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Sew-Along for Boy’s Stand-Up Collar Shirt Day 3

January 11, 2017

Day 3 and final day of the sew along. If you haven’t , go to the first post here.

The book we are sewing from is

boysstandupcollarshirt

In the previous post, I covered steps 1-3. In the following video, you will see the rest of the steps – 4-8.  Even if you don’t have time to sew it now, bookmark this page and you can follow along any time you want.

You will noticed that I used snap buttons instead of buttonholes and buttons as stated in the pattern. But this is for a good reason. I needed to add some color to the shirt since it is for Chinese New Year, so I chose snaps in colors that will go with the pants I am making to complete the outfit. More on the pants soon!

I also wanted to make a note about the instructions in the book. The terms upper and lower collar were used for this pattern. Even though I’m not entirely sure of the correct terminology, it seems that the terms switched in some of the diagrams, which was quite confusing. In my video, I used inner and outer collar instead. With inner referring to the inside of the shirt and outer referring to the outside of the shirt. The interfacing for the collar should be applied on the outer collar (I think!). The other mistake I made, which I only realized later, was that I added seam allowances to my collar interfacing. The collar interfacing should be traced without seam allowances. This is to prevent bulk in the seam. Luckily the interfacing I used was quite thin, as I didn’t want a stiff collar since it was a for a toddler, and it I think it turned out quite alright.

I hope you learned from my mistakes too and make a great shirt of your own. Happy sewing!

Japanese Sewing Books in English Sew-along Sewing Videos

Sew Along for Boys Stand-UP Collar Shirt – Day 1

January 6, 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good break over the Christmas and holiday period. I know I haven’t posted much since last December but I was kind of burned out after the holiday. Somehow things move along a lot slower too when the kids are around during the school holidays. It’s like nothing gets done but so much needs to be done. After the mad rush of getting everything ready for them to go back to school, it’s finally time to sit down and think about what to do next!

I originally planned to write up a New resolutions post about how I am going to schedule my blog posts properly, and yes even bring back the translations requests section but then I suddenly realize that I have to start sewing for Chinese New Year which is 23 days away! Gulp…. I have to sew (at least) 2 cheongsams for my daughters, including drafting new patterns since they have grown so much since last year. And I have to sew for my little boy too! So due to the tight timeline, I have to jump right in and the first one I will tackle will be from this book.

sewchickidscover

I have posted the full book review some time ago, so you can look at the rest of the projects here if you have not purchased the book yet. This book is translated into English so no worries about following along!

boysstandupcollarshirt

I will be making the above Boy’s Stand-up Collar Shirt in Size 2. I will be taking pictures as I go along, I’m not sure if I have space/time to setup my video equipment, since having a 2 year old around means no tripods stay upright for long. What am I talking about, he doesn’t even let me out of his sight. It is 6+ in the morning here which is why I can even type this out. Anyway, I’ll probably be taking pictures, so if you can, sew-along with me! I will be splitting up this project into a few separate posts, and the length of each post will literally depend on how much I get done each day.

So the first thing you have to do, as you can see on the bottom of the right hand page below, is to flip to pg 57. See below.

instructions

You will notice the instructions are rather scant. And you may wonder where the rest of the diagrams are? Why does it jump straight to number 6? The actual steps to follow are in the order given in the top right hand diagram. but notice the little footnote near number 7? It says to follow the steps in project “t” which is on pages 62-63, which is a normal collared shirt, with the exception of step 6 which is the making of the stand up collar.

I guess this is a good way of saving paper, since there is really no point printing repeated instructions. But I do wish that was written right under the materials list, and in a larger font. ;P
howtomake1

Anyway, gripes aside, and it wasn’t too hard to figure that out anyway, let’s move along and look at the pattern pieces and materials.

For materials, the length you will need is based on standard 110cm wide fabric. The lengths are listed in order of sizes. So for Size 2, I will need 35 1/2″ or 0.9m of fabric.

For pattern pieces, you will need to look for the pieces labelled “q” and you will need 5 pattern pieces (yoke and facing are the same pattern piece)

patternsheets

The pattern pieces are spread out over 3 different pattern sheets. I can only show you two since the are printed on double side, so I am just showing you how I located the pieces on sheet 1 and 3.

