Wow what’s with all the dust in my blog?? I can’t believe the last time I posted something was three months ago! It doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped making things though. If you’re following my Instagram, you might notice that I’m still sewing. I guess the instant way of Instagram posts has made me lazy to do a ‘real post’ in this blog.
Anyway! This is one of the many unblogged things that I’ve made all this time. These pants are Joni knit track pants by Style Arc. You can find the pattern in their website or in the Etsy shop. From the product description: “This is the new track pant shape featuring a slightly dropped crotch and angled leg seam. The rib elasticised waist band has a channeled cord threaded through the centre. The lovely deep rib cuffs complete this designer look track pant. Joni can be made in all knit or knit & rib.”
I made the pants in size 6 with length alteration since I’m 150 cm (4’11”). The long cuffs and angled leg seams are very interesting, subtle details that give the pants more character. I also like that these joggers have back pockets. All the seams are finished on overlocker except when attaching pockets.
The pattern for this sweatshirt is copied from an RTW sweatshirt that I already have. My favorite part is the big, pleated sleeves. Actually I just put the sweatshirt on the fabric and traced them with chalk, not making a real pattern from it. This way works quite well with oversized sweater in knit fabric, but of course not for fitted clothing in in woven fabric.
You can see that this is a really comfortable outfit. I have a grey merle sweatshirt and joggers set for my winter pajamas and I think I’ve just copied it. Since this one is black, this outfit doesn’t really look like pajamas…. or is it? But it is very comfortable so I will wear this all winter!
Lately I feel more comfortable wearing thin bralettes than bra with underwire or foam lining. Maybe because it is summer and everything is just too hot. Then I noticed that Evie la Luve has just launched some new patterns, one of them is this Willow bra.
The pattern package includes 5 different looks, including wraparound style and longline style, with sizing from XXS to XXL. Usually I prefer to use pattern with band and cup sizing but I have had success with Evie la Luve’s panties patterns so I’d like to give this a try.
This is a very good pattern package with complete tutorials for each style with aesthetically pleasing pictures and clear explanation. One thing that I like about Evie la Luve’s pattern is that she always gives exact suggested length for the elastic instead of just ‘stretch slightly while sewing’.
I like reading tutorials from each pattern maker as it shows how they organize their thoughts and put them into words. Sometimes the way a tutorial is presented can rub me off the wrong way that it keeps me from working with the pattern, I really like how Evie la Luve presents her tutorials though.
Having said that, I didn’t really follow the tutorial for this pattern… but it’s because I already have my own flow of works. The pattern has 1 cm seam allowance that I trimmed into my usual 0.6 cm seam allowance. I also didn’t line the fabric as suggested. The seamlines are simply serged and topstitch to one side.
The fabric is actually from a pair of leggings that I made a couple of years ago but rarely wear. It’s lycra fabric with under the sea themed digital print.
I was very happy with the result so I wanted to make a matching panties. This time I use the bottom part of Mimi bikini pattern. As you can see, this is a swimwear pattern so I didn’t follow the tutorial either. But if you want to make a bikini for swimming, the tutorial for this pattern is really great.
Actually I made the black one first as a muslin. I wore it and liked it a lot that I continued making the second one. I can see more of this bralette in the future as it is so simple and quick to sew!
And here’s how they fit on my body. My dummy has very small waist, that is why the band on the panties look wrinkled. On me, the fit is better.
I have made three pairs of monpe pants (Japanese work pants) for my husband and he really likes them, so here’s a new pair in denim for him. Sorry for all the phone pictures! We were in Shinjuku and I just snapped some quick pictures of him while we were there.
These pants have elasticated waist, no side seams, right front pocket, and knee patches on the inside. You can read more about it in my first post about these pants.
This time I used denim fabric in medium weight. The fabric is not as stiff as denim fabric for jeans, this is important as the waist is elasticated. You don’t want a bunch of ruched stiff fabric around your waist because it would be uncomfortable! I considered using contrast topstitching for the pants but then decided to make it very simple. Signs of wear will eventually show anyway and the pants will look even better after being worn a lot.
The pattern is from Japanese shop Unaginonedoko, you can contact their email address for purchase in English: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pattern is Monpe pants by Unaginonedoko (Japanese), size N.
I was browsing the newest collection on Papercut Patterns’ website when I caught the sight of these shorts. The Rite of Spring Shorts is actually from their old collection, it has been around for several years now. Somehow I have never thought of them before. I happened to have some leftover denim that would be perfect for this pattern!
The shorts have a quite flattering detail with the side seams moving forward at the top. To accentuate this interesting side seams, I topstitched them with rust-colored thread. The rise is quite high for my petite frame so I shortened the length about 1.5 cm, otherwise they would come too far above my navel.
