Tuesday, July 23, 2013

(eyelet pants and) a chimera top

So, I sewed a top. I had a small piece of lace fabric that was leftover from these trousers and a very plain and anonymous off white jersey which I didn't know what to do with. I used them to make one top, which I call chimera top. It's a white top with a slightly weird contrasting back lace panel. I made it using a very basic V-neck A-line Tee pattern with small alterations including the back panel. I'm sure that it could have been better if I had had more lace remnant so that I could have applied generous gather in the back, though, I am not totally disappointed by the result. I think it's quite wearable. Actually, this jersey was unreasonably boring with indescribable reasons and it was as charming as a piece of tracing paper. It was pretty when I bought it, but after a prewash, something happened and it lost its good characters but boringness. I think you know what I mean... I was very relieved that I could find a use of the jersey even though it was in my experiment.

And unexpectedly, I already wore the top several times in a short period of time. We never know what happens, eh? :)
Life is fun.

I hope you're enjoying your season wherever you are!

Love, love,

chimera top
pattern: ”decollete Tee" plain A-line T shirt pattern(PDF) from polka drops
tunic length, short sleeves, contrasting back with a gold lace fabric
the gold lace was gathered at top edge and sewn attached to the upper part of the back body

fabrics: cotton/polyester plain jersey, slightly sheer, fine, dry, light
champagne gold lace, sheer, net-like

Thursday, July 18, 2013

eyelet pants (and a chimera top)

I've been feeling very experimental for some time. I mean it, sewingwise. The other day I felt like checking how my experimental pair of summer pants would seem if I used a blouse-weight cotton for them, and also how this simple but unusual T shirt would look if I used a feminine lace only in its back. So I sewed them. I wasn't very much ambitious for great success, but I just wanted to try these with some fabric remnants.

And they turned out interesting and nice, unexpectedly. That was surprising even to me. I have taken some pictures of the pants, so I'm going to write some for them today and would leave the other result for the next blog post.

I used this gray cotton fabric covered with tiny cut off raw eyelets. I hope you can get it from the close-up photo. This is a pretty fabric (by the way those raw edges of the eyelets don't fray almost at all), and I think it would make pretty blouses. I made a pair of semi-wide pants in this fabric with an even thinner gray lining fabric attached as a single layer instead. I could have assembled the outer shell(pants) and the lining in the traditional way, but I didn't, because I wished that by handling two thin fabrics as a single layer these light pants would hold their shape better than having two separate layers. And it worked as expected. Though they are surely not suitable for *proper* occasions, they're great for my business and daily casual activities in this heatwave of Japanese summer. They're long, light and breezy, and cool, in my eyes. I'm happy with them so much! I may like to have another pair in some large plaid, don't you think they would be cool too?

I used Joker semi-baggy pants pattern from Tamanegi-kobo, I'm so loving this pattern, because it elongates and straightens my legs very much. yay.

summer pants
pattern: Joker semi-baggy pants(PDF) from Tamanegi-kobo
not much altered or adjusted
fabric: Cotton cut-off eyelets, light gray, thin, soft, matte, gauzy, with summer polyester lining

don't try to ask me if the blouse is handmade, it's ten-year-old and store-bought...

I wish you're having a lovely day.
I'm going to post the chimera top soon!

Love, love,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Grainline Studio Tiny Pocket Tank 2 - and my adjustment

Happy Birthday Dear N, I'm wearing this top for celebrating your birthday, because I know you would like it.

I made another Tiny Pocket Tank in a floral print. I think it's lovely. Great for summer.

Today I am unusually posting about my sewing process of my creations (what a lazy sewist blogger I am...) I was initially thinking I'd just be silent about the pattern alteration that I made to my new and floral Tiny Pocket Tank as usual, but I changed my mind. For making a new tank, I wanted to release the horizontal creases of pulling which had been seen just above my busts of the first tank, and thought that some of you may like to know what I'd do in such case, as it seemed there were some people who had similar creases in their tanks as mine.

I think it was not the size (because the highest point of my chests were siting in the first tank top without discomfort, though I noticed that I would better use one larger size for the next try for other reason), but it was the shape that asked some alteration to the pattern. Starting like an expert who can tell something valuable about pattern alterations, I have to confess that I cannot be sure whether my way is the decent way or not, because I only have some books and an internet access but I've never attended any sewing class nor learnt sewing systematically. What I know is it's working to my body. And I am one of those who don't mind fair amount of humps and bumps including creases in the garments generally (because they're a part of your lovely character!) So, never cut your fabric before checking and simulating even if you're having the same issue in your tank, please!

Before getting started

In my opinion, those little woven tops with fewer seams are very often difficult to fit, for many body types, and even for me who never mind fair amount of creases. It doesn't mean the patterns aren't working well, it does mean that all bodies are different to each other even if two individuals in the same size were compared. and fewer seams emphasize this truth. Let's feel easy about changing such patterns and get them personalized :)

 (Note: those patterns in the pictures are miniatures, but not the real ones)

In the case of my tank, changing the length and angle of neckline affects the creases above the top bust.

