Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vogue 1351, my new favorite


As I wrote in my blog hop post, I bought two dress patterns from Vogue recently. I had this very pretty flowery fabric and wanted to choose the best pattern for it. It was the birthday gift which Carolyn sent me in this April. So I gave myself two options after a very long thought and finally chose V1351 in the end. I was thinking V1359 at the beginning, however, the more I looked at the fabric, the more I preferred the other option because I felt this bold print strongly called for a sleeveless dress. I decided to use V1351 thinking "Never mind, I can definitely wear it with a cardigan even though it is Autumn. Feeling prettier is better than feeling more practical especially with this print."

I really love this dress. I love the draped front neckline and I was very impressed by how it was well drafted. It sits very beautifully with being held by the lining, but the lining never peeps out even though I try to show it from outside very hard. The parts are cut in bias except the back bodice, and I think this makes the dress fit me quite well.



Construction-wise, I love the way of assembling shoulder straps of this dress so much. The instructions are actually very great (I don't say this often)! I got clean finish and I'm very happy with the minimal slip stitches in the inside seam of straps. The only and probably very helpful advice for those who are going to try the pattern for the first time.... is executing STEP1 differently. I reinforced the shoulder edges of front bodice with small patches of fusible interfacing instead of doing it with machine stitches, and left them intact (uncut) until the exact step in which front and back shoulder straps are stitched together(STEP21). Then it is easier to make precise and clean clippings in the shoulder seams. That gives the garment impressively beautiful shoulder straps! I know you think I'm crazy but you don't know what I am trying to say. "What STEP21?" I know. Actually I'm muttering to my imaginal-novice-me and I want to warn her that there may be no need to snip the fabric too much in advance. Thank you for your patience and I think I'm done. Let's forget it and go ahead together.

By the way, I used a nicely draping woven for the fashion fabric as pattern suggested. For the lining, I used a knit lining. This combination of fashion fabric and lining in this dress worked brilliantly. FYI.

Last but definitely not least, I'd love to thank Carolyn so much about giving me such a nice gift. I hope that I could do the right decision and that I managed to bring a good result on the fabric.


Talk to you soon, my next plan is a coat. I hope you're enjoying sewing too.

Love,
yoshimi


I managed to make a cardigan too.


=====
Flowery dress
pattern: 1351 dress from Vogue Patterns
fabric: georgette/crepe, not too sheer, fine, soft
bouncy feeling when squeezed in hand.
-taken some from back neckline to reduce gaping.

Snap Button Cardigan
pattern: Fujiko from Tamanegi-kobo
fabric: cotton/tencel blend, double jersy knits, soft, warm
reversible, stretches very well
-applied a set of plackets and made it as a cardigan.
=====

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blog Hop!

Hello, I hope you all are doing great!

I sometimes sew for my family too.

As you probably expect from the title, this is my blog hop post. I've been loving reading everyone's blog hop and I'm really happy to have a chance to be involved in! Thank you, Jenny and Debbie, for passing me the batons.

I met Jenny last year in Melbourne at Modern Love exhibition meetup when we had such an exciting and fun day together. Jenny is kind, clever and witty! When she visited Japan in April this year, I was wishing to come up to Tokyo to meet her, but I couldn't make it because of my work schedule. I hope that we will see each other very soon to catch up, either in Australia, in Japan, or actually, in any other place.

Debbie sent me an e-mail to ask if I could accept the baton shortly after I got one from Jenny, and I of course said yes! I visited her blog thanks to blog hop and found that she sews very pretty clothes! Jenny's blog is Rennous-oh-Glennus and Debbie's  LILY SAGE & CO. Check them out before you are hopping to the next blogs I pass the batons!



Why do you write?

I write this blog because I'd like to have chances to think things in English regularly.

