Happy homemade shirred tunic

29 Jul

I was absolutely delighted last Christmas to receive a Japanese pattern book from my lovely friend Lulu. What added to it is that Lulu’s not even a sewer, but she was all over the Japanese pattern books – loved it!

The particular book that I was kindly gifted was happy homemade vol. 1 treasured collection, by Yoshiko Tsukiori – in English, oh yes! (My Japanese is certainly not what it used to be, and given that it was never much chop to start with… you see where I’m going here.)

Happy Homemade vol. 1 treasured collection

The first pattern I made, and unfortunately the only one I’ve made so far, is G – Shirred dress – using a Japanese cotton from Spotlight teamed with a cute cotton trim from Tessuti.

G - shirred dress

This is me, wearing my ‘dress’ (that I’ve actually decided is a tunic – way too short for me as a dress!). I did think about adding extra length to make it more of a dress length, but I like wearing tunic length tops so left it as it was.

ZoSews shirred dress

Don’t mind the creases!

shirred dress side

Here’s a close up of the trim and shirring. It was the first time I’d shirred anything, it wasn’t hard – I’d recommend you give it a go, if you haven’t already of course! The pattern called for four rows of shirring, but I added an extra one (total of five rows) at the top to stop any gaping/flapping at the neckline.

close up of shirring and trim
I was lazy and didn’t baste the trim first which made it a bit of a &^%$ to sew on, but by the time I’d hit the trouble spots (namely, the corners) I’d gone too far and was way past stopping so I ploughed on- you know how it is. That, and the fact the print on the fabric hides a multitude of sins – like ugly stitching πŸ™‚

sleeve with tessuti trim

One other ‘moment’ I had – I stupidly cut out the sleeves together without ‘good sides together’ so I ended up with two sleeves shaped the same. Luckily there was only a slight difference between the front and back of the sleeve in this pattern, so I just altered the seam allowance a little on one to make it work.

A couple of other notes:

  • I redrafted the facings to make them wider, and separate pieces, rather than one long, thin piece of about 1.5 cm width. One, because it was easier to sew that way, and two, because the wider facings would sit better while being worn.
  • These patterns keep you on your toes – there’s many different seam allowances used and I decided to follow the instructions on this. You need to make sure you’re all the ball and using the correct allowance size on the correct seam.

So that’s my first foray in to the world of Japanese patterns – and I like it! Have you sewn any garments out of any of the Japanese pattern books? What did you think?

Z xx

PS – Are you watching the Olympics? I’m hooked πŸ™‚



16 Responses to “Happy homemade shirred tunic”

  1. Amanda Bimble July 29, 2012 at 9:05 PM #

    Love this! The shirring looks super cute and the trim from Tessuti is adorable. The Olympic always suck me in- I love the really random sports that pop up!

    • ZoSews July 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM #

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I know right, I’ll soon be an expert in everything from Greco Roman Wrestling to synchronised swimming!

  2. sewbusylizzy July 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM #

    I love it! I keep looking at these books but haven’t taken the leap yet. I love the simplicity of this.

  3. prttynpnk July 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

    As a tunic lover- I heartilly approve! I haven’t tried any Japanese patterns yet- scared!

    • ZoSews July 30, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

      Your approval is noted πŸ™‚ Tunics are so comfy.

  4. theperfectnose July 30, 2012 at 7:56 AM #

    Interesting. Apparently this particular English version has been re-graded (to European sizes) and translated in Australia. I was wondering what the fit was like- saw a couple of ‘itsasack!’ reviews online-but I guess in a style like this it’s hard to tell. I’m looking forward to the jacket (linen coat?) and the tops- will be cool to see the re-graded fit on the target audience.

    • ZoSews July 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM #

      I don’t feel like ‘itsasack!’ but that’s because it was the style I was going for and so I knew what I was getting in to. I guess people who don’t like loose clothes may be more inclined to think it’s a sack. I made mine at the correct size for my measurements. Hope that helps :o)

  5. gingermakes July 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM #

    This is really cute! I’ve never used any Japanese pattern books, but I’m always tempted– everything is so cute! I’m far too rectangular for loose tunic type things, but these interesting designs are so cool that I want to try them out!

    • ZoSews July 30, 2012 at 7:32 PM #

      They look so cute in the books right! I think these styles may be an acquired taste in real life though. I’m getting better at visualizing garments on me and thinking about whether it will suit and I’ll like it before putting the effort in to create it which helps πŸ™‚ I used to just jump right in to whatever I thought looked good on the models – then realised I am not a stick thin model so must remember to work with what I’ve got! Much happier with the outcomes that way πŸ™‚

  6. Leith July 30, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

    Lovely. I bought heaps of Japanese patterns books when we went to Japan on holidays last year. I think I have 4 or 5 but have not actually tried any of them. I would have to grade the patterns up to fit and never seem to find the motivation. I was going to do the Tessuti Japanese pattern class but I always have something on that day!!

    • ZoSews July 30, 2012 at 9:38 PM #

      I’m jealous of your book collection! I’m sure you’ll get around to them one day πŸ™‚ Look forward to your creations.


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