Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wenona shirtdress

I made a shirtdress. Actually, the fabric I used was liquid drape rayon challis and it made my dress look rather a blouse-dress than a shirtdress. Yet I'm very pleased with it! The pattern is Wenona shirtdress which was recently released from Named patterns.

I think Wenona is a very modern&pretty shirt dress without being excessively(peculiarly) fashionable. I love my first Wenona... it does suit my everyday perfectly and also fulfills my wish to look special in a good way. I love the fabric itself too. I'm not too sure whether it is appropriate to wear Eucalyptus flower print in this time of year, but still, I really love it for my autumn wardrobe. The hand of the fabric is soft and fluid. The feel of its lightly nap-raized surface is smooth and warm. Gorgeous, gorgeous!

By the way, I basically followed the original pattern and its instructions. Though there was no problem with the process of sewing this dress at all, there is one thing that I'd like to mention about the pattern here. It's about sizing. For this shirtdress I used size 34 in the end, while my measurement size is 40 in the size chart.

I started with a muslin using size 36(two size smaller than my measurements) and I'd say it was very roomy, I mean, very. I guessed the style was intended one to be like that, but I decided to use size 34 because I didn't wish my dress to be particularly loose fitting. And it was OK-ish in the end as you see in the photos.

Named has charts of finished measurements along with size chart, which is very great, and I suggest you not to forget to have a look at the finished measurements before guessing your size by considering the size chart and your measurements, if you happen to start your Wenona. I couldn't foresee the looseness by looking at the sample pictures of the pattern, but it was like that.

Now that I shared my dress, I have another version of Wenona here. My friend Naomi, who is a very popular quilt teacher, made her a shirt version in a crisp linen combination.

She was wearing it when we met a week ago and she was so stylish in this contrasting version! I asked her to let me use one of her photos to share it with you, as I thought that there might be some of you who are interested in different version of Wenona pattern too. Her blog post about the shirt is here (in Japanese). Thank you, Naomi.

Happy sewing to you!!


Wenona shirtdress pattern
Wenona (PDF) from Named
chosen much smaller size, shortened sleeve length, added belt loops for belt.

Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent Rayon Challis Eucalyptus Lime, which is a fruit of my very first international fabric shopping. oh well.
57" x 2.5yds

Friday, August 22, 2014

Matching separates

In my kind of world, the summer is officially gone. The weather is still hot, but I feel early autumn in the air. Which is nice. At least to me. I hope you are doing super well wherever you are!

A week ago, I visited an exhibition that was for celebrating Japanese fashion designer Keita Maruyama's 20-year career in Tokyo (an article written in Japanese followed by many photos of displayed items. I have to warn you that the photographer doesn't seem to have much interest in the garments, sadly). Albeit being held at a rather small space in a fashion mall , Space-O in Omoteasando Hills, the exhibition had a well-edited series of his beautiful and cheerful fashion pieces in the last twenty years, and when I was stepping out of Space-O, I was a ball of uplifting feeling inspired by the flood of wearable beauties. Seeing pretty clothes is so effective to lift me up! (I call this "pretty clothes syndrome" and it is the most serious problem in my life.)

Expectedly, all his works were made of exquisite fabrics and I especially loved the casual prêt-à-porter in pretty silks. I've been in the mood for quality fabrics for some time, and after the visit I felt it even stronger that I so needed to wear more silks in my everyday life. I don't mean that they need to be high-end or designer fabrics, I mean, sensible quality for brighter ordinary days of a hobby sewist.

So, I made these matching separates with a lustrous silk with embroidery pronto. I know this fabric must be too colorless to say it's dramatic, but I hope that you feel some specialness in it, texture wise. I used it up for these and I have no regrets about what I did! I've already got a few kind compliments from kin and colleagues on this set too... I after all and always love all consequences of the problem, that is another problem of my life, ha.

I used Camilla camisole and Libby A-line skirt patterns from Tessuti. Thank you, Debbie, for mentioning Camilla in your comment on my last post! I really love this one too!