I have no one who speaks in English to me around. I mean, off-line. I am hoping that my English will be maintained at least at the level of "somehow understandable" by occasional thinking and writing for this blog. I know there are a lot of funny expressions and incorrect sentences in my posts. I admit that it's not good to have incorrect sentences, however, I'm kinda enjoying that kind of imperfections in my writing at the same time, because I could think that they are my type of dialect. Maybe not. Anyway, I know I should answer that my first reason is to connect with the wonderful like-minded people through my blog, but...er I thought I'd better be honest with you.

pants Gilbert, batwing top, fringed bag on vacation

I started this blog almost six years ago. Although I already had another sewing blog that was written in my mother tongue and it had quite a lot of (to me) Japanese readers by then, I impulsively started this because I just felt like writing a new one in English. I remember that it was when BurdaStyle was rapidly expanding and also when PDF sewing patterns were booming. I loved being active in BurdaStyle community and shared many projects there. Eventually I got a few comments that said I should write a blog in the language that the members could understand so that they could be interested in my projects and so that we could chat more. Though I took their comments as friendly jokes and diplomatic kind compliments, the idea of writing a blog in English grew in me gradually. It seemed a good plan for me to help my decaying English to survive. So I started. I didn't know how long it would last because it was a tough job for me, and still it is, but funnily it is here even now. Maybe my answer is a bit off the point but this is why I write here.

Actually, I now recognize a blog works as a name card and it can be one of the reasons why I blog too. I am no one special, but I can be someone if you've visited my blog once. I hope you know what I mean! I can tell people that
"I love sewing my clothes and I have a blog about my sewing. I'm yoshimi and the blog title is blah-blah-animal."
then I would expect...
"Oh you're the one who writes the nonsense, I recognize your blog title. I think I visited your blog once. By the way, I love sewing too."
"Great! make friends with me!"
"Okay! Your writing was utterly ununderstandable."
"I know! You're so sweet and honest."
"I am!"
"By the way, do you like making fly fronts? Oh, I was gonna ask you if you have ever sewn a bathing suit too." 
... conversation flows beautifully like this!
How convenient (sometimes). I doubt SNS accounts do the same thing at the present moment. Social networking services are for current friends, blogs connect future friends, at least in my situation.

What are you currently working on?

I'm now in between sewing projects. (I'm those who take only one project at a time. I mean, Single Task People.)


Yesterday I received a package from Vogue patterns, which contained two dress patterns. This means my next project will be either V1359 or V1351, I'd choose one of them after making their muslins. Because they were on sale and $5.99 per each, I got a great deal and paid $26.98 in total. By the way, I wouldn't be surprised even if you are surprised by the international shipping+handling fee. It's still much cheaper than I actually go for shopping to USA, though.

How does it differ from other sites of its genre?

It is very rare for you to find (1)sewing tutorials (2)sewing reviews (3)sewing details or (4)sewing related trendy topics in this blog.

This is because I am not interested in being useful to others in general. (And this nature is also the main reason why my life is involved in basic science, but it is totally trivial, of course.) ...now this question makes me embarrassed to think of my blog as a sewing blog. The blog hop may be an elusive bullying, sob.

upcycled jeans and oversized Wilma at work.

How does your writing process work?

I don't think you can guess how long it takes for me to write a post. It is definitely long enough to make a jacket or maybe even longer.

Usually I start to write right after finishing a garment. I mainly write why I sewed it, what I wished to get and what I finally got by talking about the patterns and fabrics, because I care for them most. Of course I admire beautiful executions of other people's sewing, but somehow I'm OK without that part for mine. If my stitches are straighter than ZARA's, I pass the test. So my blog has words for motivations, materials and end products, without description for processes of actual sewing. After writing, I take photos, put them within the post, and revise the draft several times more to check. The drafts are usually entirely rewritten at this stage(!). And then there have to be spelling checks and so on. Phew...

Linen coat at photo shoot. photo by Chigu

 

Passing the baton

It was a long post! I hope you are not too tired. I am blog hopping now to Beth of Sunny Gal Studio and Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn. Beth sews immaculate garments and one of my dreams is to visit her and take private lessons for making a well tailored jacket with her. Carolyn is one of my blogger friends whom I actually met in person. We had a photo blog project(photo maisonette) together too. I would love to read her answers very much!




