Just my style
Late last year Jane mentioned that she was planning on sewing from her Japanese sewing book stash in January. I have a rather generous collection of Japanese pattern books, that can sometimes be forgotten, so I asked if I could join her. The hashtag #sewjapaneseinjanuary was born and we shared our plans on Instagram and invited others to join us. No competitions, no prizes, no giveaways, no sponsors… just a way of cheering each other on as we sewed up our Japanese makes during the month of January.
The dress on the cover of Heart Warmining Life Series : FU-KO Basics was one of the main reasons I brought this book… okay it was the main reason. I was drawn in by the loose silhouette, the pockets and rolled up sleeves.
Linen is a favourite fabric of mine and I knew I had the perfect piece in my stash for this dress. This Merchant & Mills laundered linen twill is soft, drapey and textured, and I adore the coral colour (which is referred to as Francium). Be warned, the fabric is a little shifty when you are cutting it out (it reminded me of cutting silk) but all is quickly forgiven as it sews up beautifully.
And those pockets… how I love those pockets!
The pockets are just so inviting to slip your hands in!
This wasn’t a difficult sew, but I did take my time. Slowing down and making items that I love and will we worn for years to come is my focus for 2017. As part of this focus, I’m aiming to toile more and make those tweaks that can upgrade a garment from mediocre to a wardrobe workhorse, or dare I say, a firm favourite.
For this pattern I measured the flat pattern and decided to trace the size M even though the size chart had my bust in the LL range. One thing I’ve learnt from sewing many Japanese patterns is they are often drafted with excessive ease. I sewed up a calico toile of the size M and then wore it around the house for a few hours! Sometimes it’s only through wear that you can identify fitting issues.
My toile help me identify four things:
- This was one hell of a comfortable dress even in calico!
- The sleeves were a little difficult to roll up. Resolution: I widen the sleeve at the wrist by a total of 3/4″ (2cm) tapering to nothing at the elbow.
- The front neckline needed to be lowered. Resolution: I reduced it by an inch (2.5cm), but in hindsight a 1/2″ (1.25cm) would have been fine.
- The dress was hitting just below my knee, which is frumpy territory for me. Resolution: I removed 2″ (5cm) from the length.
As the title of this blog posts suggests, this dress feel just totally me! It’s a great colour, it showcases gorgeous fabric, the style is loose but interesting, the comfort factor is high and I think it has the potential to be worn in both warm and cooler weather. I can definitely see myself wearing this dress over skinny jeans, or with tights and colourful brogues in Autumn.
It’s fair to say, I haven’t been this excited by a finished project in such a long time! Are you tempted by this dress, or do you have any other Japanese patterns on your radar?
Pattern: Cover Dress from Heart Warmining Life Series : FU-KO Basics (ISBN 978-4-529-05451-5)
Fabric: Merchant & Mills Fracium Laundered Linen Twill from Stitch56 [sold out]
Alterations: I added 3/4″ (2cm) to the sleeve width at the wrist, tapering to nothing at the elbow. I scooped out the front neckline by 1″(2.5cm) and removed 2″ (5cm) from the length.
Accessories: Silk scarf from Scarlett Jones and shoes from Siricco (purchased several years ago).