Camilla needed much adjustments to fit my bodice probably because of the fabric I used, but there wasn't any complicated calculation or problem for fitting. Just did what I needed (I added bust darts in the side seams and redrew the neckline, took off some excess from armscyes, and shorten the total length to match the skirt) and everything was fine. I'd suggest making muslins at least once if you would try this camisole with stiffer fabrics like mine. Chiffons or other fine fabrics may not need any alteration, I can guess. To Libby I added some extra flare-ness to the bottom hem, by 10cm or so.

There was no problem with either of those patterns, except they needed quite a lot of pattern pages to print out. I've felt that their PDF layouts were not as much resource conscious as I wish. I hope it will be getting better in the future patterns eventually, because I really like all Tessuti's patterns that I own so far and this is my only concern about making new purchases from them at this moment.

Happy sewing, everyone!

from yoshimi with love

very everyday.

Camisole pattern
Camilla camisole (PDF) from Tessuti fabrics
Lined with white silk chiffon, shortened quite much (by about 6cm), added bust darts for FBA, took off excess from armscyes.

Skirt pattern
Libby A-line skirt (PDF free download) from Tessuti fabrics
Lined with pale beige cupro fabric, long version, elongated the length of bottom hem circumference (by about 10cm) for adding a bit of extra flare in it.

Silk, lustrous, soft but kinda stiff, eyelet, embroidery

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Salme camisole

I've kept a beautiful silk satin in my stash for long and long years. This impulsively bought fabric was about 110cm x 110cm square piece having its center (90cm x 90cm) printed with pastel color blocks. It was obviously made for a silk satin scarf, but unsewn.

Because it was so small and so square, it didn't make any garment until recently(I really didn't need more scarves at all). Every time I saw it I felt depressed, because I couldn't feel good to see my past purposeless purchases...

However, everybody, good things do happen sometimes!

I made a Salmepatterns' Double Layer Camisole with this tiny fabric in the last weekend, because I had a sudden whim of a spaghetti strap cami and because I also had no other suitable fabric than this silk for the purpose. And I'm really really happy with what I got! Although my cami couldn't get two layers because of the shortage of fabric resource, I was really impressed by the good combination of this pattern and smooth silk, and I thought that it might be worth mentioning about it here to the outer space. I'd love to try the genuine double layered version in near future too.

Regarding to the sizing of the pattern, I cut size 8 with the intension for getting close fitting but I got a relatively loose garment. It seems to me that the pattern runs a bit larger side to my liking and to the measurements. I had a small gaping at the front neck and had to narrow the front neckline by 4cm too. It didn't stop me from loving this pattern at all though! I hope the info helps some of you a bit. Oh, patterns from Salmepatterns don't include seam allowances, just in case.


pattern: Double Layer Camisole from Salmepatterns
single layer, with a large self facing

fabric: silk satin


Monday, July 21, 2014

yukata dress


First of all, thank you for the kind inquiries some of you made privately or publicly to ask if I was doing OK recently, I'm doing very fine! Actually I've been doing much better in this summer than usual but haven't been knocked out by the heat, I mean, not yet. I hope you're fine too.

I've got a Yukata fabric and made a dress from it.

Japanese Yukata is a casual summer kimono and is usually made of cotton. Yukata fabrics are narrow and long, same as traditional Kimono fabrics, and are usually sold as a roll of 12-13meters to serve one garment. I bought a roll which was sold very very cheap because of its imperfection. In other words, the fabric had a smidge of lightest sunburn at the both edges of the roll (not at the edges of the fabric surface!) from a longer storage. I couldn't see any problem with its quality as a fashion fabric.

Although I was happy to find it for an affordable price, I have to say that I also felt a bit sad because this pretty fabric was treated as a defective product even though it had only an almost unnoticeable imperfection. It was sold for about 1/5 of full price, I guess. We are sometime (maybe, often) too avaricious on newness and perfection on general merchandise, I think. Some people buy only magazines that are completely new and have never opened by any others because they believe in newness is the best commercial value of all. I wonder... But hey, I anyway got it and tried to make the most of its charm by making it into a summer dress. I love myself because I can sew and could use it! I could make it into a yukata, but I made a simple dress because I don't wear yukatas very often.