Happy sewing!
yoshimixoxo

P. S.
Carolyn and I are posting new photographs on photo maisonette every day. This is a one-month project. I hope you can drop by in your spare time!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wenona shirtdress


I made a shirtdress. Actually, the fabric I used was liquid drape rayon challis and it made my dress look rather a blouse-dress than a shirtdress. Yet I'm very pleased with it! The pattern is Wenona shirtdress which was recently released from Named patterns.


I think Wenona is a very modern&pretty shirt dress without being excessively(peculiarly) fashionable. I love my first Wenona... it does suit my everyday perfectly and also fulfills my wish to look special in a good way. I love the fabric itself too. I'm not too sure whether it is appropriate to wear Eucalyptus flower print in this time of year, but still, I really love it for my autumn wardrobe. The hand of the fabric is soft and fluid. The feel of its lightly nap-raized surface is smooth and warm. Gorgeous, gorgeous!


By the way, I basically followed the original pattern and its instructions. Though there was no problem with the process of sewing this dress at all, there is one thing that I'd like to mention about the pattern here. It's about sizing. For this shirtdress I used size 34 in the end, while my measurement size is 40 in the size chart.

I started with a muslin using size 36(two size smaller than my measurements) and I'd say it was very roomy, I mean, very. I guessed the style was intended one to be like that, but I decided to use size 34 because I didn't wish my dress to be particularly loose fitting. And it was OK-ish in the end as you see in the photos.

Named has charts of finished measurements along with size chart, which is very great, and I suggest you not to forget to have a look at the finished measurements before guessing your size by considering the size chart and your measurements, if you happen to start your Wenona. I couldn't foresee the looseness by looking at the sample pictures of the pattern, but it was like that.



Now that I shared my dress, I have another version of Wenona here. My friend Naomi, who is a very popular quilt teacher, made her a shirt version in a crisp linen combination.

She was wearing it when we met a week ago and she was so stylish in this contrasting version! I asked her to let me use one of her photos to share it with you, as I thought that there might be some of you who are interested in different version of Wenona pattern too. Her blog post about the shirt is here (in Japanese). Thank you, Naomi.


Happy sewing to you!!


Hugs,
yoshimi


=====
Wenona shirtdress pattern
Wenona (PDF) from Named
chosen much smaller size, shortened sleeve length, added belt loops for belt.

Fabric
Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent Rayon Challis Eucalyptus Lime, which is a fruit of my very first international fabric shopping. oh well.
57" x 2.5yds
=====

Friday, August 22, 2014

Matching separates

Hello!
In my kind of world, the summer is officially gone. The weather is still hot, but I feel early autumn in the air. Which is nice. At least to me. I hope you are doing super well wherever you are!


A week ago, I visited an exhibition that was for celebrating Japanese fashion designer Keita Maruyama's 20-year career in Tokyo (an article written in Japanese followed by many photos of displayed items. I have to warn you that the photographer doesn't seem to have much interest in the garments, sadly). Albeit being held at a rather small space in a fashion mall , Space-O in Omoteasando Hills, the exhibition had a well-edited series of his beautiful and cheerful fashion pieces in the last twenty years, and when I was stepping out of Space-O, I was a ball of uplifting feeling inspired by the flood of wearable beauties. Seeing pretty clothes is so effective to lift me up! (I call this "pretty clothes syndrome" and it is the most serious problem in my life.)

Expectedly, all his works were made of exquisite fabrics and I especially loved the casual prêt-à-porter in pretty silks. I've been in the mood for quality fabrics for some time, and after the visit I felt it even stronger that I so needed to wear more silks in my everyday life. I don't mean that they need to be high-end or designer fabrics, I mean, sensible quality for brighter ordinary days of a hobby sewist.


So, I made these matching separates with a lustrous silk with embroidery pronto. I know this fabric must be too colorless to say it's dramatic, but I hope that you feel some specialness in it, texture wise. I used it up for these and I have no regrets about what I did! I've already got a few kind compliments from kin and colleagues on this set too... I after all and always love all consequences of the problem, that is another problem of my life, ha.





