Monday 9 December 2013

Selfish Sewing Week Revision: Part 1

Back in September I stopped making things for the kids and did some sewing for myself. For one Selfish Sewing Week I made some good coffee, drank some great wine, sewed two garments for myself and never did get around to mixing any cocktails.

My first garment was a fail. A too small blouse from a Japanese pattern book. Too narrow in the shoulders, too tight across the chest.

Determined not to have failed, I had a go at revisiting it to try and get it right this time (which always reminds me of the Goodies "Get It Right!")

I got lucky and found the exact same cotton, self striped fabric for $3/metre. I couldn't bring myself to make it in the same colour so I went for the wet seaweed-y colour instead.

I split the pattern vertically both front and back and added 1.5cm to the shoulder width by spreading the split pattern pieces apart then pinning them onto the fabric. Then I added another 1cm at each side seam and to the same to the armhole on the sleeve.

I decided I'd be clever and photograph and blog the whole construction of the top. But then I completely mucked up the inner neck binding which is the only part that anyone might muck up and need to be shown how to do. If I haven't learned that pride comes before a fall by now, eh? While my method wasn't tutorial worthy it did work, and pleasingly, my top fit nicely this time.

I've already bought some lovely white fabric to make one more and this time I'll translate that Japanese pattern into some nice written and photographed instructions I promise.
I love the sleeves on this blouse. It strikes me as curious that these very slim Japanese women must have quite long arms. Usually sleeves are too short on me but these are perfect. I think I should add about 3cm to the body length though...
I'm not sure how the yoke is meant to sit with the two gathered bits. Perhaps if I was as slim as one of those long armed Japanese women those gathered bits would be closer to my bust. Perhaps I need to widen the whole yoke section, although that would be making things much, much trickier.
And a hammy photo of me:
What became of the too small red version?
I passed it on to a friend in my French class who is about my height, slimmer and with a similar taste in clothes. It fits her perfectly and, I'm told, is in high rotation.
The following week she brought into class a little clown suit that she'd made for her own children (a considerable time ago I think) and gave it to me for my kids dress up box. I imagine it's probably intended for someone more like A's size, but P just loved it and claimed photo rights on this one.
Merci Morag!


  1. I'm happy your first miss found a home and you were victorious on with pattern! And what an awesome dress up box gift!

    1. Thanks. I feel very honoured as she'd obviously kept it for a long time.

  2. He makes me smile!lol That's great that you were able to pass on the first blouse to someone else. Looks like the fit is pretty good on the second one. I do agree, that it probably needs a little more length.

    1. Thanks Cindy, he is a clown! This top got a lot of wear in Mexico, lovely and cool. I'll go for round three one day...

  3. I love the combination of the mandarin collar and the round yoke. It looks great.

    1. THank you Katy. There's something about Japanese patterns that makes them so appealing. Even when your haute-sized, they're worth the trouble.


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