Sewing on Mt. Fuji

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We escaped Tokyo over the weekend for a little weekend trip with friends to Mt. Fuji and a lake called Yamanaka-ko. While the rest of the group went into a hot spring and went swimming, I dug into a bag of felt and fabric scraps I'd brought along for some handsewing projects because it was so wrenching to be torn away from my sewing machine just when I'd started falling in love with it so.

Before I left, I made a new skirt and a dress for Mia. The dress was made of Japanese double-gauze fabric (which I adore – two more double-gauze fabric dresses are in the works right now), and was loosely based on the pillowcase dresses that you see tutorials for everywhere. I sewed elastic in the front and back and then made bias tape out of the material that I used in the armholes and for shoulder straps because I had no ribbon. I realize I am much happier winging it when making a dress rather than sticking to a precise pattern. I made a matching scarf out of the same double-gauze fabric with a pale pink striped cotton backing on the other side.

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I also made a skirt out of a small piece of Heather Ross's Far Far Away fabric by Kokka, combined with a tiny ruffle made of Rowan fabric.

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This, too, I made without a pattern. I just made each tier a bit bigger than the one on top and then used my newly-learned ruffling techniques (making a loose running stitch along the top and then pulling gently on the bobbin threads to gather) to experiment. I learn something new with each sewing project. This time I learned that I have to pay close attention while cutting fabric so I don't ruin the design – there are no whole unicorns on this skirt anywhere, which was a great disappointment!

I also made some bags – a tiny treasure pouch for Mia to carry small toys in and a larger tote bag for me out of canvas. I especially like the button detail on the bottom.

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We went to a few really nice places on this trip. It was balm to my soul to be away from people and buildings. I was raised in the countryside so living in cities all these years and raising my children in urban areas has been hard for me. 

Mountains and water were everywhere and the weather was cool, although foggy. The fogginess made it challenging to take good photos, and in the end we never did get any good photos of Mount Fuji, although we drove up partway by car and then hiked a little bit up the mountain…..just a bit.

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We also went to a children's nature park where they could play around in the water….

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make things out of wood….that woodpile, heaven for my little boys! and saws and chisels and hammers and nails everywhere….

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My brave friend allowed her foot to be used as leverage while the kids were wielding their saws…!

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While the others were busy with their activities, I hand-sewed a bunch of little felt things and also got started on some embroidery at last. I don't think I was too successful with my first batch of felt mascots at all, but my children loved them and loved being able be involved in choosing colors and that's all that matters. 

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As evening approached we got settled into an inn…

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and then ate a lovely dinner

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Sparklers afterwards….so much fun on a summer evening!

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5 thoughts on “Sewing on Mt. Fuji

  1. Amy Hanson

    What a beautiful weekend!!! Thank you so much for sharing the loveliness…Your creations are awesome, as always–especaill the little brown dress and your bag…Glad you are re-united with your machine again!! :o)

    Reply
  2. Laura

    Everything is so gorgeous – all the things you made, that fresh & colorful meal, the scenery! It’s like a mini-vacation for me just to soak it all up.
    Quick question: is the Rowan fabric made by the Yorkshire yarn people? Or is that just a coincidence? It’s really beautiful. I need a new duvet cover and am considering sewing one myself instead of buying one, so now I need to look for some pretty cottons!

    Reply
  3. Beth

    I love the dress and the skirt. I think I finally figured out why I could never find half the cute clothes I saw on kids. It’s because they were homemade. I will be starting a sewing class next week at Purl Soho. I’m so excited to learn how to use a sewing machine.

    Reply

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