I used Camilla camisole and Libby A-line skirt patterns from Tessuti. Thank you, Debbie, for mentioning Camilla in your comment on my last post! I really love this one too!

Camilla needed much adjustments to fit my bodice probably because of the fabric I used, but there wasn't any complicated calculation or problem for fitting. Just did what I needed (I added bust darts in the side seams and redrew the neckline, took off some excess from armscyes, and shorten the total length to match the skirt) and everything was fine. I'd suggest making muslins at least once if you would try this camisole with stiffer fabrics like mine. Chiffons or other fine fabrics may not need any alteration, I can guess. To Libby I added some extra flare-ness to the bottom hem, by 10cm or so.

There was no problem with either of those patterns, except they needed quite a lot of pattern pages to print out. I've felt that their PDF layouts were not as much resource conscious as I wish. I hope it will be getting better in the future patterns eventually, because I really like all Tessuti's patterns that I own so far and this is my only concern about making new purchases from them at this moment.


Happy sewing, everyone!

from yoshimi with love
xoxo


very everyday.








=====
Camisole pattern
Camilla camisole (PDF) from Tessuti fabrics
Lined with white silk chiffon, shortened quite much (by about 6cm), added bust darts for FBA, took off excess from armscyes.

Skirt pattern
Libby A-line skirt (PDF free download) from Tessuti fabrics
Lined with pale beige cupro fabric, long version, elongated the length of bottom hem circumference (by about 10cm) for adding a bit of extra flare in it.

Fabric
Silk, lustrous, soft but kinda stiff, eyelet, embroidery
=====

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Salme camisole

I've kept a beautiful silk satin in my stash for long and long years. This impulsively bought fabric was about 110cm x 110cm square piece having its center (90cm x 90cm) printed with pastel color blocks. It was obviously made for a silk satin scarf, but unsewn.

Because it was so small and so square, it didn't make any garment until recently(I really didn't need more scarves at all). Every time I saw it I felt depressed, because I couldn't feel good to see my past purposeless purchases...


However, everybody, good things do happen sometimes!


I made a Salmepatterns' Double Layer Camisole with this tiny fabric in the last weekend, because I had a sudden whim of a spaghetti strap cami and because I also had no other suitable fabric than this silk for the purpose. And I'm really really happy with what I got! Although my cami couldn't get two layers because of the shortage of fabric resource, I was really impressed by the good combination of this pattern and smooth silk, and I thought that it might be worth mentioning about it here to the outer space. I'd love to try the genuine double layered version in near future too.


Regarding to the sizing of the pattern, I cut size 8 with the intension for getting close fitting but I got a relatively loose garment. It seems to me that the pattern runs a bit larger side to my liking and to the measurements. I had a small gaping at the front neck and had to narrow the front neckline by 4cm too. It didn't stop me from loving this pattern at all though! I hope the info helps some of you a bit. Oh, patterns from Salmepatterns don't include seam allowances, just in case.


Ciao!
yoshimi


=====
pattern: Double Layer Camisole from Salmepatterns
single layer, with a large self facing

fabric: silk satin


=====

Monday, July 21, 2014

yukata dress


Hello!!

First of all, thank you for the kind inquiries some of you made privately or publicly to ask if I was doing OK recently, I'm doing very fine! Actually I've been doing much better in this summer than usual but haven't been knocked out by the heat, I mean, not yet. I hope you're fine too.

I've got a Yukata fabric and made a dress from it.



Japanese Yukata is a casual summer kimono and is usually made of cotton. Yukata fabrics are narrow and long, same as traditional Kimono fabrics, and are usually sold as a roll of 12-13meters to serve one garment. I bought a roll which was sold very very cheap because of its imperfection. In other words, the fabric had a smidge of lightest sunburn at the both edges of the roll (not at the edges of the fabric surface!) from a longer storage. I couldn't see any problem with its quality as a fashion fabric.

