Wednesday, December 23, 2009

no coat. two light jackets.

I have decided NOT to sew any new coat for this winter in September to make my life simpler.

I love to sew coats, but at the same time, I also hate to sew them very much! I have this mixed strange feeling in it. Making coats is very exciting & fruitful, and the results always make me feel accomplished and so great. However, I am also very nervous throughout its whole process of both cutting and sewing. Especially in every aspect of dealing with the fabrics. Most of the time, the fabrics for coats are great indeed and I love to look at them at all, but they are also simply more expensive and more precious, practically not available any more than once, larger to handle, easier to fray, too fluffier, unwillingly messier, seriously more delicate and disappointingly less iron-friendly than the fabrics for other items. I am most likely to feel running away when I myself decide to make a wintry nice coat, imagining of all troubles and accidents on my fabric before getting the coat.

I think I can describe it like this too, "I adore gorgeous fabrics too much, especially for those that are used for coats. Because I love them so much, I feel ill with the idea of ruining them in my hands."

I know it sounds way too silly. I wish I had a skill to describe it less stupid.

Anyway, without any plan for new coat, my autumn and winter this year is so relaxing and peaceful. I'm feeling more productive and sewing small things happily. Here I have pictures of two jackets that I made recently.


One of them is actually a cardigan, but I used a jersey with less elasticity to make it look more jacket-y.
(The fabric is the leftover of this cape, as you may find.)


I found so much use of it in my everyday life. LOOOVE IT. It's nothing special, but it's perfect. Warm, cosy, pretty and white.

pattern: 7victoria (cardigan, PDF) from anneeduex*
size 38
body shortened (-3cm)
sleeve lengthened (+2cm)

wool/polyester blend, jersey

Other is a jacket with an interesting shape.


The pattern is from miho's shop, and I think it's so hers.
It has a pair of dolman sleeves, but the shape of them are slightly different from you would imagine with the word of "dolman". I recommend you to refer her photographs & technical drawings if you would like to know how the sleeves originally shape, since you wouldn't see their specialness in my pictures with my arms down (sorry!).

The jacket is very pretty, and it's special! I think the combination of the color of pale beige and this interesting shape suits me very well. And, it gives me every chance to show off my lovely pairs of hand warmers too. What do I need more.


pattern: Hilda (jacket, PDF) from TAMANEGI-KOBO

one size (free size)

fashion fabric: plain woven wool/acryl blend, 142cm x 2.5m
lining fabric

Have a happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

hand warmers

I am just telling you that I love them and need them everyday! (in winter of course, but they can be protecting our arms from the sunshine in summer as well)
Get a free pattern from BurdaStyle.

Pattern page: yoshimi hand warmer


material notes
one white thin woolen turtle neck that made my neck itchy to death (deep corner in my closet)
one very tired cardigan which is made of colorful spotted woolen jersey (thrift shop)
one peppermint-colored cotton vest with glitter beads on the surface (thrift shop)
made 5(!) pairs of hand warmers.

Monday, November 30, 2009

knit skirt

close up

I knitted a purple skirt.

I'm so proud of myself being able to finish this knitting project with a satisfying result. I'd say I'm getting used to knitting! (I'm still just a seasonal and occasional knitter though.)

The pattern is from my favorite old knitting book "A/T creation-knit" from NIHON VOGUE-SHA Co., Ltd. (Unfortunately, the book has been out of print for ages...AND written in Japanese.)
The original version in the book is an ankle length-, hem fringed-, rather sporty- and tight brown skirt. As you can certainly see I shortened it quite a bit, but I knitted as exactly as the chart said except some minor executions and length.
It has a knitted body with a crochet hem with fringes.


#17 cabled skirt with fringes on the hem
by Keiji ITAKURA

Rowan Lima Colorway 884, 5 skeins
5.5 mm and 4.5 mm knitting needles and 5mm crochet hook

I really like the color of the yarn. Isn't it nice!

