Pattern: Top E from this Japanese Pattern Book.
Fabric: purple polka dot gauze from Fabric Depot’s Outdoor sale for $2/yard
A very special moment for me when L was taking time to do a little face and toe painting before we went to school. I wonder where she gets it from because I hardly use any make-up. The pattern is quite simple to assemble. The only thing I found tricky was that the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt both had to be gathered before they were sewn together. Which isn’t very stable. And in the end the gathering is not quite even all around but as I am probably the only one even noticing anything. Next time I would stabilize one of the gathered ends by sewing it against a tape down first to the wrong side of the garment.
I love the back overlaid openings but that’s something I will hardly be able to pull of anymore. But who cares if you have a little one who can pull it off no problem. Still a tiny bit too big but as summer is dwindling down now, I am glad it will fit just right next summer!
I haven’t posted about one of my newer japanese children’s pattern book aquisitions. The lady at the japanese bookstore always greets me happily when she sees me again. She knows that I’ll be leaving the store with at least 1 new purchase. Again, I have no idea what the title is. Maybe Liz can help me out again?!
This book is a lovely book which uses a lot of natural fiber fabrics in its styles: Hemp, Linen and Cottons (or at least that is what it looks like). I have made a couple of pieces with it already, some of which I haven’t posted yet. But anyways, hope you enjoy having a closer look and maybe get inspired buying a copy yourself?
I made the longer top with the open back and tie-closure in July and am still due to post about it. Next week latest. I promise.
Style H, on the right is the pattern I used for the little natural dyed tunic i made a couple of months back.
Style N, the skirt on the right was basis for this skirt where I salvaged an old Linen tunic of mine.
Happy Homemade vol.1
I used some fabric from the natural dye class that I took end of last year. And even though the jacket doesn’t look too bad on the photos – nicely styled with the sassy hat – but in reality it looks more like a scrub then a proper jacket. Part of it is surely the color. The dye I used is a Logwood exhaust of a prior dye batch with which I made this dress. I think I’ll try to do some tie dying to ‘save’ the jacket. I am very inspired by Karen’s post here but will need to think a bit more on how and with what I should actually overdye. Maybe tie it and overdye in a stronger Logwood dyebath and modify with Iron afterwards? Or simply use some synthetic black dye? We’ll see what happens – I guess the whole natural dye cycle just started.
All in all though, if I had chosen a better, more interesting fabric, the jacket wouldn’t be bad at all! I have pretty broad shoulders, which is also why it doesn’t quite hang relaxed enough on me. The other thing that bugs me in hindsight: I didn’t have enough fabric to make my own bias tape. So I ran and got some pre-made stuff. Obviously, it was impossible to find the right shade so I ended up with some light grey tape. The tape goes all the way around inside the front lapels and the neck. And is visible when the jacket is worn open and even tied with the belt. I should have used a contrasting or accent fabric to play it up as a design feature rather then an afterthought. The tape is probably synthetic, the body fabric a cellulose fabric, and the thread is poly. So overdying will most certainly bring a complete mishmash out of the style. The sewing is nearly perfect – that’s why I am just hesitating to open it back up again for the fear of butchering.
Oh hey, it’ll just be filed under another lesson learned.
Nonchalant Sweet Clothes
Striped Helmut Lang fabric found at Mill End
When I first saw this new Japanese Pattern book (blogged here) I knew I had to make this striped shirt. I was totally giddy when I found a very similar striped knit at Mill End. I got even more excited when I realized it was a Helmut Lang remnant. Unfortunately I made the mistake probably every seamster makes in life: I didn’t wash the fabric. It is a synthetic blend (which I usually avoid) and so I thought it wouldn’t shrink. Even though I washed it in cold water, it shrunk more then probably 10%. The other downfall this fabric unfortunately has: it’s not high summer appropriate. Once finished (and it needs a lot of handstitching to be so neat) I put it on immediately. And rode my bike in the summer heat to pick up L. Needless to say, I got heated and I started to smell. Not the nicest combination. The pictures above are post-washing (and after having taken a shower, trust me) Still doesn’t look too bad. And when worn tucked into high waisted skirts, it looks quite hot.
I have to tell you the story about the skirt on the right. We bought it more then 7 years ago in London at Selfridges when we were preparing for our wedding. It’s a Vivienne Westwood and Andy really pushed me to get it. But I felt so alien in it – was just a bit too sophisticated for me at that time that I didn’t wear it for our formal wedding.
I made a long silk skirt and wore this embroidered dragon shirt to our official wedding.
I think I feel mature and ready enough to start wearing the pencil skirt now. I obviously still have the dragon shirt, but there is no way that I fit in it these days. But I love it and it will stay with me for ever.
