Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Dresses

Pattern:  millimilli
Size:  110 cm, 120 cm
Fabric:  textured cotton knit from Haberman's

This is the same pattern I used for Christmas two years ago, it is a simple joy to sew up and so comfortable to wear.  I did not have enough fabric so the sleeves were slightly flared then cropped.  Also, this knit was a lot more loose and drapey than I expected so I added a back tie (there was not enough fabric left for a bow).  The hardest part of this dress is sourcing just the right fabric......I'm starting now to look to make them again for Easter.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Asha was a journalist. A french kind. I made the jacket as you saw in the previous post. She made the "press" tag. Bryan generously gave her several vintage cameras to complete the look.

Jerome was the Grim Reaper. Although I didn't use any Japanese pattern to make it, I thought I will add it just because. I made a simple tube skirt with a draw string, a top on a bias, and attatched a hood. Scott's sister, Karine, gave me some black remnants from her project, so there was no cost. Because I draped everything straight on the body, the fit was great. Jerome made the sythe with card board, aluminum foil, and duck tape.

Cropped jacket for Asha

Last year I made a goal to challenge myself physically and see if I could get back in shape before I turn forty. I am not going to bore you with the details here, but let's just say it has been a journey. As it turns out, I am not good at managing two projects, and sewing had been put on hold... until this past week.

In August we took a trip to Banff and surrounding national parks as a family. On one of the harder hikes, I was trying to make conversations with Asha in a desparate attempt to distract myself from the huff and puff. The topic of Haloween costumes came up. Before I knew it, I had committed to sewing Asha a jacket. Who knew being in nature with people you love could make you do such things.

Fast forward to last week...
I turned to my new sewing book I got from Japan titled "Sweet Girls Clothes" and choose style V in size 140. Here are the measurements the book gives for size 140. Height 140cm, chest 68cm, waist 57cm, hip 73cm. I think it is a smaller size 10. This is what the cover of the book looks like.

I used denim from my stash.

To minimize bulk, and to keep the project interesting, I tried my hand at a Hong Kong seam. Changing the thread back and forth got tedious, but I love the end result.

A picture of the jacket complete with the rest of her Halloween costume is coming in the next post.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Dress

Size:  120 cm
Fabric:  Cotton calico and white cotton pique for the yoke

This dress was a gift for my daughter's 6th birthday.  Just this summer we moved to a farm so I've been a bit busy for sewing, but she had to have a dress dress for her birthday and I had to try out this new book.  

I don't have my sewing room set up yet so most of it was done on the living room floor with young children crawling and running around and a on top of the workings.  This does not make for very accurate sewing or tracing.  It turns out I made a large error in tracing the wrong neckline for the dress, I traced  style S not D.  I did correct the mistake but it did cost me some time.  Speaking of time, I thought this dress would be a quick sew-up but I was wrong.  I had it cut out the night before and was hoping to sew it up in just two hours in the morning, it actually took me about 4 1/2 hours and kind of wish I spent more time playing with my daughter on her birthday than sewing.  But she was happy with the product and wore it two days in a row.  

I had originally planned to use a brown and white cotton pin stripe but the barely 6 year old girl objected.  I've learned to sew to their liking otherwise I waste both time and resources, she picked out the yellow calico from my stash and we both were pleased with the result.

This dress is two pieces, a straight line dress with yoke and skirt apron on top.  We used fabric covered buttons for the yoke.  I can't say it was a joy to sew up with limited time, but it was a joy to see her celebrating in the finished product.  I'm sure this dress will see many days of wear!

Sweet Girl Clothes

Marie' went to Japan this summer and came back with this book.  Just the thing I needed to get back at sewing "sweet girl clothes".

Sizes: 100cm - 140cm (plus a few styles for an adult)

This is a great book with styles moving from summer into Fall.  Thanks Marie'!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby robe and pants

Book:  Lockstitch baby, style #7 & #15
Size:  70 cm
Fabric:  Knit

What I love most about Japanese patterns is the simplicity of the design and construction.  The fit is usually good but in the case of the robe I believe it was a bit off so I had to make some adjustments.  Again I discovered that in these books any garment not photographed on a live human tends to have an fitting issue.  Here is what it looked like before the adjustment:

I believe it was way too wide.  Since I decided to line to the edge I simply top stitched through both layers and made a casing for elastic to pull in the sides.  And I think it looks quite pretty now.  Here is the back:

Since I made the pants before I know they are a great fit.  I just had trouble with the hemline stretching out a bit.  Also I forgot to reinforce the snaps and had to unpick them and fuse some squares of fabric underneath to prevent the snaps from tearing out of the knit.

And because I love cute Japanese design I had to throw in some cute little Japanese tights in with the outfit.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easy little jacket

This jacket was inspired by one of our favorite Japanese pattern designers Iroha.  Unfortunately she has shut down her shop and is no longer offering patterns.  The pattern is really quite simple though, just two rectangles.

Marie' and I will work on our own instructions and recommended measurements if there is interest here.

This one was made out of a cotton/Lycra interlock from Yellow Bird Fabrics in Salt Lake City.  I'm offering a bunch of photos here so you can see how the jacket changes to the shape of the wearer (please excuse the awkward modeling and photo taking skills of my 5 and 7 years olds).




Drapes over the shoulder:


Would love to make another one out of this from Emmaonesock.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Felt Food

Book:  Felt fruit and vegetables book

This was fun!  Most of it was actually constructed on the sewing machine using a blanket stitch.  The grapes were done mostly by hand by my 7 year old.  And the banana is so cute because it peels and actually comes out.....but I'm not showing that because the kids say it doesn't look really yummy like that.

We didn't use a pattern for the sandwich supplies below.  We just looked at the picture for the general idea.  The bread is fuzzier because we used the cheap felt from Jo-Ann fabrics, the rest was nice thick Japanese felt.

And the same for breakfast, we just cut free hand.  The bacon got crinkly from a piece of elastic inside.

This project was  not as painful as my first attempt last year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Felt Animals

I purchased this kit from Superbuzzy for my 5 year old daughter to make for her younger sister.  It far beyond her skill level but she enjoyed the stuffing and beading.

It took a while to get my stitches neat and even.  I also used the blanket stitch on my machine for the long runs.  Despite my sloppines they turned out so cute!  More photos here.  The kit was $25 but we will use the leftover felt cutouts as a pattern for more deer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pajamas for boys

Book:  Children's lockstitch
Fabric:  Various knits from the Fabric Fairy
Sizes:  90, 120, 140, 150 (not included I graded up)

These were quick to sew up but I can't say the pattern was a sure go like most Japanese patterns.  Maybe I should have gone down a size for each child but I found the crotch lengths too long in addition to both the sleeve length and shirt length.  

It may be also I'm used to more fitted knit pajamas, the boys aren't complaining though, in fact I think they found them more comfortable.
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