Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shawl Collar Peplum Top & Giveaway! [Closed]

So, from the Japanese Sewing Book "Basic Black", I made this Shawl Collar Peplum Top.

This is the original pattern from the book.  You can see here they gave the recommended fabric and the notions as well as the Sewing Steps.  The shaded areas means 'Wrong side facing up'.

The most complicated part of the sewing is the shawl collar which is illustrated nicely in the diagram given in the book.

Changes I made

1. Change the fabric from Dobby Check to Knit. Can you believe that I don't even have any black fabric at home! Finally I found some black and white stripe knit that I bought from Spotlight a few weeks ago.

The knit is quite thick so I decided to use this instead and it works out quite well. The only problem I have is the matching of the stripes which was a nightmare. It didn't quite match up at the back but I managed to do better at the side seams.  My eyes were swimming when I was cutting out the pieces.

2. The 2nd changes that I made was to cut a short rectangle to make it into a peplum top.  I just eye ball the length that I want and cut along the white stripe, using the full width of the fabric.  It made pleats instead of gathering the skirt to reduce the bulk at the waist.

I especially love the shawl collar.  The interfacing really makes the collar stands properly. I topstitch the collar to make it lay nicely.  I like it that it is not to low and add interest to a normal V neck peplum top.

As mentioned in my earlier post, the finished size for each design given in the book really helps me in choosing the right size.  I tally my measurements against those on the book, using Bust, Waist and Hip measurements.  The size is quite accurate I find.   

Next up I think I will try to make the Round collar jacket since I really need one for my office.

My birthday is in May so I will be having a Giveaway.  The kind people from Tuttle Publishing have given me 2 copies of the 'Basic Black' for the giveaway.  Isn't this amazing!  

To enter, just leave a comment on this post with your email address.  You can leave any comments and I will pick 2 readers randomly and contact the winners by email.   

Giveaway details[Closed]
- 2 winners will be picked randomly
- Open till 31 May 2014
- Open to readers in Singapore and Malaysia only

Okay, that's it for now. I'll update another post soon on my birthday dress, pattern from another Japanese Sewing Book.  Stay tuned! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Japanese Sewing Book Review - Basic Black by Sato Watanabe

Have you seen this book in the bookshop in town?

It's a Japanese sewing book packed with 26 patterns for blouse, vests, skirts, dress and jackets, in the classic colour of  Black of course!

And a good news to all japanese sewing book enthusiasts who don't understand Japanese, this book is recently translated to English!  You would never had guess that the book was first published in 2005 because the designs are all so edgy and modern.

I like the book because of the wide range of patterns.  There are 5 patterns for Jackets alone!
Flannel Short Coat
Tweed Jacket with Rounded Collar 
There are some unique and unusual dresses with asymmetric designs and trims/darts.

Boatneck Dress with Bust Darts
Asymmetric Jumper Dress
Asymmetric Blouse with Tape Trim

I've not seen the Japanese version so I can't compare the English version. But from my past experiences sewing from Japanese sewing book, this one has a lot more description and all the diagrams and important parts are labelled so you will not be confused.

The japanese version usually has only measurements in centimetres but the English version comes with both cm and Inches, so you don't have to look for your measuring tapes to translate for you!

Another plus points for this book is they actually categories the patterns into 3 groups: Loose, fitted or garments with darts and shaping seams.  The finished measurements by Bust, Waist and Hip are also given for each patterns which is very useful as this may differs based on the design ease in the patterns.

The book comes in 4 sizes" XS, S, M, L" and there are 2 pattern sheets folded neatly in the envelope at the back of the book. I find this very useful as the Japanese version usually have the patterns pasted on the first or last page which you have to physically tear them out and so they always dropped out of the book whenever I pull out the books from my shelves.

Further details are given on each pattern sheet, on sizes and how to use the patterns. One thing though, the pattern pieces may not be found on one sheet so you have to tally the number of pieces with the book.  I think this is inevitable when you try to squeeze all the patterns in just 2 sheets of paper.

And of course, you need to add in your seams allowance. Standard SA for Japanese pattern is usually 1cm if not specify.  For hem allowance, usually they will indicate on the cutting layout plan on the book.

Like all Japanese sewing booking, they have a page on Essential tools and handy gadgets. Helpful for those who are new to sewing.  They explain clearly on the use and functions of the tools.

So, did I make anything from this book?  Of course!  I love this shawl collar on this long dress but I didn't want a long dress so guess what, I cut it shorter and made myself a blouse instead.  I'll share more on this in my next post since this is getting too long.

Interested to grab your own copy?  You can find "Basic Black" in all leading bookstores, retailing at $22.

"Basic Black" by Sato Watanabe
Tuttle Publishing
ISBN 978-4-8053-1308-4

I was given this book for review by the Tuttle Publishing but all the comments and reviews are solely mine.  If you like to see more translated japanese sewing book, click on here to see other titles.

I'll leave you with a preview of my shawl collar here..

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Galaxy Dress

I fell in love with this galaxy print cotton from Fabric.com. It reminded me of a dress I saw from this Japanese magazine Female Autumn 2013 issue.

I was contemplating if I should sew up the exact version but I think the loose fitting dress is going to make me look preggy.

So I decided to sew up this dress from the cover of this Japanese book.  It's Simple Chic by Machiko Kayaki.

I think the dress is quit unique since it has 2 diagonal darts from the side waist up.  You can just catch a glimpse of the diagonal dart from the photo below.

The lines on the dress is quite simple. A line with 2 darts so it will not clash with the busy print. The blue is so rich and it is a good weight to sew, not flimsy at all. I would recommend this if anyone is interested in galaxy print.

The above is the photo of the back view of the dress. The print seems to make the seams so invisible right? You can hardly see the invisible zipper at the centre back! I am so tickled!

The original pattern neckline is too high for my liking so I brought it down by 1". Maybe my neck is too thick. lol I line the dress with Japanese nylon lining fabric that I got from Spotlight. It is slightly expensive at $13 per metre but I think it is worth it because it is anti-static and feel so cool against my skin.

Here's how it looks on my dress form. I can actually zip up the dress! The original pattern dress length is really LOOONGGG. I took off almost 3" and it is just below my knee. I think might need to take off more. I'm 1.60m. Not sure if its because Japanese ladies like their skirt long or I'm too short.

Will be wearing this for the upcoming Mother's Day church service so no photo of me wearing it here. I might post a few celebrating photo later though.

My birthday is in May and I've a birthday surprise for my readers! Look out for it in my next post!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Floral and Grey Plantain

I've been so late in sewing up the Plantain from Deer and Doe.

It is a free pattern from Deer and Doe, an independent pattern maker from France. The description given is a T-shirt fitted at shoulders and flare at hips.

I've sewn up 2 versions, not counting the muslin, making short, long and 3/4 sleeves.

Here are both my short sleeve and 3/4 sleeve versions.  The floral ones are made from Heather Ross's Briar Rose line "Calico in Pink". I only got 1 yard so I was quite apprehensive sewing with it. But the quality is so good and stable that I've no issue sewing it up.

During my muslin stage, I realised that the size 36 is slightly tight at my bust. I was too lazy to cut out a bigger size since I've already printed out so I just eye ball and trace a bigger Seam Allowance when I sew the other 2. The hip is just nice so I tapper down to size 36 at the hip.  I also added pockets for my top.

For the grey knit version, I used a knit that I got from Spotlight. It was thinner but still workable. I use the Briar Rose for my pocket piece.

Next I think I can trace it longer to make it into a dress!