Green with envy


This project started with the fabric – giant plaid crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop – and then the sewing pattern hunt began.  Do your projects usually start with a pattern or fabric?


Having never matched plaids before, I knew that I needed a pattern with a boxy design and details that were plaid matching friendly.  Oh yes, a Japanese sewing pattern would fit the bill nicely and it is of course #sewjapaneseinjanuary.


A flick through my Japanese pattern book library uncovered this gem of a pattern.



This is one those times that the pattern photo doesn’t show off the potential of a pattern, but the line drawing sure does!


The plaid matching friendly features include:

  • Boxy silhouette
  • Straight hem
  • Gathered sleeve head… no accurate matching required there!
  • Sleeve gathered into a cuff


To help with the matching I traced my pattern on the flat (rather than on the fold) and I excessively pinned my pattern to the fabric.  The crinkle linen did make it challenging, but my stubborn gene served me well here!  To create balance, I ensured the the darkest of the vertical stripes were placed at the centre front and back of the dress, as well as along the hem.


I did make a mistake.  Can you pick it?  Yes, it’s the sleeves.

The darker stripe is in the middle of both sleeves, but the vertical stripe colours are in a different order.  When I cut out the second sleeves I flipped the pattern piece left to right, when I think I should have mirrored them on top of each other.  Clear as mud?


I have a bad track record with back neck splits. I always sew a v that is too narrow and when I clip into the point of the v, there are a few threads that peek out.

My solution to fix this error became a design feature.  I hand sewed the back neck split with pearle 8 cotton thread (I happened to have the perfect colour match on hand!) and I love the result.  You can see an in-progress photo on Instagram.


A quick side seam pattern matching brag before I talk pattern alterations.  The side seams weren’t straight as the line drawing indicated.  The front pattern piece had a very slight a-line and the back pattern piece was more of a cocoon shape.  This is not something I’ve seen before, but the results are pleasing.


I flat measured the pattern and decided the size 9 (the smallest size) would give me ample ease in the bust and hips.  This is one of those Japanese patterns with excessive ease.  I shortened the dress by 3″ (7.5cm), performed by usual 3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder alteration and I left off the sleeve ties.


In summary, I’m thrilled with this dress.  Is it too early to call it my favourite make of 2019?


Pattern:  Dress M from a Japanese sewing book (ISBN 978-4-579-11568-6)
Size:  9
Fabric:  Giant plaid crinkle linen from The Cloth Shop
Alterations:  Removed 3″ (7.5cm) from the length of the dress, 3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment and left off the sleeve ties.
Accessories:  Chunky beads from Scarlet Jones and shoes purchased four years ago from Yoox.
Location:  Girl Guide Hall, Horsham


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.