Turning Japanese

I have mentioned before my addiction to Japanese Craft books. Really and truly, the discovery of these books completely turned my sewing around. I had grappled with nasty tissue paper patterns and over-complicated directions before but the discovery of these simple, beautiful patterns and the fact that really, all those complicated directions are not needed because somehow the execution of these patterns is made easier by the lack of instruction. Sometimes, as I spend too long scanning the jumble of lines, trying to identify the bits I need to trace, sometimes, I think that it would be nice to be able to read the instructions, but mostly, I feel quite freed by the lack of direction. I have to think around problems for myself and I feel enthused rather than daunted. The lack of direction encourages me to break out and alter the bits I want to change, a fully legible pattern would make me afraid to break the rules.

Since my discover of these books, the majority of Tilly's clothes have been sewn, either based on patterns from these books or sometimes, emboldened by my new found pattern drafting confidence, they are entirely my own work, from starting sketch to finish.

This dress was based on a pattern with elasticated neck and sleeves, I made it, according to pattern, last year.

It turned out well but unfortunately did not receive much wear as it proved unsuitable for tree climbing, the pockets snagged on a branch the second time it was worn and the rips were beyond mending. Oh well, these things happen.

The second version, is based on the same pattern but I made the sleeves longer and created a button placket opening. Instead of elastic, I created random pleats.

I love the fabric, a liberty print babycord and I do love the design but sadly I do not think they work together. It is OK but not exac
tly as I imagined. I will make it again, perhaps in darkest denim this time, with bold, bright buttons to close. In the meantime I guess this one will do for tree climbing.

This book, ISBN4-579-11054-4, has been a particular favourite, well thumbed, coffee stained, stuffed with patterns which have been used and used again.

I began this post because I have new book to share but I seem to have already rambled far too much, I will share the new book tomorrow.


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