This weekend, my daughter and I visited Tokyo and stayed at a hotel which had a pretty garden with lots of greens. We enjoyed the stay very much! DD took photographs for me and the dress in the garden promenade. See the endless row of wind bells for entertaining the guests in the garden! They sounded so charming. Sounded like tiny fairies chatting everywhere in the garden. Now I'm well spellbound and I can survive this summer by the power of tiny green fairies.

I love you all! Have a great day!



pattern: 847deux* from Annee-Patterns
fabric: yukata cotton, plain woven, flower prints over indigo shibori-dyed, light, coarse density, smooth surface, relatively firm, 37cm wide. used approx. 6m long.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

white sleeveless shirt


It is rainy season in Japan and greens wield power everywhere. I've been feeling even busier since April, but I think this idea is one of my delusions. I am a lazy person and I could never be "busy" in the meaning you use this word for! I'm probably feeling busy because I don't want to work hard. That makes sense to me.

Meanwhile, I hope you've been doing super good!

I sewed a white sleeveless shirt from a Patrones pattern. The Patrones magazine was a surprising gift from Merche who super generously sent me a copy to try their patterns. Thank you, Merche, so much for your kindness! I knew you were very kind even before the gift but I can't tell you how much I am thankful to you for your idea of getting extra copy for me :)
If you are interested in the magazine that I'm talking about, you may like to read Merche's this post.

By the way, I always respect you and everyone who are nice to others in the on-line sewing community, and I'm also feeling so lucky that I can be a part of it. I'm not telling you that gifts matter, but I'm telling you about the atmosphere that we are creating there. I mean, supportive attitudes and environment. Thank you for the good air we breathe, you supportive hobby sewists!!

As for the shirt, this was my first use of Patrones patterns and it was also meant to be a check for sizing/fitting. It is always good to know how different my frame is from the new-to-me company's targeted body, and I wanted to check it by using a very basic garment with narrower ease like this shirt.

I usually care height of bust line, height of narrowest point in waist, ease above bust line, ease above shoulder blades, length between neck and shoulder point, angle of shoulder lines and room for busts in a pattern for upper body. Size charts hardly tell such information, because they aren't about the sizes but they are about the frames of maker's targeted bodies. It may sound that I'm nagging about fitting detail, but I have to say that I'm rather not interested in fitting garments perfectly on a human body like pasting rubber sheets on it. I'd love to tell that I am interested in skimming some volume from critical area or adding some to it of my garment (hoping to look *delusionally* better.)

I rarely keep actual patterns (because, eh, I   rarely   trace) but I keep notes about what I did for adjusting the patterns to my frame, written digitally along with some photos, on every garment I make so that I can read my history whenever needed for future projects.

Anyway, Patrones patterns seem to fit similar to the retailed garments and relatively true to the size. And also I had some adjustments to the shirt pattern for my frame, and I think these will be automatically applied to my future projects with their patterns.

I love Andrea's collarless placket shirt, and I'm thinking this pattern with those plackets at this moment. It can become a pretty summer vest kind of sleeveless blouse. I'll see.

Have a very happy weekend!


white sleeveless shirt
pattern: Shirt 45 from Patrones Extra, Easy Sew No.29 (Patrones Costura Facil) magazine, collar omitted.
fabric: cotton stretch shirting fabric, soft and thick, white, seersucker-like, with most subtle silver pinstripes, 110cm x 1.2m used

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

summer blouse and boyfriend pants


I finally made a Vogue 1247 blouse after seeing so many beautiful versions from all over the world. For my first version I used a lace cotton that was not very supple, and the blouse was ballooned quite a lot because of the fabric. But I love it as it is! This is a summer blouse which breathes a lot. I'd love to sew the next one with a different kind of fabric. Rayon? Linen? Don't know yet... I'll see.

I also made my second Gilbert pants from République Du Chiffon. I used a very plain light beige cotton with a bit of stretch. Though there is nothing very unusual in them as a garment, I just wanted to let you know which pattern I used for them because some of you might be interested in the pattern for your casual, cute, useful and easy-going pair of "boyfriend pants".