The top pattern is by Kommatia patterns, a relatively new pattern company that I stumbled upon on Instagram. I bought the crop top pattern from their etsy shop. Usually I need to shorten any pattern because I’m short but I didn’t alter anything this time. Even without length alteration, the top is quite short on me. I’m not usually a crop top wearer though.
The suggested fabric is light ribbed knit. I found a ribbed knit dress at the thrift shop that I cut up for this top, it only needs a little amount of fabric! The instructions are clear and short. This is a simple piece of clothing anyway so elaborate instructions are not necessary.
I love the result of both patterns and they look really good together, but honestly I feel this outfit is a bit out of my comfort zone. The top has quite a low back and I can’t wear a bra with it. The shorts are very very short although they are pretty comfortable to wear. I think I will pair the crop top with other pants or skirt that are not so short, and pair the shorts with other tops that are not so tight.
Papercut patterns has recently launched their new collection, titled ‘Sakura’. OMG have you seen it?? I fall in love with the whole collection and had to restrain myself from buying everything. So far I have gotten these two top patterns, Aomori twist top and Kyoto tee.
The Aomori twist top has very interesting shaped pattern pieces that created the twist front. It has two options of sleeve lengths and can be made from knit or woven. My version was made with striped knit and supposed to be a muslin, but I love the result so much!
Despite the complicated appearance, the sewing sequence is actually very simple. As usual the instructions are very clear. I recommend to read the instructions first before started sewing and you will see that it’s almost as simple as sewing an ordinary T-shirt.
The Kyoto tee is actually an ordinary drop shoulders sweater/tee, but the ruffle around the sleeves makes it special! Like the Aomori twst top, it also comes with the options of two sleeve lengths. Since it is summer, I made the short sleeves version with an interesting black knit. The fabric has some sort of sheen on it and it really shows off the ruffle details well.
I made both tops in size XXS without any important alterations. One thing that I did was shortening the neck band for the Kyoto tee as it was a bit too long. I love that these patterns are very simple and quick to sew but the details make them look more complicated than they really are. I started sewing one top and ended up several hours later with these two! For autumn, I will surely make the long sleeves option for both patterns.
Pattern is Aomori twist top and Kyoto tee by Papercut patterns (PDF), size XXS.
Kitten’s post surgery clothes: Front
There are several request for the kitten’s post surgery clothes from the last post. Since I had to make more for the shelter, I documented the process for this tutorial.
These clothes are meant for female kittens or puppies to wear after they have a surgery, usually spay surgery. For male kittens or puppies, the clothes usually have a ‘pee hole’ in the front part, but I didn’t have the chance to make one. The size is pretty small, the kittens that I made these clothes for weigh about 1.5-2 kg.
Disclaimer: For personal use only. Please do not pass off the pattern and tutorial as your own. Thank you!
Kitten’s post surgery clothes: Back
- length from neckline to tailhole: 24 cm
- back width: 25 cm
- Kitten’s post surgery clothes pattern (size XS – 1.5-2 kg). DOWNLOAD HERE (1 cm seam allowances are included)
- 0.4 m jersey fabric (you can make 2 from this amount)
- 1.2 m foldover elastic (FOE)
- 30 cm zipper
- Use straight stitch for attaching zipper.
- Usually we use zigzag stitch or overlocker for the shoulder and side seams of knit clothing. But this clothing is quite small so straight stitch can also be used.
- Use zigzag stitch for attaching FOE (my usual setting is width set on 3 and length set on 2).
- I like to use one step to stitch the FOE. Some people use two steps, in which the FOE in unfolded state is stitched to the wrong side of the fabric, then the FOE is folded to the right side and stitched for the second time.
- I suggest to make a muslin version first because sometimes the length can be a bit too short or too long depending on the breed.
- Place pattern pieces on fabric, pay attention to the direction of greatest stretch.
- Cut 1 front piece and 2 back pieces.
- Sew back pieces to each side of the zipper. Note that the head of the zipper is at the tailhole. You can use zipper foot to stitch.
- Cut the end of zipper at the neckline, then stitch front piece to back piece at one of the shoulders with 1 cm seam allowance.
- Measure 19 cm on the FOE and mark with erasable marker. Pin each mark at the end of the shoulders.
Attaching FOE to the neckline
- The FOE is shorter than the whole length of the neckline, and should be stretched while being stitched to the neckline. Remember to only stretch the FOE and not the fabric.
- The neckline is now finished with FOE.
- Sew the other shoulder with 1 cm seam allowance. Direct the seam allowance to one side and topstitch to keep it down. I like to direct all seam allowances to the front side.
- Attach FOE to the armhole. Each armhole needs 18 cm of FOE. Use the same method as attaching FOE to the neckline above.
- Finish the tailhole end of the front piece with FOE. Stretch slightly while stitching the FOE.
- Open the zipper, then cut each ends of the zipper. Remember to open the zipper first before cutting, otherwise you will have difficulty attaching the zipper head back!
