Celebrating Japanese Sewing Week in sulphur

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Japanese sewing books…. well, it’s all love from me!

The often quirky Japanese styling, the use of natural fibres and the simplicity of the patterns just makes my heart sing.  I prefer a little more colour in my life than the neutral palate celebrated in many Japanese sewing books (hello sulphur linen!), but that’s the great thing about sewing your own clothes… you get to add personal touches that suit your personality and style.

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Today, as part of Day Four of the Japanese Sewing Week blog tour, I’m sharing with you the Basic Pattern from Lesson Two from Aoi Koda’s Pattern Lessons for Autumn and Winter Wear. 

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Pattern Lessons for Autumn and Winter Wear is a recent release that includes five basic patterns (referred to as lessons) and several variations of each basic pattern.  For example, the blue coat on the book cover is a variation of the top I sewed.

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If you’ve been following the blog tour this week, you will be familiar with the Basic Pattern from Lesson Two as it’s one of the patterns Andreia from In a Manner of Sewing shared on Day One.  Andreia made an entire outfit from this book and I wish each of those pieces were in my wardrobe!

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Pattern Lessons for Autumn and Winter Wear is only available in Japanese.  If you’re like me, and don’t know one iota of Japanese, please don’t be put off as the instructions include a series of very detailed drawings.  I’m a visual person, and trust me, all the information you need is right there in those drawings!

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Japanese patterns are renown for being generous with their sizing.  This book includes six different sizes (size 5 -15) and the body measurement chart is located at the top right hand corner of the first pattern sheet.  To help you decide on which size to make, finished garment measurements are detailed in the book at the beginning of each pattern.  In this instance, and thanks to this translation guide, the measurements given are bust, sleeve length and length.

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After sewing a toile, I made a couple of minor tweaks to the pattern.  To accommodate my slightly longish body, I added 2″ (5cm) to the length.  As drafted, the neckline is much higher than it appears in photos in the book.  I lowered it by 3/8″ (1cm), which just meant I didn’t add the seam allowance to the neckline section of the front, back, sleeve and facing pieces.  It’s a simple modification, but it worked well.

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For me, the really interesting feature of this top is that there is elastic in the front hem and not the back.

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From the finished measurements I knew that the sleeves would be too long for me, but I sewed them as per the pattern.  Any excuse for a rolled up sleeve!  As it was very hard to match overlocker thread to this vibrant sulphur colour, I french seamed the sleeves to ensure everything looked neat and tidy.

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My Japanese sewing book collection is vast and well loved.  If you are interested in starting or adding to your collection, or winning a voucher to an online fabric store then we have just the giveaway for you.  Three lucky readers will win one of the following prizes:

To enter, head on over to the Rafflecopter giveaway page.

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A very big thank you to Sara from Made by Sara for organising this fabulous week.  There have already been so many inspiring makes. Go and check them out!

Monday 16th : Day One…  In a Manner of Sewing  |  Conversas de Hermanas  |  Pequenos e Verdes  |  Climbing the Willow

Tuesday 17th : Day Two…  Bartracks and Singletrack  |  S is for Sewing  |  Sew Happy  |  Mamacosesola

Wednesday 18th : Day Three…  Fairies, Bubbles & Co.  |  Sewing Like Mad  |  As it Seams  |  Sewing For Mini Me

Thursday 19th : Day Four…  La Folie Sewing Booth  |  Just Add Fabric  |  Blogless Anna  |  Sweeter Than Cupcakes  |  Needle and Ted

Friday 20th : Day Five…  Miss Castelinhos  |  Made by Toya  |  Lil Luxe Collection  |  House of Estrela

Saturday 21st : Day Six…  Patty Made It  |  Paisley Roots  |  Rita Pirolita  |  Call Ajaire

Sunday 22nd : Day Seven…  So-cal Sewing Mom  |  Kiwi Crafty Chemist  |  Sew Shelly Sew  |  Made by Sara

You too can join in the fun of the 1st Japanese Sewing Week by linking up anything you have made this year using a Japanese sewing pattern.  The link-up party is happening at the bottom of this post.

And the last word… I love, love, love this pattern and I see several more in my near future!

Pattern:  The Basic Pattern from Lesson Two from Aoi Koda’s Pattern Lessons for Autumn and Winter Wear
Size:  9
Fabric:  Merchant and Mills linen in sulphur purchased from Stitch 56
Alterations:  Added 2″ (5cm) the length.  Lowered the neckline by 3/8″ (1 cm)
Accessories:  Designer silk scarf (a gift) & shoes, a recent purchase from Mountfords.

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