Black Soy, Cotton, Elastan blend
For the last couple of months, I have been trying to work with knitted fabrics a bit more. Because truth be told, garments out of knits are the most wonderful, easy care, easy wear, my most favourite things to wear. Pardon the pun – just came out. And i was a bit short of summery tops anyways. This top took me a long time to make. Not that it is too complicated, it’s actually a very clever pattern, but the serger that I had was very complicated when it came to switching stitch programs. So it hung on my little fit-form for weeks. Then I got myself a new serger, (I know – I just had to take an incredible deal!) a Babylock which is a dream to sew with. The old Pfaff will still get many uses as it allows to sew double needle hems and chainstitch that the other one doesn’t have. I love being able to have a perfect finish.
Back to the top: I had to tack the cleavage down with a couple of stitches – otherwise it is completely unwearable. And this is one of the issues that I have. Even though the top looks good on the pictures. It can look very unflattering in real life. I realized it when I looked at this pic. Urgh… Well, I guess that is the issue with a couple of the styles I have made in recent months but haven’t openly blogged about. I often like the IDEA of making a specific garment, even though I know that it is hard to wear or pretty unflattering. But for some reason I sew it anyways. No hard feelings, because every time I learn something new. Unfortunately though, the process of making things I am not completely happy with, stalls the progress on this blog. To the point that I feel, I am not really catching up. And then I am getting even further behind. So now, I pledge to finally get caught up. All the pictures are taken and uplaoded. So over the next couple of days, more sewing ‘highlights’ of things that I won’t get much wear out of. But learned a lot. But before I finish this post: Here another treasure:
Black Soy, Cotton, Elastan blend
What was I thinking? I am not in my 20s anymore! So why am I doing this to me? I did spare you (and me – because it’s probably me who is looking at this blog the most) the view of the side cleavage… Well, at least the pieces are quite large, so I’ll be able to use a lot of the fabric for smaller projects…. soon to come.
I got this new Japanese sewing book the other week. I have no idea what the title is – if anybody out there is actually able to read Japanese and could translate it – I’d be soooo greatful. Nonchalant sweet clothes – stylishly fun best times – Thanks Liz for helping me out ! ISBN978-4-579-11300-2. I love so many things about this book: There are pant and short patterns in it, a parka silhouette, a couple of jackets and beautiful tops. I already made the striped top (third picture below) but didn’t pre-wash the fabric. I’ll post about it soon.
Six Gals, three evenings a two hours, one passion: Sewing with Japanese patterns.
Last week the sewing japanese class at Modern Domestic had it’s final gathering but one of many japanese sewing circles are sure to follow. At the end, everybody had at least one (muslin) garment, some tackled and conquered even more and proudly wore them to class night!
Lots of fun and laughter and awesome people!
Some blogged results are to be seen here and here.
And could you have thought about a japanese sewing night without some Sake?
Well one thing is for sure – I do not master my camera yet. Maybe it’s because of all the excitement, but I didn’t really get any decent pics out of the night. Note to myself: If unsure – go into automatic mode…:)
Fabric: Linen from an old linen tunic I had for ages.
Pattern: Style N
Buttons: Knitten Kitten
Fabric: Liberty scraps from those two tops and black Bamboo Jersey that I had left from my seek line.
Pattern: free Oliver+S Pattern available here.
Pattern adjust: spread out the hem by 4″ to create more swing and shortened the dress to a shirt length.
The skirt will never be as white as here. I just used the skirt pattern as a guide because L is so slim built that skirts with a fixed waistband always slip of her hips. So even though I made it much shorter and took it in from the get go, I still had to take it in about 2″ more on one of the side seams to make it fit her. It’s cute though and I really enjoyed the button closure. The buttons are from the crafty thrift store Knitten Kitten here in portland. Great, cheap finds, and the buttons were in a big bag of 2nd hand once.
Girls Style Book
Pattern: Dress A
Fabric: Liberty of London, Tana Lawn
Still waiting for Summer here in the Pacific Northwest! Reason enough to escape cloudy Portland, to spend some quality time in southern California. Andy could surf and L play in the surf and sand. I figured, she needed a couple more sundresses. This one I made in May from some fabric Andy brought back from a recent trip to London where he presented this. I loved the fabric the first time I saw it on Karen’s blog and the lovely dress she made for herself. This girls dress, came out very sweet. Simple shape for the body and elastic around the neckband. Quick and satisfying little project.
And may I say, L looks adorable in it!
The Lobby of the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach was a lovely backdrop to photograph this dress. And she even cooperated.