Sunday, December 15, 2013

Anita, woven.

I have been keeping this rather huge shapeless short pinafore-type of handmade but store-bought dress which was probably made of an old aureate kind of curtain for some time. Though the fabric is very vintage-y and also the dress does look very handmade as well as refashioned in a slightly bad way, I've been loving it all the time. It does look, well, interesting to my eyes.

very curtain

So I sewed a pair of fitted pants for the purpose of wearing this dress a bit differently. The pattern I used for them was Anita Ponti Pant from Tessuti Fabrics. While Anita pattern calls for ponti knits and alike for making the results wearable, I used a well stretching woven fabric experimentally. For them, I cut in size12 instead of using my regular size (size8) because I didn't know how much extra I needed with this fabric (or even didn't know how successful this project to be either). I tried them for fitting and then realized I could have cut in my regular size after all. Typical. I don't think all stretch woven fabrics can do the same, but my fabric worked very nicely in the end.

I am very happy with the result :))

In case you wonder how they look without the dress layer, I took some pictures of them without my dress (I think I'm going to use them only for the dress, though).


What do you say about "dresses over pants" look? I start to think it's OK and very practicable. It doesn't harm anyone, at least. Have a very happy week, everyone!


Anita Not-Knit pants
pattern: Anita Ponti Pant from Tessuti Fabrics  (PDF)
shortened by 2cm, hem widened slightly, front crotch lowered by 6cm while back crotch left intact.
fabric: cotton stretch twill, pant weight, mid-body, brown, stretches well.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Emerald wintry shorts

I'm trying to catch up my wintry sewing :)

"Emerald" is the pattern name for Thai style wide pants from Tamanegi-kobo. I really love this pattern!! I have posted my two pairs here and here in this blog, but I have to say they're just two of many that I sewed in the past. Anyway, I have made an wintry version in a heavy wool fabric and they turned out nice, actually nicer than I had wished. I rarely wear shorts in winter, but I'd change my mind as they look pretty in wintry outfit. I also have to mention that they are warm, much warmer than those mini skirts in the same length, in my opinion. I think they're great!

Pattern: Emerald Thai style wide pants from Tamanegi-kobo

- shortened the pants by simply cutting off the length and made them above knee.
- chose one larger size as the fabric was very stiff and thick(coat weight). The pants are not lined.
- used a stiff cotton twill for facing and a plain thin cotton for pocket housing, to avoid an extra bulk.

Fabric: wool/nylon (95/5), felted thick twill fabric, off white, plaids in navy blue and cranberry red. has a smooth surface and causes no problem on bare skin. slightly raised and warm.

I tried to make a heart with my fingers but I know it doesn't look like that, haa...

They look like a skirt in the front view, and I like how they are.

Talk to you soon!
Much Love,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

the Nicola dress

Here it is my Nicola dress finished at last ;)
As it is cold and wintry here in Japan, I wore it with my boots and wider belt today. My camera is grumpy at this moment but I hope you're having a great week!

pattern: Nicola dress from Victory Patterns

adjustments and alterations I made:
- I have chosen my size according to my bust measurement and had my usual narrower shoulder adjustment (pinched by 1cm at each shoulder point). Sizes seemed very true to the measurements.
- I have made the V neck opening slightly wider at the shoulder and about 1cm shallower at center front.
- I added extra 5cm in width to the front left skirt(the one under the other front skirt) for a larger overlap of front skirts.
- I made the wrap front into a mock-wrap by closing the front dress. I sewed the front bodices and skirts to close them at the waistline, and applied a long invisible zipper at the left side of the dress.

fabric: cotton/silk(80/20), lawn, thin, flowery prints on light blue color. Soft and light.

Sorry for these blur photos, my camera must have been having her "bad hair day"(poor thing).
Happy sewing!


Saturday, November 30, 2013


I'm back!

I had a wonderful holiday week and lots of awesome meetings with so many nice people in Australia. I'm so glad that I decided that I'd go. Nice weather, beautiful places, interesting exhibitions, fantastic foods, and of course, awesome people! Now being home and sitting in front of my MacBook to write something on my latest creations, I just don't know how to start, I feel as if I'm still in the dream. It was that great. I am greatly thankful to everyone I met on my trip, for their kind friendship and help, and I wish that they know that I believe they made my little adventure an unforgettable experience!!

with Carolyn, and a very cute furry boy
 As for self made garments, I had brought three new handmade clothes (and wee plus) with me for this holiday and managed to take proper photos of only one of them, which is this white pullover with contrasting sleeves. The pattern for the pullover is Relax, so is the title of this post. I casually loved the name "Relax" and thought it would be fun to bring it to my holiday to get more relaxation. However, it took me nearly a month to finish this pullover and I have to say, it was tough. It seemed forever (for me, because I'm tortoise) but it could end just in time. That muttered, I think that the result turned out pretty lovely. I think it's clever pattern too! If you are interested in the pattern, please find my Ravelry project page for more info and photos.

