It's a bird! It's a plane! It's....Japanese Sewing Week! What? That makes no sense! And what the heck am I looking at? Keep reading...because you might find some answers. Or then again, you might not!
I joined the Japanese Sewing Patterns Facebook group a little while ago, and when the lovely Sara of Made by Sara mentioned the idea of a blog tour, I jumped at the chance, despite the fact that I don't sew for myself very often. I am telling myself that I will have plenty of time for that once my children start rejecting handmades (though I am secretly hoping that will never happen). Here is the link to where you can get all the fun information. If you feel like joining the party, link up whatever you've made this year using a Japanese pattern and win some prizes!!
So anyway, I thought and thought, because I usually make things for my kids and not for myself. I have something for my daughter in the works at the moment, and will blog that one later, hopefully before this tour is over!
I thumbed through my collection of Japanese Sewing books before I settled on this one. I bought the Japanese version, being in Japan, but the link is for the English translation, available on the Amazon US site. It was the cover picture that drew me to it, and so I thought I would copy it because I liked the color combination. Even my husband said he wouldn't change the color scheme for me, and he's quite
I am disappointed to say that it did not go so well. I don't think it is really to do with the pattern, though. I think the fabric that I chose for the bottom wasn't quite right. For the grey bodice, I used some mystery soft wool (?) fabric that I'd originally bought in order to make little shark bags for my daughters. And the navy is some cotton with a nice sheen that I picked up on sale at a local fabric shop. So this is the result:
If you think I look uncomfortable, it's because I was. The cotton kept sticking to my tights as I walked, and the dress felt like it was too big on me despite my having gone by the sizing chart. My mom *gently* suggested that it could be that I'm way shorter than the model in the picture, ha ha, yep. And in case you're wondering, no I didn't muslin because I am lazy like that. I think it is meant to be a loose-fitting dress, but it just didn't work on me. I actually think my mom is right for once, ha ha. Notice how I'm holding my arms down, because if I spread them out or move them away from my body, I look like Spongebob Square Pants. Good thing I didn't go for yellow, right?
One thing I wanted to mention is that I found the construction of the sleeves a bit odd. Maybe "construction" isn't the right word. The pattern had me hem the sleeves before sewing the sides closed. I'm used to hemming sleeves after the sides have been closed, so this was strange to me. And it resulted in a bulky finish. If you plan to make this dress, I highly recommend hemming after the sleeves are sewn together. I think it can work.
The back was kind of cute with the velvet ribbon. This photo was taken by my 4-year-old daughter. Not bad, right? It's my favorite part of the dress. Ha ha, no surprise. Bows and me.
Anyway, after that dress, I really hesitated about making another. Would I have time? Did I have the patience? Well, kind of. Okay, not really.
I went through my paper patterns from Rick Rack because I'd had some success with one of their tunics, and I saw a dress that would be great for the warm summer months. And doesn't that make perfect sense because we are heading into winter? Yeah, I thought so. And I had the best summer weight fabric that I'd been saving from a project that never happened. I posted a sneak peek of the dress here, and I have to say it looks way better on Instagram than it does on me, sob!
I begged my co-bloggers Jen and Tina for their help in styling the sack dress (because, let's face it, that's what it looks like on me). Luckily, Jen is a great photographer and Tina is a pro at location scouting. Together they managed to make me look halfway decent, which was no mean feat because we'd just eaten lunch and I probably had "food face" in addition to the wrinkles all over my dress. (Warning: don't look too long or too closely at the pictures.)
It's the tunic/one-piece pattern, available here. I should have gone down a size (I made the M, but don't ask me why because if I'd gone by the measurements I would have been fine in the S). There is an option to do gathering or pleating, and I
was just tired of all the gathering I'd been doing for my daughters' clothes thought that maybe pleats were a bit more "grown up", so I went for those.
In an attempt to do something about the sacklike look of the dress (Tina suggested a white turtleneck might look nice; unfortunately I don't own one), I put on a belt. Better?
Hm, maybe a little. At least I don't look pregnant anymore. Okay, I wasn't going to mention the shoes, but I really need to apologize for them. I know this look is probably making people all over the world cringe, but I don't have any decent pumps in black. And yes, it is just gross to wear stockings with open-toed shoes but it was COLD! I'm sorry!! Don't look down. Stop it! I should be looking up in this picture, too, to try to distract you.
Be sure to check out the other totally amazing bloggers on this tour. And I mean A-MA-ZING. Like I-don't-even-know-what-I-am-doing-in-this-line-up-with-them kind of amazing.
In a Manner of Sewing | Conversas de Hermanas | Pequenos e Verdes | Climbing the Willow Bartracks and Singletrack | S is for Sewing | Sew Happy | Mamacosesola | Fairies, Bubbles & Co. | Sewing Like Mad | As it Seams | Sewing For Mini Me | La Folie Sewing Booth | Just Add Fabric | Blogless Anna | Sweeter Than Cupcakes | Needle and Ted | Miss Castelinhos | Made by Toya | Lil Luxe Collection | House of Estrela | Patty Made It | Paisley Roots | Rita Pirolita | Call Ajaire | So-cal Sewing Mom | Kiwi Crafty Chemist | Sew Shelly Sew | Made by Sara
And now for the prizes!! Three lucky winners from among our readers will win one of the following prizes:
- One pack of 2 two Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing
- One pack of 2 two Japanese Sewing books from Tuttle Publishing
- A $40 fabric voucher from Urban Sew
Be sure to sew along and join the linky party (at the bottom of Sara's post here) because there is yet another chance to win more prizes!!
Thanks for visiting and good luck!