in love with Japanese sewing pattern books

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who knew the Japanese were so crafty? And so stylish about it? I may be behind the curve, but I've just discovered Japanese sewing pattern books. I  impulsively bought a few children's clothing ones on ebay, not knowing a thing about them except that the covers had good photography.
 I was not disappointed.

page after page of scrumptious photography

perfect blend of wholesome and modern
so artfully done compared to what I'm used to

 even the negative space is interesting
can't decide what to make first
think I'll try this one
I knew the directions would be in Japanese but YIKES... I didn't expect all the patterns for 20 or so styles and all 5 sizes to be on one page! Also, the sizes are European 100, 110, 120, etc. I refered to the Hanna Andersson size chart to get an idea for the conversion. My best guess is 110 is about a 5, the size of Lucy, my dressform.

No getting around it, you have to trace off the patterns you need (a little tricky to figure out because of the Japanese) using tracing paper. You can get it on 30" rolls at a good art supply store. I get mine from Wilmington Blue.

I learned the hard way that seam allowances are not included on the patterns. Luckily I cut the first one in muslin. You have to add the allowances on yourself. Using a see-through ruler is best.

Here's what the directions look like. This is not for beginners, unless you can read Japanese.

The finished muslin does indeed fit size 5! Instead of two pockets, I am planning an applique on one side...

I'd love to be showing you the finished garment right now, but my trusty Singer Touch and Sew decided to give out on me just as I was about to do the blanket stitch around the applique like I did so recently here. My repair guy told me it was time to lay it to rest, and I'm lucky it lasted this long. I guess I have put it through a lot between design school, making draperies for the whole house, and cranking out costumes for school musicals. So instead of making stuff right now, I am researching and test driving machines. I keep flip-flopping between sticking to my budget and getting a used mid-range machine, or going for the gold and getting a new high-quality machine that will (hopefully) last. Oh, Santa, I've been good, really I have!


maria said...

I love the muslin and can't wait to see the finished product. I also want to see your new sewing computer.

SabrinaStyle said...

Good choice! It's a really pretty little dress, isn't it? How did you get the books?

Becky said...

I get the books on ebay or etsy.

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