When I was staying with Carolyn in Perth, I asked her for some photographs and she was super kind to give me these beautiful shots on the beach. I even had my handmade bathing suit photo session after the pullover session, because the place was seriously beautiful and I felt I had to try harder. Thank you so much, Carolyn, for being a great photographer, an encouraging friend, and above all else, a very good friend.

I totally made up this retro kind of bathing suit by tracing my old suit ;)

Other than the pullover, I had a new tunic blouse and a new dress in my baggage too. I didn't have any chance to use the tunic during this holiday, so I'd leave it for the next summer as a new garment without any words here. That seems totally OK. On the other hand, I had a mini-disaster with the dress, I regret to say!

I sewed a Nicola dress from Victory Patterns using a light blue cotton/silk fabric with flowery print for this holiday. Because I had been interested in their patterns for some time and also because I knew that Kristiann was going to join one of the meet-ups that were organized by Tj in Melbourne (a big thank-you to Tj and Maria, I cannot survive this world without you!), I thought it was the time for me to try one from their range. And I did. I purchased Nicola, chose size6, used 1.5m of wide fabric, made narrow shoulder adjustment, closed the front wrap and installed a long zipper on the left side, really loved the result, and could wear it when Kristiann was there. However, I couldn't ask anybody to take its proper photographs for my blogging. The reason I was not ready for taking pictures of it was I had an ironing crisis the night before. I was going to iron the dress, which was vacuum packed in a travel pack and much wrinkled, the day before in our hotel room, but I just found out the iron they had was the most despiteful thing I had ever seen in this world. And, oh, the ironing board. That was similarly evil. The iron and ironing board couple tried very hard to mess my pretty dress even worse, and I totally had to give up everything about nice presentation of the dress. How sad. I'll press it neatly and present it here soon, as I think it is a pretty dress and some of you might be interested in other's make, so I promise. Until then, please help me to pretend that the dress is still in the pipeline and hasn't been finished quite yet! Well, I know you're really kind!!

Please visit Tj's photo essay on "The Perfect Nose" if you'd like to have a look at some photographs from the meet-ups! You might find my dress in the pipeline in the blog post...

Take care everyone!


Friday, November 1, 2013



I've been working so hard and too busy to write blog posts for some time. The reason why I'm working like a frantic beaver is that I am going to take a week-ish holiday away in mid November and I feel that I need to collect some additional data to mentally earn a certain frame of time before being absent from the lab (typical scientist). And I've been sewing a lot and knitting a lot as well, as I just can't help handcrafting some of new clothes for my big event. I do take some days off my work occasionally but this holiday is going to be a big one, alone, to Down Under, for the first time.

Yes! I'm going to visit my friend Carolyn who is the co-author of my another blog, photomaisonette. I met Carolyn once in Tokyo when she stopped at Japan during her family holiday about three years ago, and it was revealed that she was not only talented in sewing&photography but also she was such a nice lady in person. I'm so looking forward to our reunion and my adventure in the southern hemisphere! My heart beats so fast with happy ideas whenever I think about it. Perth totally seems a beautiful place, and I hope there I can take some pictures of my recent sewing and knitting creations in action, and I'll write about them in the future blog post.

Until then, I'd put some pictures of my new very ordinary looking pants and hand-dyed sneakers here as my latest results. I sewed a pair of semi-baggy pants in cotton twill in very light gray-white from my trusty pant pattern and dyed a pair of white sneakers in grayish blue, for my flight comfort. My holiday theme is blue and white this time, so are my garments. Though they bark very 'work-clothes' in these pictures, you can kindly imagine that it is because I work a lot these days, and that they will be looking OK in a different meaning under the holiday sun :)

you see I'm (pretending to be) active.

I'm also scheduled myself to join two meetups(Modern Love at Bendigo Art Gallery and Kristiann’s Big Day Out. Thank you Tj and Maria for organizing them!) in Melbourne on my return way home. I'm going to see a few lovely Melbourne sewists and Kristiann from Victory Patterns there:) This travel is going to be an utterly wholly grand event to me. One of my wishes is that I won't get burned-out by too much many heartbeats afterwards... I'm praying for me the indoor feeble old nerd hobby sewist squirrel... to survive.