Pattern sheet 1 – Q – yoke and yoke facing (shown above)
Pattern sheet 2 – Q – sleeve  (on reverse side of sheet 1)
Pattern sheet 3 – Q – back, collar (shown above)
Pattern sheet 4 – Q –  front  (on reverse side of sheet 3)

Now trace your patterns out, remember that there are no seam allowances, so you have to add them on after tracing.

To know how much seam allowance to add, refer to the Layout diagram.

howtomake1

For example, the pattern labelled SLEEVE has a double line around it, and at the bottom edge of the sleeve it says 1 1/2 (4)

This means, that there is a 3/8″ or 1cm seam allowance all around, except for the bottom edge where you should add on 1 1/2″ or 4cm of seam allowance.

For other pieces where there are no numbers and just a double line, it just means add on 3/8″ or 1cm seam allowance by default. Here are examples of two of the pieces with added seam allowances.

collarandyoke

With the pattern pieces cut out, you can now cut them out of fabric. You can mix and match coordinating fabrics for the yoke / yoke facing, inner and outer collars, etc. Go ahead and be creative!

patternpieces

Here are my pattern pieces laid out on my fabric. I am using Sarah Jane’s Painted Gingham in blue. Note that I will have to cut two of the collar and two of the yoke pieces. Also, my layout is a little different from the one in the book. That is because the collar and yoke pieces have to be cut on fold, and furthermore the design in the book was using a striped fabric. So to mix things up a little the collar and yoke for the shirt in the book was running perpendicular to the rest of the shirt. So bear that in mind when you place your pattern pieces, it really depends on the print on your fabric and how you want it to appear on the shirt.

interfacing

Next, you have to cut out the pieces for the Interfacing as well. Under the LAYOUT diagram, there is one more cutting diagram for FUSIBLE INTERFACING. The instructions for the FRONT FACING section are not very clear, and you may be confused over the “shape” of the front facing. Basically there are 2 x 4cm wide strips, meant to go onto the extended seam allowance of both Front pieces, which folds back to create the button placket. This interfacing will help to stabilize your button holes and buttons.

So now you should have all your pieces ready and let’s start sewing tomorrow! I will start with some prep work and then probably steps 1-3. Crossing my fingers I can stay on schedule 🙂 If you have any questions, ask them in the comments section below.

Updated : Post for Day 2 of sew-along, with a sewing video for steps 1-3 is now available.

Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Book Reviews Giveaways Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review and Giveaway – Patchwork Quilted Bags

August 6, 2016

Today’s book review is a yet to be released title named Patchwork Quilted Bags, and this is your favourite part – it’s in English! The author/designer is Reiko Washizawa, 鷲沢玲子, a famous and well-published Quilt designer in Japan. She has been quilting for 40 years and has published many Japanese quilting books. This book is not about making patchwork quilts though, it is a book dedicated to incorporating your patchwork creations into everyday bags. This will be a great way to bring your creative showpieces around with you since it is quite impossible to bring your quilts wherever you go.

Honestly I have never made a proper full size quilt, but I have been hoarding a whole box of handmade dresses that my girls have outgrown and planning to make a keepsake quilt out of the dresses, so I have been reading up on hand piecing and it seems kind of daunting, especially when it comes to creating a full size quilt. This book came just in time and gave me some new ideas on smaller projects I can start with, and furthermore, it combines the patchwork quilting with my love for making bags!

Let’s have a look at this book shall we? Before we jump to the details of the giveaway 🙂

cover

There are 19 projects to be made in this book and they are divided into 5 chapters. There are also additional sections in between the chapters that teach you all the basics you need to know about patchwork making. From materials, to drafting of basic quilt patterns, and even a little showcase of the author’s quilt-making story.

 

draftinginstructions

 

Before the first chapter begins, there is an introduction tutorial on how to draft the different shapes you will need in the book. This is the basis of the book, you will need to know how to draw the different shapes and how they are pieced together before you can apply them to your bags.

Now, we are ready to make some bags!

