Sew Japanese In July – A Sweatshirt for Work


Two facts that are relevant to this make:

1) I feel the cold, and
2) I enjoy sewing and wearing raglan sleeved tops/jumpers

Therefore, during Sew Japanese In July, I decided to sew myself a raglan sweatshirt from some cosy 100% cotton fleece from work and some leftover contrast ribbing from another project.


Let’s backtrack a bit… What is Sew Japanese in July?  It’s an Instagram hashtag #sewjapaneseinjuly hosted by Jane and I, to inspire and motivate people to sew from their Japanese pattern and/or fabric stash during the month of January.  There are no sponsors or giveaways, it’s a community event on Instagram that anyone can join in.  To account for  seasonal differences between hemispheres, we also host #sewjapaneseinjanuary.  I encourage you to look at both the hashtags as there are lots of inspiring makes from sewists around the globe.



The pattern I used was from my favourite Japanese pattern book called “Big clothes, small clothes” by Asuka Hamada (ISBN978-4-579-11563-1).  I sewed the small sweatshirt (pictured above in white) in a size 1.  I’ve previously sewn the oversized version of this pattern too… see here and here.

DSC_6841 (1)

One thing that I love about this book is that it included finished measurements.  These measurements assisted me in choosing my size and deciding to add 1 1/2″ (4cm) to the length to accommodate my slightly long torso.  The sweatshirt is still cropped, but comfortably so.


When tracing the pattern I opted to add 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowances so I could easily sew the sweatshirt up on my overlocker.  I did baste the neckband first (unpicking overlocking is not fun) as neckband lengths can vary depending on your fabric.


And to make my cosy sweatshirt a little more work appropriate, I decided to raw edge applique T.C.S. (The Cloth Shop) on the front.  If you are interested in doing similar, Grainline Studio has an excellent tutorial.


I secured the letters to the sweatshirt using a quilting technique called raw edge applique.  It entails switching off your feed dogs and you becoming the machine… determining both the stitch length and direction.  Gloves with grip are a must.  This technique feels rather scary to start with… but seriously as you go around the edge of each letter three times it can hide a multitude of errors.  In  this instance, the edges of the french terry have a bit of a fray thing going on which is also concealing.


I’m very pleased with this make as I like the fit, the fabric combination and the slogan.  In fact, as Melbourne has turned on the ‘cold’ weather again, I might just wear it to work tomorrow.


Pattern:  Sweatshirt ‘e’ from “Big clothes, small clothes” by Asuka Hamada (ISBN978-4-579-11563-1)
Size:  Size 1
Fabric:  100% Cotton Fleece from The Cloth Shop and burnt brick ribbing & french terry (for the letters) leftover from other project (also purchased from The Cloth Shop)
Alterations:  Lengthened the body by 1.5″ (4cm) and performed a 3/8″ (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment
Outfit:  Jeans from Witchery (mending my me) and Wondersfly shoes from Step Ahead
Photo Location:  The Cloth Shop, Ivanhoe (Melbourne)


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