When I saw (via my lovely/gorgeous/talented friend Ute) on @stoffbuero's Instagram account that there was a Japenese sewalong going on, I decided to hop on that train. Basically, make something from a Japanese pattern book and blog it! I asked for a few of these books from various relatives for my birthday, thanks sisters!! The hard bit was picking a pattern. There are some real random gems in these books and a lot of bagginess and frills which aren't necessarily my cup of tea, but what they do really well is structure and shape. That I love.
I eventually settled on pattern X from the Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori.
I really like the shape of this top - lots of rectangles. I seem to go for that look. However, I didn't want a blouse and I didn't want it in thin material and I wanted it with a centre front opening, not just a slit. I wanted to try and emphasize the shape too! This is what I ended up with:
Basically, a winter jacket!
You can see here the rectangles! The large sleeves are awesome!
The fabric is pretty awesome. I actually found it for a few dollars at a car boot sale. A lady was getting rid of a whole load of random bits of fabric that had been stuck in her garage, or some such, for probably decades. There was probably a metre and a half of it, in two panels, which had been sewn together and hemmed. There was fading in some areas so I suspect it had been used as a very cool curtain at some point! It actually makes me VERY happy to breathe new life into a bit of unloved fabric. Hence my complete addiction to saving fabric from op-shops and garage sales ;) The fibre is cotton and its really quite thick...definitely curtain material!! The fact it has this divine peach and gold and cream japanese style design complete with blossoms and birds makes it even more suitable for the Japanese sew-along. Yes kitsch, but I feel that is also entirely appropriate to the Japanese style!
I lined the jacket. Canberra gets pretty cold in winter and I wanted to lift this make from a summer top to a winter jacket. I envisage wearing it layered over warm winter woolies during the day and over a slinky little number at night....who am i kidding...with five kids...my nights out are pretty rare! But I am sure it will get worn lots because it seems pretty flexible as an item of clothing.
I lined it with some cream fleece that I had in my stash. Honestly, I think it had been there for about 6years. I seem to remember trying and failing to make a baby blanket for my first nephew! Times have changed. I can bloody sew now, not fantastically, but i would be all over that blanket now! Anyway, the fleece is really warm and soft. I probably would have chosen black if i was buying it, but beggars can't be choosers. Stash fabric means a cheap make! The combination of a very close weave in the thick cotton fabric and the fleece makes this pretty toasty. Too toasty for a warm photo shoot, ahh, the things I do for my blog!
The original top wasn't lined. So I had to use my fledgling pattern making skills to draw up the lining and the facings! Pretty happy with how it turned out. Sure I could tweak it, and some of you probably think my skills are very bodgy, but it works well enough! I also added huge pockets to both insides, I need pockets in my life always!
My skill to learn this time, was yes the drafting the lining/facings but also to do some piping for the first time. I scored about 20metres of this sparkly gold piping out of the sale bin at Spotlight for a few dollars. Win. I love sparkle and the colour goes so well with the jacket. Being the first time, I sewed the piping to the jacket first using my invisible zipper foot and then sewed the lining to the jacket. The front looks pretty good, the inside not so much, but I am sure practise will help that!! And I still have a LOT of piping, so I am sure to get a lot of practise over the years, ha!
Already eyeing up quite a few other patterns from my Japanese pattern books, so i will no doubt have loads more in my future! I have a couple of other makes to blog, so see you soon!!