A New Pink Top

This pink top has been sitting in my sewing room part made for about two weeks.  I used the upper bodice pattern piece for the sweetheart bodice dress from Yoshiko Tsukiori’s ‘Sweet Dress Book:23 Stylish Outfits from Six Simple Patterns’ and my own pattern for the rest which I made from a drape, just as I did for the cream one I made a while ago with the pretty bridal lace section at the top.

I get a lot of comments on this one and have wanted to make another but took my time thinking about which fabric would be best.  I really like it in the cream and was tempted to make one in a similar colour.  I think the pale pink was a good choice, though, as I did not have a pink top.  I have some more fabric to make another one when I can find the time.  It is a pale coffee coloured cotton and a mesh fabric with coffee coloured spots on.

The pink top has turned out better than I thought.  Rashly, I decided to do a hand sewn scallop hem because they’re so delicate and pretty.  It took so long and it doesn’t even show up in the photographs!  I love the pink shell button I chose.  It really needed a more lightweight one so that the delicate chiffon wasn’t weighed down.  But my heart won out and I used the one I liked (again it doesn’t show up in the photographs).  It is a pink disc made from shell with a metal shank which ends in a square of metal in the centre at the front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: This post contains links to products, websites or patterns. I do not receive any reward for mentioning them. I only recommend items I use personally and think will be of interest to my readers.

Basic Black Japanese Pattern Book Review

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Dress Japanese Patterns

I absolutely love Japanese pattern books.  A lot of people have had a meltdown when they’ve unfolded the patterns in some of these books and found that; a) there are about a million patterns on each page, b) you have to trace off all the lines for your garment, c) there are no seam allowances, you have to add these yourself.  For me, these are all bonuses.  I like the fact that I get a whole pile of patterns for very little money.  I prefer to trace off the patterns, so that I can still use the original in another size, and it is far easier to alter a pattern to fit me if it has no seam allowances to take into consideration.  Also, I can then choose the size for my seam allowances without having to work around what’s already there.

These Japanese pattern books are quite brilliant.

The Japanese pattern book I am going to share with you today is Sweet Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.  Sweet Dress Book: 23 Stylish Outfits from Six Simple Patterns  OK, so most of the models do look really sad and motionless and like they’re wearing clothes belonging to someone far larger than themselves.  (Although this is not the case with my two latest purchases of Japanese pattern books)  I’m not sure if this is just the style they favour or whether they do this so as to provide less distractions from the shape and lines of the garments.  Size-wise I assume they’ve just taken the patterns directly from the books which have been created for the larger western body, so wouldn’t fit the petite Japanese frame.

Each of these books contains a wide range of very usable patterns.  Personally, I can’t imagine making many of these patterns exactly as the designer intended, but they are very adaptable.  (Again, my two new Japanese pattern books are very different from any other in that I want to make a lot of the patterns exactly as the designers intended and I will be sharing these with you when I have made some, my dilemma is which to start with!)  Some of the Japanese patterns generally are very unfitted and would benefit from a dart or two, and sometimes I have to add more width and darts for the bust.  (They are designed for the flat chested.)  But this book has a good variety of patterns with raglan sleeves, set in sleeves, puff sleeves, bishop sleeves, french sleeves, sleeveless and straps.  It has patterns for dresses, coat dresses, blouses, tunics, trousers and playsuits.  Even a cupcake recipe!

So far I’ve used pattern ‘R’ sweetheart-bodice dress to make a top for me, but I didn’t want the gathers so I combined the top of the Japanese pattern with the pattern I made from draping my tailor’s dummy.

I really like this top and have bought more fabric to make another one.  Another of the patterns I will be using is pattern ‘W’ bell-sleeve coat dress.

I haven’t decided yet whether to make it as a short jacket or the length it is in the book, but I will line it and probably change it from a V-neck into a round neck.

Next week I will be quilting and I will be showing you how to make a very simple quilt with no piecing, applique or added bias bindings!