The first Chapter : Basic Bags

basicbags

The first project is the beautiful pieced Little Bird Bag that you see on the front cover. I was surprised that this bag was called a basic bag because it certainly looked complicated to me! Upon closer scrutiny, it turned out that the birds were actually part of the fabric print and were quilted on to the batting. The patchwork portion is only the strip in the middle, which is made up of hexagonal pieces.

 sewinginstructions

There are detailed instructions for every step, not just the making of the patchwork, but also to show you how to assemble the bag.

The second Chapter is about Out & About Bags

 dressedup-bags

There are beautifully embellished bags for a night out,

squarepatchworkbag

Casual basic square patchwork bags for running a quick errand,

 bowlbag

cute bowl shaped bags, perfect for carrying knitting supplies I say!

 Chapter 3 : Shopping bags

shoppingbag

Roomy bags with lots of space for shopping and marketing. Note the beautiful pattern which is called a Lemon Star Patchwork. Looks challenging to me!

 Chapter 4 : for Moms and Little Ones

 mamabag

Mother’s bag and Baby Bottle Case

lessonbags

Lesson Bags for kids

 The last chapter : Cute Little Pouches
Creative patchwork designs and small scale projects that are suitable for beginners like me!

 sewingcase

Sewing Case and Scissors Case

strawberrypouches

Strawberry Pouches

 yoyopouches

Mini Yo-yo Pouch. These pouches are made out of lots of tiny yo-yos. Amazingly cute and I love the color explosion!

 unionjackpouches

Union Jack pouches. Fashioned after the Union Jack using Liberty fabrics for the stripes. How apt!

 sampleinstructions

 Sample of detailed instructions for each project.

 There are also two large pattern sheets attached for all the appliqués and templates you will need to make the projects in this book.

Thanks to Tuttle Publishing, I was provided a free PDF book preview for this book review, and they are also,  giving away one copy of this book to one of you lucky readers! Win a copy of it before it is even released! Contest is open worldwide and will run for a week. Enter now!

To enter the giveaway, please fill in the form below. Contest ends 12th August 2016. Extra chances for those who share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Good Luck!

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Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review – Stylish Remakes

December 18, 2015

It’s the end of the year and time to declutter! Amidst the frenzy of sewing Christmas presents and getting ready for the New Year, I’ve been trying to declutter the house. Actually, I’ve been meaning to ever since I read the book – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. It’s hard to do so with a baby always attached to me, but I’m trying.

Old clothes used to be an easy thing for me to get rid of. But after reading this book sent to me from Tuttle (another Japanese Sewing Book in English to add to your collection) , I now have to consider every piece before deciding – to throw or to upcycle?

stylishremakes1

This book is all about upcycling. The author “Violette Room” is actually a brand of casual wear in Japan. Excerpt from their website

The history begins in the fashion academy.The violet room is the name of the common room existing there.
So that a bird returns to the den,
It is the important place that always exists in the place of our heart. Thus, it became a brand name.
more about Violette Room

A word upfront – there are no patterns included. There are drafting instructions but based on one set of measurements. It is also not a sewing instruction book with detailed step by step photos or diagrams. The finished product dimensions will be provided so you can estimate what adjustments you may have to make. After all, it really depends on what “raw materials” you have to work with. To me, it’s more of an idea book and inspiration than anything else. Let’s have a look!
stylishremakes2

The book is divided by the following categories, my favorite has to be the T-shirts section, since I’ve been sewing knits more often for my kids and there are lots of Tshirts to be thrown out.

stylishremakes3

Some simple ideas to start off with – embellishing an existing Tshirt with a bow. Don’t worry, it gets better 🙂

stylishremakes4

Up the street fashion vibes by attaching a lace skirt to an old retro shirt. I think the retro-ness of the shirt is important to the look. It’s a Chicago shirt!

stylishremakes5

I like this one. Combine a baggy T (just use the interesting print bit on the Tshirt) and a fitting tank top, add a sweetheart neckline and it looks like a one-of-a-kind designer tank top!

stylishremakes6

This upcycling idea will help you get rid of your stash quickly, for it uses 3 shirts at once. I’m not sure why the tank top has to be attached to the shorts though. The shorts was made up of 2 different t-shirts, so you can play with different color tshirts for a more dramatic effect!

stylishremakes7

This has to be the cutest little remake. The original shirt was cute enough and converting it into a romper just makes it even cuter! It did give me lots of ideas to reuse old Ts for my little boy’s clothes. The romper is too large for my boy though, so I used an old Tshirt, with a baby tank top pattern from Cucito, and made this! The orange knit bias was cut out from another t-shirt. Now I have an old stack of Tshirts waiting to be turned into kids bottoms, tanks and to be used for knit bias tape.

babytank

The second section was all about Flannel shirts, but of course you can use normal shirts if you don’t have any flannel ones.

stylishremakes9

stylishremakes8

Here’s what you can do, make a dress out of 2 different shirts.

stylishremakes10

or, make a baggy shirt more feminine and fitting by shortening the length and adding cuffs and gathers.