Blouse: Vogue 1247
Front neck line was raised by 1.5cm. Front horizontal darts were lengthened by 10cm to make the blouse slightly flattened. Raw lace trim was placed in the front neck line. Bottom hem was executed by bias strip binding.

Pants: Gilbert from République Du Chiffon
Sizes for the pattern seem true to the measurements for me. As I used a cotton with stretch, the garment looks loose on me. No alteration to the pattern.

(off) topic 1
After I had the last post of our one-year photo blog project with Carolyn, photo maisonette, I noticed how much I had enjoyed taking photographs of my surroundings regularly. I'm not going to be a *photographer*, but I now feel that I'd better to keep learning how to press the shutter release button by this habit. I newly set up my own photo diary on Tumblr platform. I think it's going to be updated irregularly, not daily. If you like to drop by and see my UFOs(UnFinished Objects) and other miscellaneous pictures, you're most welcome :)

(off) topic 2

In the last May, I had a small trip with two of my best friends, Chigu and Miho, to Lake Yamanakako that locates in the north side of Mt. Fuji. We went there not only to enjoy the grand view of Mt. Fuji, but also for scouting location for our premature idea. We are wishing to organize a kind of sewing-related mini retreat, which any hobby sewists can apply to join in, at Lake Yamanakako in May 2015. Not much has been decided yet or we have no concrete schedule or program either. However, I felt the location was perfect to get together with other like-minded sewists and to spend an extraordinary time as a retreat. Very soon we will need to discuss all sorts of things for making it happen. You know, we have to plan fun workshops and to arrange cool accommodations and many sewing machines etc etc. Please wish us luck and also please do join in if you will be in Japan in 2015!


P.S. Thank you so much, Mariko, for this vogue pattern! I finally made it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

white linen denim Vogue 2900

May is over. Upon approaching to the end of Me-Made-May'14 challenge, I made a call for a meet-up and asked on twitter if any of participants could come to Tokyo on the last day to get together for celebrating the final day. Eight of us (including me) managed to come up to see each other under the very fine sky on that day. It was a really lovely day.

On the day before, I felt that I had no proper clothes for the meet-up (a very ordinary problem among us anyway). The thing was, by the 30th my options had run out because I had an undeclared rule for not repeating items during the challenge. Almost being forced, I sewed a new dress in the evening.


I sewed V2900 dress from Vogue Patterns again. In solid white linen denim. Wore it, loved it, and was glad that I sewed. ta-da! Today's report, done.

By the way, I once sewed a V2900 dress in plain woven white linen four years ago, and I'd say it was one of the most kindly recognized item of my handmade garments by non-sewists as well as by sewists. So I guess some of you may remember that dress too. And if you remember it, you may wonder whether I just replaced it with a new one because it was worn out or what is the difference.


The answers are yes, and the grain lines. They have different grain lines. The former dress was cut in lengthwise straight grain. The new one was cut in bias. From similar fabrics.

Because the material and pattern are almost (but neither fabric or pattern was completely same, I have to mention this) identical, the dresses seem to look almost same when you look at them separately in the pics. However, you may find it interesting to see them side by side in the picture below. Don't they give different impressions especially on human body and especially side by side? We all know grain lines influence shapes in the garments, nevertheless, it is very interesting for me to find that they give such different impressions. I'm not talking about which one looks better, or which one is better on me. I mean one dress looks more casual and more fresh and the other does more manipulated and more mature on me, to my eyes. Your impressions on them may be different from mine, but it is not very important today, the important thing is to witness that grain lines affect a very significant ingredient of how people look, if I am correct.

please excuse me about the creases in the new dress. I should have taken care of them more.

V2900 innately has both options (straight grain and bias grain) and I know that it is not always the case for most commercial patterns. But still, I hope you have fun with seeing this example. I also hope you see it with your eyes half closed, so that you don't have to see the creases which weren't that bad in the real life...

Happy sewing!