**the raspberry colored hooded jumper is also one of my latest results. made of woolen jersy. pattern from anneeduex* (PDF), omitted front zip and front kangaroo pockets from the original. **
**If you are one of Ravelers, visit me for other pictures!**

Have a great week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

sister pants

 I've made two pairs of 3 tuck pants.

 I made two pairs (I said it twice) in the same fabric in different sizes, using a pattern. It may sound that I start mass production, but it's not the case! It was kinda an experiment.

 After finishing the one pair of these, I noticed that I could squeeze myself into a size smaller, and also that I couldn't resist to see how I look in different-sized same pants. I wouldn't think such thing if I was talking about jean pants, because I'd rather think I just look either of a woman in a tighter jeans or a woman in a larger sized jeans. But this time I imagined that different sizes of these kind of trousers on one person(me) might give very different styles and impressions. So I dared to check!

The pattern I used was for one of harem pants (called also sarrouel pants) from TAMANEGI-KOBO. The pants look quite similar to the ordinarily tucked pants, but actually they have a slight but obvious dropped crotch to give one tiny hint of those harem pants. I really like it.

the first (size9)
sorry for the photo, it's just a snap shot after an weekend lunch! lots of creases...

the second (lengthened a bit, size7)
Evan harempants
Evan harempants

As you probably agree with me, the impressions of those pairs are different.
The first pair (larger size) look more casual and gives more playful impression, and the second pair (smaller size, longer legs) looks more versatile and seems to fit for a matured wearer, staying on the side of fashion. It is not beyond expectations at all and it sounds so reasonable even without seeing the result, but I really love what I see here. I have learnt a lot about the idea of intended sizing for my future projects from these pairs. I also got two pairs of charming pants from one pattern in cheap. Lucky me!

Happy Sewing!

subtly sarrouel-y
pattern: Evan from TAMANEGI-KOBO (PDF, trousers)
size: JPN9 and JPN7

fabric: plain woven, wool:silk=80:20 blue gray, 150cm x 120cm/ a pair of pants

lengthen from the pattern by 2cm(larger one), 7cm(smaller one)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cape Frago

 I made a cape.

 I knew the fabric had been sitting in my stash for too long, but I didn't know what to do. I knew the reason why though.

 It was supposed to make a pretty poncho (cape) which had cute fringes on the edge when I bought it. I thought what I bought was a tweed, but the fabric was actually a knitted fabric. (a great mistake!) aw..

 It took me more than 2 months to get over my mistake and I finally had a go this week.

 Seeing it in the photos right now, the fabric positively looks nothing but a woolen knit (even to me). I must have been too excited about it on the purchase... What kind of love makes me so blind?

 Thus it has no fringes on it. It's fun to wear, and reasonably warm. I'm happy with the result. This is the end of the story for today!

 Oh yes, I sewed this short and gray skirt for my wintry wardrobe too. I love this skirt. It is simple, yet simply cute.

Happy sewing!!


white Frago cape
pattern: Frago from anneeduex*
 (not PDF pattern)
size 38

fabric: wool knit, milky-yellowy white with silver lame, contains some curly bulky threads, pretty, seemed almost no elastic, about 140cm x 110cm

*thin leather string and a pair of toggle buttons for front closure
*straight grain cut
gray woolen Laurent mini skirt
pattern: Laurent from anneecotton*
size 38

fabric: wool blends, grayish white with iron-silver lame (my supplier loves lame thing so much...), about 130cm x 70cm
lining: cupro, pale gray, about 140cm x 60cm

Monday, October 19, 2009

blue denim dress, named Dita


I was about to sew another pair of jeans with this pale blue denim. However, that night, the idea of blue denim dress with big buttons hit my sleeping brain and I managed to remember it until the next morning. The idea seemed extraordinarily good in THAT dream, but I forgot what was that nice about it or why I thought so, without any trace. The dream left one convinced seamstress without any convincing reason!

Anyway, I was too convinced that I was getting a great result while I was sewing it. It was so much fun. I knew I was making fun of myself in that way. perhaps.

blue denim dress
pattern: Dita from TAMANEGI-KOBO (PDF, dress)
size: JPN9

fabric: stretch cotton denim, pale blue, about 148cm x 150cm

 *add a pair of big buttons(30mm) on the pockets
 *shortened by 2cm at skirt hem


By the way, I am in love with this comfortable dress and also I think it's quite pretty, did I forget to say?

Have a happy day!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

a shirt and a jacket

It's getting cooler and cooler day by day in my area. I've made two garments for the season.

a satin shirt

A shirt was made of slightly shiny satin, silk/cotton blend. I bought this fabric to make an under dress, but it was so pretty and I couldn't use it for hiding under my dress in the end. So I made this shirt. As I'm not a good shirt wearer, I tried to make it like blouse as much as possible. I hid front buttons underneath a front flap, chose a narrow stand collar, and omitted pockets, waist darts and topstitches. I think I can say I did well. I really love this color, and I'd love to wear it often in this autumn.

silk-cotton satin shirt
pattern: anneecotton* BL5023(shirt)
size: 40
fabric: silk55 cotton45 satin plain woven, soft and bouncy shirting fabric. 112cm x 170cm

a Columbo jacket

I have been curious about jackets with big silhouette, but never had a chance to try before. When Miho started her shop, the first line-up included this big jacket called Columbo, and I had no way to dismiss it. This is my first tailor-collared jacket sewn by myself, too. I used this pale gray wool gabardine for making it. When I found this fabric on an online shop, I thought I was really lucky. This is a fabric same as ones for the jackets from Loro Piana, and it was miraculously discounted (because of this funny mice-y color). Hey I don't mind the gray at all!

The sewing of this jacket was easier than I had imagined, and I'm enjoying the result! A very big jacket brings my style a fresh breeze and I feel good in it. I love my Columbo! Actually I think the color suits me rather than other deep colors, because I mostly wear pale colors and they match to this gray anyway.


Columbo jacket
pattern: TAMANEGI-KOBO Columbo(jacket)
size: JPN11
   (JPN9 at around the shoulders, as my shoulders are proportionally narrower than other parts)
fabric: wool gabardine, about 148cm x 220cm

 *I used a pair of 20mm buttons on the cuffs, instead of using 2 sets of 15mm buttons as said in instruction).
The pair of pink buttons was a kind gift from my French friend. Thank you, Helene!!

 *The corners on cuffs, hem, collar, and lapel were slightly rounded.
 *I put only left mock pocket on the chest, but omitted the right one.
 *Invisible hemming was done by hand, instead of straight stitching by sewing machine.

Take care!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Burdafashion 503D and a happy ending


I was a bit out of my mind on the other day (the technique that I am most bad at is gathering), and I decided to sew this blouse with much gathering work simply because it looked very pretty and also comfortable. I imagined with stars in my eyes that I could be relaxing myself in it on a cozy weekend's afternoon having a cuppa on the sofa (or something similar).

However, after attaching one of the sleeves, I found it didn't work for me at all! It was too bulky on me and I looked like a person whose previous life was an white jellyfish or a mushroom (or something similar)...
So I took some pictures, and the blouse was abandoned.

The story continues. I showed the pics to my friends to prove what I did, and luckily one of them loved it! She finished everything neatly and here she goes! She also sewed a blue dress to wear underneath the blouse. She looks so pretty in it.
A very happy ending!!


here is my review again... (thanks for your patience, and encouragements!)

Pattern Description:

Pattern Sizing:
34 36 38 40 42 44, I used 36.        

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
I don't think so, but it was because I used a very different type of fabric from the one that was used for the sample from Burda. My fabric was rather shirting cotton than transparent flowered chiffon which was in the sample picture. The blouse I made looks bigger with a strong modulation of gathers and ruffles.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, I could sew it without a problem. However, I'd be happier if there were pictures to explain. I also thought that one of front bands would be better attached at the last step so that we can check the balance and the length of elastic band at waist with putting it on.

What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the feminine look of the blouse. I have no particular dislikes on it.

Fabric Used:
Very thin and light cotton/cupro blend. Slightly sheer. Rather elegant.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
No, I sewed it without changes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I will probably sew it again in very soft lacy fabric. I think my version is pretty as it is, but I have to confess I came to know it didn't work on me at all with unknown reason before one of sleeves attached. Fortunately, one of my good friends loved it for the first sight and she finished it to get her new favorite blouse. She likes to put it on over a blue light dress that she sewed for the blouse as in the picture. It's very pretty on her! So I recommend it to others even though it didn't work for me, because I know the pattern is right and good.

This is a pretty blouse and it look very elaborate. I'm looking forward to the chance to sew it again with the right fabric for me! I think I need the fabric which is flowing and hanging to make its silhouette smaller. How it looks with this pattern is totally depending on fabrics.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Balloon and newly born shop

Now it's fall in Japan, which is my favorite season! I'm delighted with that I could survive another summer, as I'm quite sensitive to the sunshine and the heat. Yay for longer sleeves!
I'm activated!

I made a dress and a top out of one pattern from my friend's shop.

a Balloon dress

One of my dearest friends, Miho, has recently launched her online shop for sewing patterns. She is a good hobby seamstress who is filled with knowledge, good ideas, and happy thoughts. She has been always telling me that there are few resources (brands/shops) which sell the patterns for what she'd love to wear, though there are so many other patterns around. It's true for me too, as it is practically hard for us living in Japan to access the patterns from your major companies (eg. vogue, simplicity, McCall, Burda etc.) unless they provide their patterns in digital (PDF) format. Otherwise we have to hustle ourselves to make international orders with much cost and longer shipping time. Yes, we have some domestic companies selling sewing patterns, too. But the number of choices is quite limited before our selections anyway.

She has looked for shops that are accessible and that offer the patterns with which she can sew her new, nice, and stylish clothes which suit her everyday life. But it was a hard task in the end. So she changed her plan. She started to ask a very talented professional to draw patterns for her wish. In other words, she decided to design garments for herself and to share her patterns through her online shop. Of course I was the one of the first customers!

I used the pattern called "Balloon" which is the one among three patterns she has at the moment.


This dress is made of very soft and milky white viscose/polyamide blend. I love the result! The dress has raglan sleeves with puffy ends, and a very cute neckline from both front and back. The pattern contains the ribbon for a waist belt, but I used my gray belt instead. My bust measurement is about 36 inches, and I used size JPN11 for the pattern, FYI.

a Balloon top

Then I was curious to see how the pattern would turn out in jersey fabric. I made this top by chopping off its skirt, and added a folded band at the bottom hem. I used shiny gray (obviously my favorite color at this moment) silk jersey for making this plain top a bit more elegant. I know I have an oh-so-poor vocabulary, but I say it again, I love the result! I think the photo didn't bring the justice. Believe me, it looks very pretty and swings beautifully when I move around. Very autumn, that's what I love.

Her patterns can be purchased internationally, as they are PDF file downloads. Though the instructions are written in Japanese, they are well illustrated (well, she's been a professional illustrator from the beginning) and it makes things easier to follow. She's going to add two patterns in 2 weeks and more to come before long. If you are interested, drop by

Happy sewing!

I've made a picture for Not-so-hoody's measurement.
I hope you'll like it, BebeMini!
for not-so-hoody top

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vogue2980, MISSES' TOP

I have started writing reviews!
Just once, I'd like to put my review here instead of writing why I sew it, how I failed, or what happened while sewing. Maybe it makes me more informative, or maybe it's just redundant (This review is pretty much copy&paste).

Anyways, I sewed this blue top and love it very much. Thank you Lindsay, who kindly sent this pattern to me on our sewing-goodies swapping!

my first vogue2980

Pattern Description:
Vogue 2980
Close-fitting, pullover tops, for stretch knits only, have draped "bolero" shoulders. A: long sleeves. B: self-lined short sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
A-J (bust 32"-55")
I cut in size B, short sleeves.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes! It was really easy to follow. I'm not good at reading sewing terms, but there wasn't a problem at all.