The next section is on borders (Borders here means a striped pattern print)

stylishremakes11

If you have lots of college sweatshirts, you may find the next section interesting as well. Since they are mostly oversized and baggy, it makes a great “fabric” for upcycling, like this cute little dress here.

stylishremakes12

Garbadine Coats, at first glance, it looks like nothing more than adding embellishments to a normal coat. This was actually a very plain, long and shapeless typical trench coat, which was transformed into a more fitting, short and cute feminine coat. Makes a great little outfit for rainy days.

stylishremakes13

The last section is on Bandannas, which is by definitely the most versatile item to upcycle, after all, it is nothing more than squares of fabric. The interesting thing about using Bandannas for upcycling, is that the prints are usually confined to a square repeat. So how you piece the bandannas together will make a difference to how your garment turns out.

stylishremakes14

stylishremakes15

This camisole and skirt number reminds me of the batik dresses I used to wear as a kid!

stylishremakes16

If you don’t have that many bandannas lying around, you can also turn it into a cute drawstring purse.

The following shows you how a typical set of instructions will provide. The drafting pattern is blurred out intentionally, but you get the idea. the drafting dimensions are also based on one set of measurements anyway, so the best way is to base your pattern on an existing shirt that fits.

stylishremakes17a

stylishremakes18

I like the fact that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to upcycling. You can remake using existing material (less waste), you don’t have to buy new fabric (save money), and you get a unique look everytime. Those of you who are wondering what to get for your sewing friends as a Christmas present, this will be a great idea!


Buy now from Amazon (Affiliate link)

Title : Stylish Remakes
Author : Violette Room
ISBN No: 978-4805313657

Disclosure : I received this book from Tuttle to write this review, but all opinions are my own. 

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Stylish Party Dresses (Now in English)

August 27, 2015

It is always exciting to see newly translated Japanese Sewing Books, hot off the press, in my mailbox! A big thank you to Tuttle who not only sent me these two books for review – Stylish Party Dresses: 26 Easy and Inexpensive Sew-It-Yourself Dresses for that Special Occasion & Stylish Remakes: Upcycle Your Old T’s, Sweats and Flannels into Trendy Street Fashion Pieces, but is also sponsoring a book giveaway for this book that I am about to review right now. Yes you heard me right! GIVEAWAY!

Before we all keel over in excitement, let’s take a look at this lovely book shall we? After all if you are not lucky enough to win it, you will want to buy one for yourself. This book is named Stylish Party Dresses by our favorite Japanese Sewing Book authors – Yoshiko Tsukiori. If you are not familiar with her, she’s the author of many many sewing books. Quite a number have been translated into English as well. Just click here to see all her books that I have reviewed.

cover

I did not recognize the book initially as a different dress was used for the original book cover, and the title was also changed from Formal & Little Black Dress to Stylish Party Dresses (see below).

formalblackdress

There are 26 projects you can make in this book, but not all are for dresses. Included are 3 bolero patterns that you can use with the dresses as cover-ups.

contents

The contents page is a lot more descriptive and detailed compared to the original one (below), which was rather minimalistic.

japanesecontents

Now let’s have a look at some of my favorite pieces from this book. There are just far too many pieces to cover in one blog post!

dress_a

The book starts off with the dress on the cover. A simple dress with a midi tulle skirt. The dress itself is made of satin backed shantung fabric which gives it a touch of class and elegance despite its simple lines.

