at some point. The only other modifications I made were to sew a seam up the back with a small opening and a hand sewn button fastening instead of a zip, to hand sew a rolled hem and to hand sew much thinner bias binding as I prefer a daintier look.
I want to make quite a few of the patterns in this book.
I particularly like ‘a’ the Lace Shirred Blouse, and ‘g’ and ‘h’ both versions of the Whimsical Vest. I find the names given to the garments amusing as well.