I sincerely wish you a very happy new month too.
Take care everyone!


Almost white semi-baggy pants
pattern: Joker from Tamanegi-kobo, styleA, lengthened but not much altered
fabric: Cotton twill from jean manufacturer

DIY dyed sneaker
Converse All Star canvas hi-cut sneaker in white and Simplicol dye for natural fiber No.22(grayish blue)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

navel gazing

I've been always admiring those devoted knitters. They create beautiful arts with yarns and sticks, which amazes me with their endless capability. Gee most of them knit a lot with the speed of light as well. They seem so enthusiastic and look very happy with what they are up to. I'm not an authentic knitter but they so often make me feel like knitting, so badly, by showing me their world.

That's why I pretended to be a knitter and knitted this little jacket. And I even started another knitting project too. While knitting, I often wonder if hobby sewists can make people feel like sewing in the same way as hobby knitters make me feel like following them.

...well, that said, I don't know if I'd want the answer. Because it is a silly question. And that doesn't matter. That doesn't matter at least to me and to my sewing at all. Still, if it happens, it is lovely.

Imagine there are positive influences everywhere.

Talk to you soon!


Ayatori shrug
pattern: Ayatori Shrug Style Jacket (YS-568) free download
yarn: Ayatori from Eisaku Noro Design Team

If you are one of Ravelers, visit my ravelry page for this jacket to find other info :)


Thursday, September 19, 2013

season's transition

I recently sewed a coat and a pair of knit pants for autumn. Yay for the cooler weather!

The coat.
The fabric I used for the coat is something very special, as well as somewhat peculiar, I describe. It was basically a double layered fabric which had a slightly sparkling nylon organza covered (totally and throughly glued) over a base fabric of blue-ish plaid stiff polyester that would remind you of parachutes. The fabric is meant to be soaked in the water after sewing, for the purpose of washing away the glue, and then is expected to have separate layers of organza and plaid in its end products.

Though it was very stiff like a cardboard before washing(no exaggerations), I thought it would make a pretty jacket/coat that I can use as a windbreaker. A pretty plaid coat fully covered with sheer organza for windbreaking-purpose! It sounded pretty exciting to me.

The construction of the coat was not so difficult and done quite smoothly despite of the cardboard quality. I used my usual pattern for very plain boxy half coat, and just omitted the collar and lining to make it even simpler. I think I could have those sleeves shortened by about 10cm/4inch, design-wise. Having said that, I'm wearing it with rolling up the sleeve hems as in the pictures and will be doing so whole this autumn anyway. I'd leave the sleeves as they are, since the contrasting piping in my rolled-up sleeve hems may amuse people's eyes by the whiteness.

My previous coats from the same pattern can be also seen in this post.

The pants.

I sewed Anita pant from Tessuti for the first time. These were a wearable muslin, like all my first makes are. I wanted to know how they would fit on me, and I think I know it now. Though I have a couple of small issues to remember, I'm pretty happy with this pair, which I made in a heavy denim jersey in indigo blue. (It was difficult for me to find the correct length of the elastic band for waistline. I had to try three times before finding my snug fit, and I'd write down the number for the next time so that I don't have to cry any more. And also I had a minor problem with the balance of front and back crotches.I'd take some 5cm/2in from front crotch and leave the back crotch as the pattern is, next time.)

I really like the pattern, because these pants are quite pants, but not leggings! Some are really good at pulling off leggings, but I usually prefer pants on me and I'm so loving this pattern from this point of view. I hope you can see that they are pants but not very leggings in this photo below.

It was very difficult for me to take the pictures that could show their texture and such. Failed, I think. (But I'm not so unhappy. Because you have inexhaustible imagination to see what you would like to see, don't you.)

That's all for now.
Have a great day!!


The coat.
pattern: 3023(boxy half coat: discontinued) from anneecotton*, size 40(down graded to 38)
collar and lining were omitted.
most hems were executed with contrasting bias piping.

fabric: polyester/nylon blend. very synthetic. stiff. mid bodied, not very flexible, light, fairly creaseless. consists of a plaid polyester plain woven fabric and a silver-white sheer nylon organza.