dress b

This black lace dress is made using black lace fabric overlaid on a grey polyester crepe de chine. A quick search for crepe de chine gave me this definition “Crepe de Chine, also spelled Crêpe De Chine, (French: “crepe of China”), light and fine plainwoven dress fabric produced either with all-silk warp and weft or else with a silk warp and hard-spun worsted weft.” – Britannica.com 


dress_c and bolero_d

Beneath the Cape Sleeved Bolero is a simple sleeveless dress. The bolero is made of a georgette fabric which is lightweight and drapes really well. Perfect for the soft flowy look.

dress_e

This was the dress featured on the Japanese version of the same book. I always felt it was a little plain for a book named Stylish Party Dresses, but check out the back of the dress…

dress_e_back

So apparently the details are in the back of the dress. A large ribbon tie! This dress is made from silk striped chiffon and is lined.

dress_f

I am not usually a fan of these big shapeless dresses, but I do love how the choice of the fabric – CD Shantung, has on the overall effect. First the sheen, as well as the structure of the dress. In the dress description, it is noted that the fabric has a little more body and visible fibres than regular Shantung, and different levels of “shine” on different sides, so you can choose which is the “right side” of the fabric when making the dress depending on the level of shine you want. But what is CD Shantung? I have no idea, and it doesn’t seem to be a regular term. I am guessing it is a slubbed version of shantung? I do think that tafetta can achieve the same effect too if you can’t find the exact same type of fabric.

bolero_g

Another bolero, this time in black lace, used over the same shantung dress above.

dress_h

A Wrap-Look Dress in Liberty Jersey.

dress_h in black

The black jersey version of the same dress. For a moment I thought it was a velour fabric as it does have a velvety sheen to it.

top_i

Another one of those look so simple dresses but the beauty lies in the design of the draping of the fabric. The sleeves are cut extra wide at the end, same goes for the main bodice and back. The skirt is just a simple skirt made in the same fabric of silk jacquard. But wait till you see the back view of this top.

top_i_back

Love this ribbon tie detail on the back! In this picture, the same top is matched with a long chiffon skirt in print. A totally different look, from the full two-piece set, but nevertheless very elegant and pretty.

dress_m

A very cute and youthful dress made with satin backed shantung. The detachable collar is made using organdy and attached on using snap fasteners. Just to clarify, the dress itself has a regular collar in the same fabric, the organdy collar sits on top of it and snaps on the inner neckline (so the snaps can’t be seen if you are not using the detachable collar.

dress_o

This dress is called the Dress with Pin Tucks, but you might be wondering, where are the pin tucks? It’s a little hard to see as they are obscured by the Liberty print fabric. There is a black version in the book which shows off the pin tucks really nicely, unfortunately the photos I took can’t quite display the pin tucks well so I’ve left it out.

dress_r

A Two-piece set in Georgette fabric.  The blouse and skirt are actually separate pieces, and you can wear the blouse tucked or untucked. The skirt has two interesting horizontal tucks across a section of the front and back panels that gives it an irregular hem.

dress_u

This must be my favorite party dress of all the dresses in this book. A Tafetta two piece dress. The blouse has a ribbon detail while the skirt is embellished with diagonal ruffles. Love the color of the pretty tafetta fabric on this.

dress_x with bolero

One more bolero pattern – A bolero with frilled front edge in georgette. The frills drape nicely along the front giving it a more three dimensional look. The bolero is seen here with a long chiffon dress.

sample how to make

An example of the pattern instructions. Units are provided primarily in inches, with the metric equivalents in brackets. Most of the instructions are simple enough to understand. The steps that require more explanation are usually accompanied by diagrams.

sample diagrams

A close up of the diagrams included in the book.

patterns

A handy pocket is attached for storing your pattern sheets. There should be 2 double sided pattern sheets enclosed.

otherbooks

More sewing books in English from Tuttle Publishing. To see my reviews of  Japanese sewing books in English, click here.

backcover


available on Amazon for pre-order now

Title : Stylish Party Dresses
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No. : 978-4-8053-1366-4

 

This book will only be released on Amazon on the 15th of September, but here is your chance to win a copy of the book before it is released!

Tuttle Publishing will be kindly sponsoring TWO copies of this book. So there will be two lucky winners! Just enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter app below with either your Facebook account or your email address. You can get additional entries from liking Tuttle Publishing on Facebook, Japanese Sewing Books on Facebook, or tweeting about the giveaway. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway