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Tag Archives: Cotton

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 🙂

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 🙂

 

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Pear and Apple Dress

19 Feb

The first dress I made was V1102, an AKO number. I did love the look of it in black as it was on the pattern envelope, but for something a little more casual and fun, I decided to go ahead with this one in a lovely fruity Kokka fabric purchased from Amitie.

V1102 AKO dress pattern

V1102

(The model on this envelope really reminds me of someone… can’t put my finger on it though. What do you think?)

Here’s my finished product –

v1102

Alterations:

  • The bodice of this dress is lined, but rather than self-line it as per the pattern directions, I lined it with a kind of stone coloured cotton – avoiding the pear and apple pattern showing through from the wrong side.
  • I also used the lining fabric to bag out the bow at the back – rather than the edges being narrowly double hemmed. It gave a nicer finish I thought 🙂
  • The straps at the back of the bodice were shortened by about 1cm – wouldn’t want my top falling down would I!?
  • A bust adjustment, going up a about a size.
  • Narrowing centre back to avoid gaping around the zip – a snug fit is much nicer 🙂

v1102

Turning the bodice through a narrow shoulder strap was a patience and hand strength testing exercise – but I got there in the end!

Regarding the bow at the back, I have heard of someone who made it detachable. I think this is a great idea because if it’s slightly chilly you can’t wear the dress because you can’t wear a cardigan over the giant bow (hello hunchback). Another issue with the bow is that you need someone to ‘do you up’, or you have to do the bow up prior to putting it on and then wiggle into it. That said, the bow is one of the features I love.

I have actually sneaked this dress onto TV before too! Just in the background on the 7PM project – but still TV coverage 🙂

v1102

So there you have it – my Pear and Apple Dress! I think it’s quirky and fun – what do you think?

Zx