Wednesday 27 March 2013

It must be autumn somewhere

I thought it was starting to cool down and would be the perfect time to try out a long sleeved dress pattern from Let's Go Out Girl's Clothes by Yuki Araki. The weather turned out to be all wrong (35degrees, phew) but I've been really inspired by the sewing talk happening over here such that I couldn't help myself and made it anyway. If you haven't seen the Japanese Sewing Pattern Series it's worth a look, the latest post by Sanae was superbly presented.

This is Dress "y" which is essentially a dress version of the T-shirt I'd already made here. Instead of a tie closure at the back, this one suggests a sew in snap. I'd found it quite tricky to sew the stretchy, cotton lycra, bias strips closed on the T-shirt version and I like this more utilitarian closure. As a bonus I got to play with my new plastic snaps for my snap press.

And, of course, I'd happened to purchase some beige ones which went fine with the olive dress. (and there's my entire colour palette in one sentence!)
The construction of this back placket is nicely demonstrated with some detailed colour photos that belong to another one of the patterns. The gathering at the front and the neck binding is shown here:

Step 1 refers to page 34 where the back placket is constructed. Step 2 presumably is to sew gathering stitches and gather the front until it's 4cm wide. Step 3 is to sew the shoulder seams, and then step 4 is to attach the neck binding. All pretty straightforward, although the neck binding is a rectangular piece with the same dimensions regardless of which size pattern you make. So, for my littlest 90cm size it was quite long. Given that you know how much gathering to do at the centre front, it's simply a matter of trimming any binding left over beyond the lengths shown in the instruction. I actually prefer this way of gathering and binding a neck, compared to "gathering to fit" a precise neck binding length.

Here's the pattern showing the ribbon at the dropped waist and how to attach it:

I would have loved to have found some ruched ribbon like that, and I can see (now) the point in using a ruched ribbon and hand sewing it. But jeez what a lot of bother....
Me, I just sewed a grosgrain ribbon on. Rather, first I pinned the ribbon to the dress, then cut the length, then sewed it. Of course as I sewed, the knit fabric stretched and by the time I got to where I started the ribbon was about 4cm too short. Doh!
I didn't have enough ribbon to start over, so I've just stitched an extra length on and tried to cover it with the bow.
I wonder if my hem seams and that stretched, slightly puckered ribbon line justifies buying myself a walking foot.... Here's a picture that makes me think so:

Or maybe I should just wash the dress, put it on A and take some cuter pictures!
I'm done sewing for the week, and am heading out of town, but I'll be burning the battery on my mobile watching the rest of the Japanese Sewing Book Series. Thanks again for the inspiration.


  1. Hi from the O&S forums :-) (bren5kids) I've been wanting to get the "Lets Go Out" japanese pattern book for awhile now, but I'm afraid my girls might be about out of the size range. Are the pattern pieces very complicated to trace? I have one japanese pattern book and I haven't made anything from it because the pattern page is one grand jumbled mess of criss-crossed lines. I like the dress you made, very simple and sweet.

    1. Grand, jumbled mess is a good description. But the English language letter for each pattern makes it fairly easy to find the piece you want. Adding seam allowances is the real pest. However the pattern pieces are fairly simple and so long as you reference the layout picture which shows the seam allowance as you trace it's really not that bothersome. Worth the effort in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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    2. I'll have to block myself if I keep making typos and trying to delete my own comments!
      What I was trying to say is check out the Japanese Sewing Book Series at (link in the blog post) as Elsie Marley has written the consummate post on pattern tracing and knocked this problem off in style!


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