Thursday, 8 November 2012

Sewing under the influence

One thing from my PMS sewing list: done! The small collar blouse from Japanese pattern book, Simple Chic.

Despite its casual, breezy appearance, I'm actually more enamoured by this shirt that many of my other more complicated or glamourous makes. For two reasons: firstly, I don't actually remember making it... I was completely out if it having gone under a general anaesthetic the day before, and considering all the morphine and codeine and whatever else they pumped into my system, it's a wonder I didn't stitch my fingers to the machine let alone come away with a shirt so well made and beautifully finished! Man, I even took the time to blind stitch the hem - although that part I do remember - and rest assured my fingers received a fair few stabs of the hand sewing needle whilst I zoned out to my second apocalyptic movie that day... And secondly, I feel like I've had a bit of a eureka moment with the making of this shirt. My monotonous everyday uniform of jeans & t-shirt couldn't be further from the sort of things I make and wear to go out, and I've been struggling to bridge the gap between studio slouch and dressed for the Opera. Not that I give even the teeniest damn what I look like when I'm slouching about, it's just that there are times when I'd like to feel a little more interestingly put together, yet still casual and comfortable. For me, this shirt does exactly that.

Construction-wise, I had been interested to see what it would be like working from this book, seeing as all the instructions are in Japanese. Before my operation I started making notes in the book as I figured out that the patterns did not include seam allowance, I began interpreting the characters for things like Centre Front, Side Panel... I figured out the sizing chart, then got confused as there seemed to be only one cutting line for this pattern - I was almost going to write a Help Me! post when I realised it was one size fits all! 

The fabric is from a grotty little market stall in Kilburn and cost me all of £1 per metre! For that price I would've expected something deeply unnatural but it feels like cotton voile, and behaves like it too - easily creases, irons like a dream and no meltage when burned. So why was it so cheap?? 

Despite the language barrier, the technical drawings in this book are incredible. Each step is so clearly illustrated and impossible to mis-understand, even post-op and under the influence of serious pain killers. The epitome of sewing instructions! 

All in all, mega success. 

New skills acquired: interpreting Japanese sewing instructions; sewing under the influence. 

It's the kind of shirt I always wanted to buy but never found and somehow never thought to make - until now. Hardly surprisingly, I want to make more. And wouldn't it be cute as a mini-dress...?


  1. I love this blouse but need a pattern and instructions to make to make it. It is just what I have been looking for but need a pattern for a large woman, like about 24. Could you please help, like you I would like to make one. thank you Millie

  2. I adore this blouse and would love to make it! How does it work - do you make your own pattern by transferring info from the drawings in the book?

  3. Charlotte_Lucas24 May 2015 at 18:27

    You trace the pattern onto paper. Then you make a muslin, or move directly to the fabric.

    I was under the impression that there were four sizes:

    "26 Projects of Making Clothes with Full-Scaled Pattern Sheet. :::::The book come with the full-scaled patterns for the following 4 sizes. Size 7 (Nude Size: Bust 79 CM, Waist 60 CM, Hip 86CM) Size 9 (Nude Size: Bust 83 CM, Waist 64 CM, Hip 90CM) Size 11 (Nude Size: Bust 87 CM, Waist 68 CM, Hip 94CM) Size 13 (Nude Size: Bust 91 CM, Waist 72 CM, Hip 98CM) However, you can modify the patterns to fit your size."


I love hearing your thoughts, and if you have any questions at all, I will reply to them within these comments - so please be sure to check back to get your answer!

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