The pants.
pattern: Anita ponti pant from Tessuti (PDF)
shortened the crotch height by following the lines that pattern indicates, and shortened the legs by about 3cm as well.

fabric: cotton denim knit fabric. dark indigo blue. stretches moderately. thick. hard. heavy.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

my factory

Once in a while, directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, I get sort of requests for showing my sewing environment. Reluctantly saying, I've never be great on responding them. The thing is, my sewing space is too humble to show off. You have to guess me as a single geek sewing in a small corner of a tiny family room with a weird grin on her face. Next to this small bench, I have one rather big folding ironing board that I bought at a thrift store for 100yen 8years ago (this was eyeballing cheap because its electric socket was broken, but I had no problem with replacing it by myself of course. Being geek is cheap.) And some fabrics. And this is all.

I hope you have a very lovely weekend!


MMM'13 Day10

For those who are interested in sewing gear, I use Bernina virtuosa153 dress maker, Babylock BL75, T-fal aquaspeed and unused Mire supersteemer. Therefore I have straight stitches, zig-zag stitches, blind hem stitches, button holes stitches, overlock stitches, cover stitches, a steam iron, and a backup iron for T-fal's sudden breakdown, in the corner.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Today my dh and I visited Pola Museum of Art and enjoyed the special exhibition devoted to the work of Claude Monet and his contemporaries. I love this museum which locates in a thick and beautiful forest of Hakone and owns a superb collection of Impressionist art. I was wearing a tweed skirt which I made some time ago, so I took a chance for photographing it against unusual backgrounds as well. This is just another (tucked) elastic waistband skirt, and I have almost nothing to say about it... but I really like it at all.

The museum opened a promenade in its backyard (practically, the backyard is a genuine natural forest) some months ago, and of course we had to check how it was too. It was simply a quiet woodland with a lovely promenade. We really loved it at all.

By the way, I am an audio guide mania, you may see it in the pics. That is one of the wonderful inventions of human beings, ever!

Tweed pull-on skirt
pattern: "gather skirt" from polka drops (a Japanese pattern shop)
lined. lengthened by 10cm(4 inches).
fabric: Cotton tweed. blue and white, dry, flow-y, light and soft.

The blog post for my first elastic waistband skirt from the same pattern is, here.

Take care!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sloppy Josephine Tee

This is actually a wearable muslin for an important project. I have a goal and would love to achieve it.

Story begins with a very ordinary off white sweater. I have loved this cotton-cashmere sweater in off white for years and years,

 and I've been always afraid of its decay as I am so in love with it.

That said, one month ago I suddenly realized that I would need to gain the ability to clone the sweater instead of being afraid of living without it. I am not able to knit this high gauge thing, but the idea is that I may be able to sew it, yes, sew it, why didn't I think of it? If it is possible to produce clones, it can give me an ever lasting secure feeling that I am practically never losing THE white sweater, yahoo!
I checked and found some patterns for raglan sleeved pullovers and decided to give a try with Sloppy Josephine Tee pattern from Papercut patterns. They provide free shipping, worldwide, so I didn't hesitate too much about ordering the paper pattern, although it was a bit more pricy than I usually spend on other simple patterns.

According to the size chart, I am between sizeXS and sizeS, and I chose sizeXS for my first experiment. I narrowed neckline a bit by applying a slightly shorter neckband, shortened the length at the bottom hem, added a bottom hem band, and altered the neckline to V shape as my final plan calls for V-neck. I didn't apply any change in terms of sizing, because I wanted to see how it would originally fit on me.

Overall and in the end, I think it fits on me very well in the chosen size. The only thing I noticed was that the sleeves were designed narrower than I had imagined. I think it would be better to consider to choose one larger size for sleeves when the fabric doesn't stretch very well, at least for me (as I tend to choose smaller size when I have no clue.) They aren't very very narrow, but I think I'd better mention it here because this may be quite true for many of you too. We can narrow down the width of sleeves most of the time but we can't widen the pieces of fabric parts very easily, I hope you know what I mean.

Of course, the background wall got in focus as usual...

I'm happy with my result and I think the pattern is pretty promising!
I especially love the neckline, which looks quite similar to what I want. I'm going to add more alterations to it and hopefully get the clones in near future :)  Now I have to get some quality jersey/knit for making imitation of knitted garments. Meanwhile, I enjoy this comfy top as it is pretty wearable and very cute!

Happy sewing to you all!

Take care!


Pattern: Sloppy Josephine Tee from Papercut patterns
neckline altered to V-neck and also narrowed a bit, length shortened, and applied a folded hem band.
Fabric: linen jersey, barely stretchy, thin, shiny, slightly sheer, and rose pink.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

knee-length mermaid skirt

I made a denim skirt for a newly purchased sweatshirt.

