Friday, July 31, 2009

Drafting our own patterns

The pattern for these knit dresses are technically not in any of our books.  But what I love about Japanese patterns is they offer such simple well drafted basics that you can draft your own designs off of them in just a few extra steps.  I use to draft my own off RTW but that takes longer and is riskier (at least for me because I am a bit careless).

Marie' and I drafted this together at our big drafting party back in April.  We were copying a simple play dress we saw online at Crewcuts.  I can't remember what pattern we started with but any basic bodice and sleeve pattern would work.  We cut the bodice high and added 1.5 inches at CB and CF for an inverted pleat,  then added a 1.5 inch A-line on the sides.  You can see Marie's versions here and here.

The fabrics for both of these dresses were purchased from The Fabric Fairy and also on trip to Barcelona a few years ago.

Yoga pants

Book:  Everyday Bottoms
Size:  100cm
Fabric:  Cotton Lycra knit, Cotton interlock knit

Marie' promised they would fit really cute and they do.  The yellow bottoms look a bit funny at the waist and crotch because daughter B is wearing a floral diaper cover she is attached to as underwear.  These pants are not designed to smooth over any sort of bulk.  In fact, I was a bit surprised to see there is only one pattern piece and the front and back share the same crotch curve.  Next time I may adjust this depending upon how the seams hold up on these first pairs.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Knit Play dresses

Book:  Children's Lockstitch Book, 
Sizes:  100 cm, 110 cm
Fabric:  Marimeko print from The Fabric Fairy

This is actually a combination of styles L2, and L4.  I cut the bodice higher and cut the skirt narrower.  The bodice seems a bit wide so next time I make either style I'll go down a size and add a little length.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Back and gone again

Marie' has been in Japan.  She was home for just two days, just enough time to do laundry and send me this amazing package before heading off to Hawaii.

Her report of a 4 story fabric store in Tokyo, Japanese prints for almost 1/2 the price we can get them here, and unknown pattern companies made me a bit envious.  But what a good friend to bring back and send a fashion magazine, cool denim like knit fabric, a clear plastic metric ruler, a corsage book, and yet another little girl's pattern book.  She also threw in a box of chocolate filled pretzel sticks that the kids finished before I finished browsing the new books and magazine.

I can't wait to hear more of what she saw and picked up on her trip. This coming fall is sure to be full of some great Japanese sewing.

Oh yeah, I was also really jealous and amused by her explanation of a vegetable man who circled the neighborhood announcing from his truck "fresh vegetables". I think of that every time I hear the ice cream truck here and wonder why I wasn't born in Japan.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Liberty Dress

Book:  Stylish Girl Clothes, style c
Size:  100 cm
Fabric:  Liberty print (purchased off ebay for only $8!)

This pattern seemed a bit wide.  I actually overlapped the front bodice pieces a bit more than the pattern intended because I didn't like the way it gaped open.  I also added ties to the back to create a cleaner silhouette in addition to side patch pockets - but those were just for fun.

If you've never sewn on Liberty fabric I highly recommend it - it is buttery and a joy to work with.  Just remember to use a fresh size 70 needle.

Linen pants

Book:  Girl on the Beach, style R
Size:  110 cm
Fabric:  Linen
I added 1" to the length of the hem.  The crotch length seems too long, I think taking off at least 1/2" at top would allow for better fit.  These pants are fuller than I expected so next time I may also pinch out 1/2" down the front and back of the pants as well as add front pockets.  It may be that they are just all around too big and will look better next summer (that is if I get the cherry juice stains out).

The 3 tiered pants were made last year.  More about them here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Long sleeve Kimono T

Book:  Toddler Boys and Girls Clothes, #15
Size:  80 cm
Fabric:  Old women's T

I also added elbow patches just for fun
Book:  Toddler Boys and Girls Clothes, #46
Size:  80 cm
Fabric:  Twill from a pair of men's pants

Cargo Shorts

Book:  Toddler Boys and Girls Clothes
Size:  80 cm
Fabric:  recycled from men's shorts

Denim Shorts

Book:  Toddler Boys and Girls Clothes, Style 44
Size:  80 cm
Fabric:  Denim

I made a cutting mistake so that is why there is a lower seam on the front.

Kimono T

Book:  Toddler Boys and Girls Clothes, Style 17
Size:  80 cm
Fabric: recycled T from a garage sale

I changed the pocket and also cut the sleeves out of the existing sleeve and cuff from the original adult T.  The design does not add a cuff and the pocket is designed to be smaller and placed on the lower right side.

