Japanese Folds | Le Challenge {Dressmaking}

Friday, 14 February 2014

And here it is again, le Challenge has returned - did you miss it? I certainly did! And I cannot wait to see what the other participants made. 'The Rising Sun' - the theme for this month, so many different interpretations possible, and yet I went for an obvious one, using a Japanese dressmaking pattern.


I have had this book forever (ok probably not but it has certainly been a while), but I have never got round to make anything from it. But thanks to Martha - who just bought the same book, it has finally happened! She made hers in a Paisley fabric, so pretty. This is Top A.


I had two fabric options for this top - both bought in France (thanks Mum for bringing me the fabric!). I chose a baptist fabric in a much softer purple than the online picture might have suggested. For someone who hates ironing this may not have been the wisest of choices if I am honest. But the pattern on the fabric certainly adds interest, without being a nightmare to match in the folds. Result!


Talking about the folds, I was very worried about these. I had never done anything like that before and I was not sure how really. So instead of researching on internet - I decided to just go for it and iron the hell out the pleats, and then pin them and then getting sewing - simple. And it worked - beginners' luck I reckon.
 
 

Second was the gathered sleeves - it seems that all the last projects (the Malvarosa and the Cami dresses) I have sewn recently include some gathering, so this was much less scary.



So I thought I would show how I do it - honestly it is very easy.  


 1. Make your stitches the longest you can; 2. Sew gathering stitches within 
the seam allowance; 3. leave a long tail; 4. separate the top and bottom 
threads; 5. pull the bottom thread (red here); 6. and gather slowly


FIVE things you should know about making this top:

  1. - The fabric could make this top easy to sew or very hard - go for cotton, it will save you time and hardwork
  2. - It is a very quick project - the hardest part is to transfer the pattern
  3. - Who thought that a 2cm bias tape was a good idea (for the collar) is wrong, it is a nightmare and proved to make it difficult, I would at least double (or maybe triple) the size of the bias tape
  4. - It was huge (Mr MiH called it a tent at first) - making me look positively pregnant (I am not by the way) - so I had to shave off 10cm on each side and 5cm on the sleeves.
  5. - Japanese patterns are great, even in Japanese - it gives you all the steps though pictures. easy peasy. 

And here we are a new top for my wardrobe - a post that is slightly late for the le Challenge - you will excuse the half hour delay! 

For all the other entries, go over to le challenge. Do join the fun for a chance to win a $25 at the Fat Quarter Shop (open until February 16 at 11am UK time). 

18 comments:

  1. Nice! I like the sleeves and the picture with long necklace.

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  2. Oh I love this! The pleats and sleeves are so pretty and it's a good length. The fabric is gorgeous too. Make more and send me one ;)

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  3. Beautiful! I love these Japanese-type blouses, they're so comfortable to wear! I recently bought a book but haven't gotten around to making anything yet... I need to change that!

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  4. Wonderful job. The materials look lightweight and cool. The style is chic.

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  5. What a great top! I haven't made anything from my japanese dress book yet, but this is very encouraging.

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  6. I love the fabric you chose to make this. Looks fabulous.

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  7. Very CUTE! I'm always intimidated by those sewing books that require you to draft your own pattern pieces. The designs in them look so wonderful, but I lean very heavily on a pattern to sew anything

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  8. What a lovely shirt just my style!

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  9. I have one of these Japanese garment books too! I made a blouse which is loose but for the hot weather I don't really mind! I love the purple fabric you have used!

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  10. You have done a marvelous job with this Japanese style top! The pleats and the sleeves are so very pretty:)

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  11. It is beautiful Nat. I agree with you it is an easy top to make, but if you choose the wrong fabric it can turn complicated. Mine was is a silky fabric that frays just by looking at it :) But with a a bit of patience it came together. I hope to get the assistance of Mr. WD tomorrow so can can take photos of mine.
    I absolutely love the color of yours and you did a fantastic job with the pleats.

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  12. Lovely! The pleating is sweet. And Japanese patterns are so great---I love that they don't need to be translated to be understood. I wish all patterns were that thorough!

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  13. Wow, this looks so wearable and comfy. Love the colour and subtle dots!

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  14. I absolutely adore this! The fabric is perfect for this pattern and I do hope you don't have to iron it much because it's too cute not to wear a bunch! I hate when something makes me look pregnant, but glad it was an easy fix for you. And your pleating sound exactly right to me, so beginners luck or not, that's what I would have done too.

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  15. This has turned out beautifully :)

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  16. I really love it. Such a great style :-)

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