When the neckline was slightly shortened by moving the shoulder strap area toward FC(1), some severer creases at the interested area were observed (though it is not very well seen in this picture, sorry!) In contrast, and as you already guessed, when an extra 1.25cm of length to the (half) neckline(3), I got less and lighter creases at the area. Please note that lengthening the neckline by this method affected neck opening too much and caused partially revealing of the shoulder straps of my undergarment (which is not very good). And also note that the muslin(3) hangs rather baggy all over. I hope you can see the differences.
click to enlarge, please

Getting started:
What I actually did to the pattern for my floral tank top 

A. to get shallower neckline and longer bust dart
I separated neckline from the blouse and raised by 2cm by sliding the cut piece and then trimmed the excess part off the shoulder. made longer bust dart by just applying farther endpoint.
(*these alterations were not for releasing the creases, but may have changed the shape of the neckline slightly, just to be exact.) 

 B. to release interested creases by lengthening the neckline
I moved the shoulder part toward the side seam by rotating separated shoulder part by about 1.25cm, as shown.

C. to level seam lengths and shape
I trimmed away 1 ~ 1.25cm length of neckline from FC by removing the red area in the picture, and added some simlar length of armhole to underarm by simply extending the line at the side (dashed line in the picture). cut the side line nicely. smoothed the neckline and armhole carefully. This step made my bra straps hidden and also decreased unwanted volume from the front body.

D. to check
I sewed a muslin. I saw several relaxed creases, but I was sure it would be fine in fashion fabrics.

And it's all done.
Sewed the cheerfully printed tank.

I wish you a lovely Friday!


Tank top
pattern: Tiny Pocket Tank pattern from Grainline Studio, size, without the pocket
fabric: Floral pattern cotton lawn, shirting weight, light, can be worn as a single layer

I really love this fabric. It is pretty in real. I insist.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Thank you, Margo and Hana, for nominating my blog for The Super Sweet Blogging Award! It is so sweet of both of you,
Though I have two other blog awards that I was nominated to previously but I haven't carried out yet, I'd try to answer these super sweet questions in this post because they just seem some simpler questions. I'll write for other awards which were kindly passed from Carolyn, Shelly, and B O in the future, probably the near future...

Here are the official rules that I have to do next after received the award:
  1. Thank the Super Sweet blogger that nominated you.
  2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions
  3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your post
  4. Nominate a baker's dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
  5. Notify your Super Sweet Nominees on their blog.
Here are the sweet questions and my answers:

Cookies or cakes? 
Team Cakes!

Chocolate or vanilla? 
I'm Chocoholic. If you have to diagnose.

What is your favorite sweet treat?
Difficult to say. Anything named Chocolate Pudding, I guess. With whipped cream. yum.

If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
It would be "ice cream", but I have no reason :)

Now it's the time that I am supposed to mention 13 bloggers to pass the award.
That written, I think I'd leave new nominees unmentioned here...
It's silly, but I confess that I am so weakest link on mentioning nominees... garrrr I am so bad at doing it. I'm sorry for stopping the sequence but I hope you don't mind.

Talk to you soon ;)

Love, love,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tiny Pocket Tank (sans pocket)

I sewed a tank as a wearable muslin yesterday. This small garment has two layers of very thin silk/cotton lawn and the two layers have different shapes and sizes at bottom hems, so that the garment looks more fluttering. These two layers give a good amount of comfort into the garment for escaping from transparency too. The pattern I used is the Tiny Pocket Tank pattern from Grainline Studio, sans pocket. Knowing that my measurements indicated size 8 in the chart, I used size 4 and felt that I'd better use size 6 next time. I'm getting ready for the Summer!

My husband and I spent some time in Gotemba outlet shopping mall today. It was a nice and bright day, and that is the reason why I could hardly open my eyes in the pictures. (My eyes are least open whenever I smile. The combination of some bright light and a fun day made my eyes transformed into another set of eyebrows, inevitably.)

On the way back home, we stopped by Toraya Kobo which is an experimental small cafe that is operated by a famous Japanese confectionery. Toraya has a small factory for some of their confections in some very quiet place near the shopping mall, and they provide an open and pleasant cafe space where customer can drop in for some green tea with their wagashi confections too. I enjoyed their endlessly refill-able green tea and a seasonal namagashi which tasted both really excellent. With some reason, they don't advertise this cafe really much. Therefore there are always only few people in the space and it is so quiet and almost, well... deserted. That is one of my favorite places to have a Zen moment. (I really hope they won't consider to stop providing the service because of the small number of customers...)

By the way, it's been a month since Carolyn and I started our new photo blog, photo maisonette. I'm enjoying it very much and also finding how I generally see the things that surround me. My photographs are very myopic and it is true that I am quite mentally myopic. It is funny that my photographs don't tell the stories behind the scenes but they do tell what kind of person I am, gradually and progressively.

Happy sewing!


tank top: Tiny Pocket Tank from Grainline Studio
double layered. outer shell has wider hem, longer length.
silk/cotton(60/40) lawn. contrasting bias binding with cotton voile.

stripe cardigan: Fujiko pullover pattern from Tamanegi-kobo
cotton/Nylon gauze jersey. blog post here.

linen pants: Joker pants pattern from Tamanegi-kobo
linen, crepe weave(-ish, not sure)