Design List

I will post a better picture of it when my books are out of storage
Book:  lovely dresses
Size:  Small
Fabric:  Cotton Lawn

Yuka was a Japanese student at U of U and my mom was her cultural mentor.  Yuka was very kind in helping me get through my first day of pattern drafting and I helped her sew this dress.

puffy slips

Book:  Girl's Recital Book
Sizes:  100 cm, 110 cm
Fabric:  Bemberg lining, netting, cotton batiste, cotton/lycra, fold over elastic

This is just like Marie' made but I attached them to a fitted tank because their pot bellies couldn't hold the slips up evenly.  I highly recommend a gathering attachment for this project.

Hooded T's for the whole family

Book:  Adult Lockstitch, Children's Lockstitch
Size:  90 cm, 100 cm, 110 cm, 120 cm, 130 cm, 140 cm, women's M
Fabric:  variety of old T-shirts and knit fabric scraps

I especially love the fit of the women's pattern, it's slim but not too fitted.  These are among my children's favorite pieces of clothing - they have begged to wear them even on 90 degree summer days.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baby's changing quilt

Book: Good News Handmade Zakka
Fabric: quilting cotton from Amy butler, Heather Ross, and Robin Pandolph

Perfect little quilt to carry around for infants.  Now that my boy is 19 months, I keep it in the basket with diapers and wipes for quick changing on the family room carpet.    

Batik Dresses

Book:  Children's Lockstitch
Size:  100 cm, 110 cm
Fabric:  Batik print from Hawaii
Book:  New York Style Baby
Size:  12 months
Fabric:  recycled knit T for the collared shirt, recycled men's pants for the overalls, knit for the lining

Baby Coat

Book:  New York Style Baby
Size:  12 months
Fabric:  Denim (outer), Fleece knit (lining)

Girl's Camisole

Book: Girl's holiday Clothes, style 13
Size: 130
Fabric:  patchwork cotton from Spain

As with most styles in this book, this camisole is loose to accommodate pre-teen chubbiness, but has a tie to create some shape.  I found the shoulder straps to be on the long side, too, and had to take a few inches in.    

Book: Girl's holiday Clothes, style 26
Fabric: sheer sucker from a quilting store in Kauai 

The adjustable ties on the sides make this dress a versatile one through the pre-teen to teen years.  I changed it to a peter pan collar using another pattern from the dress.   

boy shorts

Book: Everyday Bottoms, style 26
Size: 100
Fabric: Dad's old chino, plaid cotton from Japan

As comfortable as a Mu'umu'u

Book: Girly Style Wardrobe, style h
Size: 120
Fabric:Denyse Schmidt Quilting Cotton

No snaps, buttons, or zippers.  It comes together very fast. Perfect for the summer evenings.   
The headband pattern can be found here

Summer Dress

Book: Girls Handmade Clothes
Size: 110
Fabric: Amy Butler Quilting Cotton

Another great pattern.  The pockets are very cute.  

knit top

Book: Children's Lockstitch Book
Fabric: Cotton Lycra from Fabric Fairy

This top runs big.  If you are looking for a fit like the ready-made-clothing, make one size smaller.  

Elephant Jumper

Book:  Stylish Girl Clothes
Size:  100 cm
Fabric:  Vintage knit found at a garage sale (jumper), recycled T-shirt (pants)
Other notes:  The original pattern has a separate piece for the bottom of the dress. I cut it as one piece because I did not want to disturb the elephant pattern.  I also added the side patch pocket because my daughter would not put it on without a touch of pink.

Pillowcase Nightgowns

Book:  Children's Lockstitch style 9
Size:  90 cm & 100 cm
Fabric:  Vintage pillowcases
Other notes:  This is actually a dress pattern and is designed with elastic above the waist.  Since I was using these as nightgowns I let them just fall from the gathered neckline.  This book has seam allowances already included.


Book:  Handmade Baby Clothes
Fabric:  Linen and Liberty print
Size:  80 cm
Other notes:  This is a variation of style K.  The original jumper has hand smocking which I was too lazy for.  Instead I just pleated the top.  I also added a pocket.

Pleated Skirt

Book:  Girly Style Wardrobe
Size:  100
Fabric:  Gray Linen, Liberty print for the underskirt
Other notes:  The back has enclosed elastic and I had trouble with the transition from the front bias binding to the linen folding over the elastic.  Some of the elastic was left exposed on the side seam and was too itching for my daughter, next time I'll be more careful with that step.
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