My Japanese "Dress A"

My Japanese "Dress A"

Here’s my version of “Dress A” from Yoshiko Tsukiori’s Style Dress Book.

DSC_3728 DSC_3731

The fabric was another remnant from Rathdowne Fabrics and Remnants.  It’s a medium weight cotton and I paid $7.20 for two metres.  Have you noticed how I only include the cost of fabric when it’s a bargain?


I cut out and sewed up the size 10, even though my bust measurements suggested a 16!  Japanese patterns are designed to be roomy, but in my opinion, there is a difference between roomy and enormous.

In the photos above and below, the gathers aren’t sitting as well as I’d like in the bust area (it was a little windy!), but as I’ve worn it this afternoon it’s been fine.


After trying on the version I made for my sister-in-law, I knew I would need to shorten the dress and lower the darts by an inch.  Megan Nielsen’s tutorial on altering the height of a bust dart was very helpful (thanks for the link Sew Busy Lizzy).

All was going swimmingly until I tried on the finished dress late last night and discovered that the back neckline was gaping badly.  I was too focused on solving the problem to take photos, but it looked like below.  What to do?

Source:  In-House Patterns

I removed the binding and gathered a portion of the back neckline to eliminate the excess fabric.  It looked great on the hanger, but terrible on me.  Creating two little pleats was also tried and abandoned.  Google was consulted and an In-House Patterns tutorial gave me the answer I needed.  Introducing… drum-roll… shoulder darts!  Have you used shoulders darts before?  I hadn’t even heard of them!


The majority of the gaping fabric was removed with the darts, but it was a fine balance between a good fit and still being able to get the dress over my head!

Although, probably not the most flattering of shapes, this is a perfect dress for our hot summers and my life as a Mum.  I have some lovely Japanese cotton set aside to make another, but I’m not sure if the pattern is worthy yet.  I think I’ll wear this one for a while as see how it goes.

Have you made a dress lately?

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