When I was much younger, I had one rule. It was that I'd buy one new garment which can be a key item for the next season very very ahead of the time. It was usually a tee in the middle of shivering winter. And it was mostly a wintry sweatshirt under the summer sun. When this habit started, I was really young but couldn't afford expensive clothes except something casual like T-shirts and cotton sweatshirts. Though I had to wait for months before I could actually put them on, I really loved my silly tradition and I remember I always looked forward to the next season for the sake of the single item I already bought, every year and all year round.

When I saw a sweatshirt of this gigantic flowery print a month ago, it rebooted something in my head. The brain responded to the sight of it and ordered me to buy it for the coming winter like I was used to do. Though it was not going to be my habit again, I felt it was very refreshing to purchase an item that would make me longing for the coming season. And I realized that I am still that silly too...


Sewing-wise, I sewed a mermaid skirt for the top. I thought its big silhouette would go pretty interesting with the skirt's flare in the hem.
Because I rather like heavy puckering and wearing in cotton denim garments, I sewed a raw denim and washed it in hot water to shrink/crease it after sewing. If you are interested in the shape of this skirt before washing/crushing, you can see it here in my other blog with Carolyn, photo maisonette, too.

Talk to you soon!


denim mermaid
  Mermaid Skirt (discontinued) from Annee-patterns
size40, down graded to 38. no lining. washed after sewing.
lengthened by 7cm to achieve under-knee length, flare-ness increased quite much too.
fabric: light blue cotton denim, heavy weight, stretches a wee bit

Thursday, August 8, 2013

linen candid

Just a quick update and a small proposition that I'd like to make to those who might be interested.

I love linen clothes. Especially in summer. Linen provides simple style and feels comfortable in the weather. I made a linen skirt that was basically made from two tacked rectangular pieces of pink linen.

An elastic waistband, single pattern for both back and front. No pockets. Could be one of the simplest skirts in the world. Do I like it? Yeah! Isn't it cute and very summery in a good way?

Actually this pink skirt fits for my summer outfit very well. I'm officially much lazier and choosing easy clothing even more in this hot season, as I am not good at living in the heat. Naturally my sewing gets easier and easier, simpler and simpler, year by year at this time of the year. Yay for pull-on linen clothes that can be thrown into the washing machine two seconds after coming home (the homemade batwing top that I'm wearing in the pictures is linen too). I predict that I'd be wearing a piece of flat linen with three holes and overlocked hems in summer 2014. (and then an untreated linen sheet in summer 2015...) It's a prelude to sewing degeneration.

the elastic waistband
By the way. I'm kidding. I tell you this in case you don't know me who can make silly jokes that touch no one's heart.
It is just that my clothing style happens to be simpler than it really should be and I feel no need to add extra value to my production even to the simplest garments. Then you'd tell me I am lazy and you're utterly right about it.

Hopefully I'm going to feel like some *complicated* projects very soon. Stay there for me, please!

Linen pull-on skirt
pattern: "gather skirt" from polka drops (a Japanese pattern shop)
fabric: Linen. Pink, plain, woven, fairly heavy, flow-y, drape-y, and soft.

revision 2013/Aug/09
Appeal for asking swap partner was closed.
Thank you for your kind considerations! I already got some kind offers while I was sleeping after posting this. I'll write replies to all mails as soon as possible. Thank you very much, again, I really appreciate your friendly sewing-spirit! *hugs* -yoshimi

Before saying ta-ta for this silly post, I'd love to ask here if there is anyone who might be interested in making a small swap with me. I'd love to offer a tiny piece of polka dot-y fabric to someone who feels fine for sending me the vogue pattern V1247 in return for the fabric. I am certainly able to make an international order for the pattern even if there wasn't anyone to get my idea, so don't worry if you are thinking genuinely helping me out for getting the pattern. The thing is, I encountered this very nice Japanese cotton crepe in this summer. I loved it so much, and then I thought it would be nice if I can share the feel with someone who can imagine any use of it.

It is a small (new, store-cut) piece and the size is roughly enough for a pair of lounge shorts. The fabric has delicate fine crinkles on the surface, and is soft, smooth, cool and comfortable especially on bare skin. Not sheer. 100% cotton. I made PJ shorts for my entire family with this cotton in several colors and we all love them at all. Please be reminded, this is not an open giveaway. Send me an e-mail if you're interested, please! I have an e-mail address in my profile page. I'm thinking to fill the envelope with additional little stuff too :)
Thank you!

click to enlarge

Happy sewing to you all, friends!
Stay comfortable. Stay comfortable.

Did I say it twice?


(*Please let me know if you find any violations of copyrights for the printed commercial sewing patterns in this swap, I'd be very thankful to you for pointing them out. Because I might have failed to verify.)