Tag Archives: Japanese sewing books

Summer sewing

Sewing is a huge challenge for me right now (how do those of you with babies do it?!!!) but the intense craving to sew something quick and summery just would not be satisfied until I did it. So I did! I made summery little dresses in subdued Fourth of July colors for my girls.

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I'm always torn about whether I'm better off using a pattern or not. I'm such a sloppy sewer! I'm really much better off knitting because yarn is more forgiving. For some reason my sewing shears always get dull right away and the fabric I cut looks all chopped up, with crooked edges. I don't measure very well – I can't find my ruler right now. I made bias trim without any tools, just kind of slashing away at the fabric on the diagonal and then sort of folding it together under an iron. So if you take a close look, it's really quite crooked. Also, my sewing machine is fading away on me – the zigzag doesn't work, so these have been put together quite precariously – if I put them through a washing machine I'm afraid the delicate seams won't hold up! So impractical!

But anyway, I decided to try to make the camisole from a pattern (though I had the same problem with the bias trim), and I'm very glad I did. I have a small but growing collection of Japanese sewing books, which I look through for inspiration more than anything else. This is from one of them. 

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One concrete thing I learned from actually cutting out and using this pattern is that the cloth has to be cut deceptively wide, much wider than I'd ever imagine it has to be (as you can see in the below), to get a nice swingy look that, in the end, isn't that wide at all.

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The pillowcase dress is a bit too narrow all around because I didn't follow a pattern. Would be OK on an upright, walking child, but on a crawling baby, it's too constricting and would have been better off as a little top. So now I know what to do next time!July4Dresses-110

My goal last summer was to work through at least a few patterns from my Japanese sewing books…..this year I'm going to be less ambitious and more realistic and just see what I can do. I'll be happy with any small bits of sewing I manage to do. 

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