End-of-summer sewing

Being in-between countries like this, the end of summer seems to have slipped past me before I've had a chance to catch my breath….We had time for a brief vacation back home, connecting with relatives, and a day or two of bliss at a late summer beach.


There were unexpected treasures, like pine cones on small bushy trees just off the ocean.


I hear it's cooler back home – here in Japan it's still quite warm and muggy. I'm longing for fall. I hear a friend is going apple picking soon. How I miss that! 

Towards the end of the summer I did manage to get a lot of sewing done. It was extremely addictive.



For many of these projects I splurged on Liberty print fabric, which is beautiful, and quite popular in Japan. I feel like it's not too bad of a splurge when you're making something for such a little person, because you really don't need a lot of fabric.


I used the small grey flower print as a lining for this little vest and then as the material for a dress for A.


and also made managed to make several items out of this:


The girls wore some of the things I'd made for them earlier in the summer, too. The little top on A was very simple – just 3 rows of elastic smocking on a tube of fabric, then I added straps.


And I've started making a few Oliver + S patterns. I LOVE these. Each pattern is like a personal sewing lesson. This, below, is from the Puppet Show Tunic and Shorts pattern. I made a halter top out of the trim fabric to go with these.

I actually made several halter tops and dresses for both girls. These are very fast! I think you can complete an entire one in about 20 minutes if you're not constantly interrupted by a baby! Faster than going shopping for clothes, no?  My go-to pattern is from my favorite Japanese dress pattern book of all time, Koharu no fuku. I love how simple, yet infinitely adaptable, the lines and patterns for all the clothes in this book are. I adore this book and often find myself recommending it to other friends who are just learning to sew. Perhaps a giveaway is in order?




There was sewing for boys too, but I think might discuss those in a separate post! Until then, here is a quick glimpse of some double gauze pants which D lived in this summer:

Now I'm feeling ready to try a few projects for myself. I'll start with this book, and see where it takes me.


It's also time to break out the knitting needles in earnest. I got a few small projects done, and am now hoping to tackle Never Not Knitting's Playful Stripes cardigan. As if life weren't busy enough – but small portable projects, along with an abundant supply of dark chocolate, are what get me through these hectic days. Casting on today!

What fall projects are you hoping to get to?


17 thoughts on “End-of-summer sewing

  1. Francesca

    The fabrics and the patterns you chose are so, so beautiful – and so are your kids! You’re so lucky to be able to have access to and navigate through those japanese craft books easily!

  2. Christine - Origami Mommy

    Francesca, thank you – and it’s funny you say this about the Japanese craft books. I’m amassing quite a collection (they are addictive) and came across this one: http://amzn.to/blQhra which instantly made me think of you. I wonder if you’d find it inspiring or be able to follow the patterns even though it’s in Japanese, since you are such an expert crocheter already…

  3. Christine

    Hi there, I was wondering if you could send me the link to the japanese dress pattern book you show above. That is, if is available via amazon. I don’t know any japanese but have a friend here who could help me thru the patterns. Thank you. I love your site. Am very envious of all the beautiful patterns/fabrics you are collecting over there.

  4. Simmy Bains

    Hi, I was just googling how to make sweet potato cakes and I came across your blog. I lived in Japan twenty three years ago (yikes!) and it’s been really interesting reading about what it’s like with children – I’m actually very impressed about the level of play in their kindergartens and the fact that children walk to school alone….. do remember that but I was in my twenties at the time so it didn’t have an impact on me.
    Anyway, great blog. I really want to take my children over to Japan – everything is so natsukashi.

  5. Christine - Origami Mommy

    It sounds like we were both in Japan at the same time – I was there as a college student for the first time around 20 years ago, and then came back again and again while I was doing my doctorate in Japanese history.
    It is definitely a different experience coming and living here with children.
    Let me know if you are ever in Japan!

  6. Joyce

    Your children are beautiful!
    I so admire people who can sew. I have been thinking of tackling this again. Wonderful sewing you do. Thank you for stopping by my corner so it led me to yours. Have a golden day! xo

  7. Meg

    So, I found you through Dan (he shot my wedding years and years ago), and now I’m going to be a regular visitor. Love your photos, and your sewing is just beautiful! And such a lovely family 🙂 xo Meg

  8. Christine - Origami Mommy

    The sweater is a fast knit so I hope you might try it (though I know what those queues are like – for me at least – too many projects I want to do and not enough time). Just so you know, I’m doing it on size 6 needles which has a larger gauge so I’m actually following the instructions for the smallest size (yet making it with a 2 year old in mind). Basically, my goal is the same measurements as her 2 year old size sweater, but to get that I need to cast on fewer stitches. I am really happy with how it’s going so far!

  9. Christine - Origami Mommy

    Here’s the URL: http://amzn.to/cKmW4S
    This is on Amazon Japan.
    Right now, it seems to be available used. I actually bought a used version of it once when I lost the patterns that come with it, and it was perfectly fine (I love used books, but did wonder how it would be in a sewing book with the pull-out pattern sheet….). Let me know if you try to get it or have trouble.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s