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.


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, 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.) 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!

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!