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the design very much. Because it has close fitting on the body and slightly loose fitting around on the shoulders, it looks clean and simple, but also pretty and appealing as well.
I have to write that it is well constructed also. Self-facing on the front body around the chest is so nice! It gives a smooth and nice looking. And that's nice if I don't have to worry about laces on the bra revealing onto the top.
Only thing which I don't like is, the length of the top. I think the original length is rather short. Since it could be seen from the photo on the envelope, I lengthened mine from the first time. I know it's personal choice of style, but I just want to let you know my impression beforehand because it is difficult to lengthen the pieces of fabric after cutting.

Fabric Used:
Rayon jersey. very thin and very soft. gives nice drapes. 2-way stretch.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
No alteration, but I lengthened the body at the hem by 4cm.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes! I'd sew it again when the right fabric is found. I also recommend it to person who love to sew something stylish (but not harsh)! Having said that, as it has bolero part which makes shoulders slightly bolder, I think it would be particularly preferred by the ladies who have narrower shoulders than those who have broader ones.

It's a great pattern which I can imagine myself wearing in every season. I can make it in soft, shiny and milky white woolen jersey for winter, or in brightly printed rayon jersey in summer. Having said that, I think the tip for this top is a careful choice of the fabric. Softer or creating more drapes are the better. I think I'd wait patiently until something right is coming to me.

Hey, thank you for reading through this to the end, patiently!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

going flat

I usually prefer clothes which are sewn in three‐dimensional shape to those sewn in cut&paste-and-stay-flat style, just because flat clothes hardly fit me or fit me wrong more than half the time. However, I've been interested in the fact that the very flat clothes can be occasionally charming by their characteristic silhouette and style. Simple flat garments cause cramped fabric here, and excess there, and the flatness usually makes clothes unstylish plus uncomfortable, but lately I realized that it also gives the clothes their lives in some way. Flat clothes can look original and good! (I hope you manage to understand what I mean.) Naturally, ideas for flat clothing started growing in my mind, so I let it go.

Here are three very flat clothes which I made in the past few months. They are all made of jersey. I haven't found the way to give prettiness to the flat garments using woven plain fabrics not yet at all. I think I leave it for the experts. Jersey is easier to handle to approach very flat clothes for non-experts, that's for sure.

1. Not-so-hoody top

T shirt
pale blue T
*please click this photo to open the Flickr page to see it all.

This top has a seam on the middle of the back. Two holes were cut out for arms. Neckline, armholes and waist hemline were finished by binding with the folded fabric. The heap behind the head looks like a hood, but it's not functioning. It's ... just there for amusing you.
I mimicked the shape of a pullover in my favorite knit book "A/T creation-knit" from NIHON VOGUE-SHA Co., Ltd. for this top. (The book has been unfortunately discontinued for ages.)

2. SAKI's shrug



My friend SAKI (bloom at BurdaStyle) wore this charming shrug the other day and of course I couldn't help asking her to show me how to make it. I look like a flying squirrel in it because it has those flaps! I think this shrug varies upon the fabric very much. If very delicate fabric is used, it would be very elegant. Mine looks somehow similar to a school uniform of gymnastic class, but it's OK because I love the whole package of it.

3. Gilet

gilet on dress

I don't know why, but those Japanese in the fashion industry started calling this garment 'Gilet' instead of 'Vest' suddenly. This is very ostensible change that makes me laugh, but I'd like to call my one gilet, as it might make mine slightly more fashionable.
This gilet has a huge hole in the middle, and that's it. Very flat. I put a binding strip on the edge of the jointed armhole for a neat looking and it's stability, and also finished the hem by overlocking around. One Japanese blogger kindly shared her handmade gilet with the size, and I followed it. I quite like the result, it hangs very well and shows beautiful drapes only on human. Very dramatic!


Enjoy sewing!


(I found it on mars' blog)


my armhole binding

SAKI(bloom at BurdaStyle)'s shrug




for not-so-hoody top