Although I was happy to find it for an affordable price, I have to say that I also felt a bit sad because this pretty fabric was treated as a defective product even though it had only an almost unnoticeable imperfection. It was sold for about 1/5 of full price, I guess. We are sometime (maybe, often) too avaricious on newness and perfection on general merchandise, I think. Some people buy only magazines that are completely new and have never opened by any others because they believe in newness is the best commercial value of all. I wonder... But hey, I anyway got it and tried to make the most of its charm by making it into a summer dress. I love myself because I can sew and could use it! I could make it into a yukata, but I made a simple dress because I don't wear yukatas very often.


This weekend, my daughter and I visited Tokyo and stayed at a hotel which had a pretty garden with lots of greens. We enjoyed the stay very much! DD took photographs for me and the dress in the garden promenade. See the endless row of wind bells for entertaining the guests in the garden! They sounded so charming. Sounded like tiny fairies chatting everywhere in the garden. Now I'm well spellbound and I can survive this summer by the power of tiny green fairies.



I love you all! Have a great day!

Love,
yoshimi

 


=====
pattern: 847deux* from Annee-Patterns
fabric: yukata cotton, plain woven, flower prints over indigo shibori-dyed, light, coarse density, smooth surface, relatively firm, 37cm wide. used approx. 6m long.
=====

Saturday, June 28, 2014

white sleeveless shirt

Hello!

It is rainy season in Japan and greens wield power everywhere. I've been feeling even busier since April, but I think this idea is one of my delusions. I am a lazy person and I could never be "busy" in the meaning you use this word for! I'm probably feeling busy because I don't want to work hard. That makes sense to me.

Meanwhile, I hope you've been doing super good!




I sewed a white sleeveless shirt from a Patrones pattern. The Patrones magazine was a surprising gift from Merche who super generously sent me a copy to try their patterns. Thank you, Merche, so much for your kindness! I knew you were very kind even before the gift but I can't tell you how much I am thankful to you for your idea of getting extra copy for me :)
If you are interested in the magazine that I'm talking about, you may like to read Merche's this post.


**
By the way, I always respect you and everyone who are nice to others in the on-line sewing community, and I'm also feeling so lucky that I can be a part of it. I'm not telling you that gifts matter, but I'm telling you about the atmosphere that we are creating there. I mean, supportive attitudes and environment. Thank you for the good air we breathe, you supportive hobby sewists!!
**


As for the shirt, this was my first use of Patrones patterns and it was also meant to be a check for sizing/fitting. It is always good to know how different my frame is from the new-to-me company's targeted body, and I wanted to check it by using a very basic garment with narrower ease like this shirt.

I usually care height of bust line, height of narrowest point in waist, ease above bust line, ease above shoulder blades, length between neck and shoulder point, angle of shoulder lines and room for busts in a pattern for upper body. Size charts hardly tell such information, because they aren't about the sizes but they are about the frames of maker's targeted bodies. It may sound that I'm nagging about fitting detail, but I have to say that I'm rather not interested in fitting garments perfectly on a human body like pasting rubber sheets on it. I'd love to tell that I am interested in skimming some volume from critical area or adding some to it of my garment (hoping to look *delusionally* better.)

I rarely keep actual patterns (because, eh, I   rarely   trace) but I keep notes about what I did for adjusting the patterns to my frame, written digitally along with some photos, on every garment I make so that I can read my history whenever needed for future projects.



Anyway, Patrones patterns seem to fit similar to the retailed garments and relatively true to the size. And also I had some adjustments to the shirt pattern for my frame, and I think these will be automatically applied to my future projects with their patterns.




I love Andrea's collarless placket shirt, and I'm thinking this pattern with those plackets at this moment. It can become a pretty summer vest kind of sleeveless blouse. I'll see.

Have a very happy weekend!


Love,
yoshimi


=====
white sleeveless shirt
pattern: Shirt 45 from Patrones Extra, Easy Sew No.29 (Patrones Costura Facil) magazine, collar omitted.
fabric: cotton stretch shirting fabric, soft and thick, white, seersucker-like, with most subtle silver pinstripes, 110cm x 1.2m used
=====