- Finish the tailhole of the back pieces with FOE. Stretch slightly while stitching. Leave some length at the center back.
- Fold the end of the FOE and topstitch. Trim the rest of the FOE at the wrong side.
- Sew side seams with 1 cm seam allowance. Topstitch the end of FOE at the armholes.
- Mark 16 cm on the FOE, then mark 5 cm from the end. Attach the first 11 cm on the leg hole, leaving the 5 cm hanging. Remember to keep stretching the FOE while stitching the last 5 cm.
- Stitch the end of FOE together, creating a loop. Topstitch the end of FOE. Do the same to the other leg hole.
- Now make more because there’s always more kitties at the shelter!
I hope that the tutorial can be useful for you. Please adopt, don’t shop!
Recently I was asked to make post surgery clothes for (female) kittens from the shelter I often volunteer at. These kittens are being spayed and they need to wear something that prevent them from removing the stitches after the procedure. I don’t have many experiences with kittens so at first I thought that the shelter was asking me to make cone collar. Then I learned that wearing cones is very uncomfortable for kittens, so what they want is special clothing.
After making some research (googling of course) to find out what these clothes look like, I began to draft a pattern. I asked for Fuwawa’s help in the muslin stage since there is no kittens on hand.
The muslin fits Fuwawa well! On the first one (grey), I was considering using velcro for the closure, the white one is using snap on buttons tape for closure. The next step is to draft a smaller ones for the kittens. I decided to use zipper since it is cheaper than snap on buttons tape. Here’s the first versions:
Unfortunately the tail hole is too small! But look at the cute kitten’s butt!
For my second version I made the clothes longer and eliminated some part around the back legs/tail.
Now they fit well!
I’m very happy seeing that the clothes fit the kittens quite well. The fabric is cotton jersey in animal stripes pattern that I think fit them well since they are tiny tigers!
If you’re in Japan and would like to adopt these kittens (or cats and dogs), please contact Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) here.
*cat photos by Animal Refuge Kansai
Loooong overdue post! A few months ago I bought a couple of Japanese sewing pattern books called ‘I Love Tops’ and ‘I Love Pants’, both by Yuko Takada. The books feature tops and pants that look pretty casual and comfortable. I’ve been very happy with a couple of tops and one pair of pants that I’ve made from them. So it looks like I will continue making other patterns from these books.
Top A is called ‘Half Sleeve Peplum Cut & Sewn’. In Japanese patterns, the term ‘cut & sewn’ means that the item is made from knit fabric. I have no idea why that is.
The next one is Top I: ‘Drop Shoulder Cut & Sewn’. This is my favorite! I think the shape is pretty relaxed, the neutral colors makes it very easy to match, and the seamlines keep it quite interesting.
From the I love Pants book I made Pants L: ‘Dot Sarouel Pants’, except that my fabric has no dots as you can see. The pattern has very wide waistline and the pants are kept on the waist by using belt. I think it would be somewhat uncomfortable so I inserted wide elastic to the waistline and eliminated the belt loops.
- Top A: Half Sleeve Peplum Cut & Sewn, size M
- Top I: Drop Shoulder Cut & Sewn, size M
- Pants L: Dot Sarouel Pants, size M
Someone sent me a link to a tutorial video on Youtube. And once on Youtube, you know that you’ve got to click all those related videos that look interesting on the side bar. Two hours later I came across a tutorial video on Proper Fit Clothing co. channel for making caps.
The tutorial was very good! It was very interesting to see all kinds of machines used to sew a single cap. The person said that the cap can also be sewed on regular sewing machine though so I got curious about it.
The cap pattern is available for USD1.5 on a website called Cap Supply co. that also sells caps and various cap making supplies. It was the first time I have ever heard of this company! And as far as I know, I have never seen anyone making a cap that really looks like a store-bought ones.
The company also has several other cap patterns such as the most ordinary six panels baseball cap pattern, Dad cap pattern (I don’t know what the difference is with the baseball cap), even visor cap and ponytail cap pattern. I didn’t know there are so many types of caps! I bought the 5 panel Camp Cap pattern because the seamlines look very interesting.
A friend of mine gave me several kimono and obi fabric that I have planned to refashion. Obi is the belt used for kimono, the fabric is usually stiffer than the kimono and it has many interesting embroideries. So instead of using canvas fabric like a proper cap, I went straight into cutting my beautiful obi fabric. Life is too short for boring fabric!
Constructing the head part was very easy. The pieces are small so it came together quite fast. All the seamlines are covered with bias tape on the inside, topstitched on either side of the tape. In the tutorial video, they used an attachment to double stitch sewing machine so the process was quite fast.
Instead using store bought brims as recommended, I used a plastic sheet that is specially used for cap brims. I cut the shape of the brims and inserted it between the fabric brims. I used industrial sewing machine to topstitch the lines across the brims, it’s a very strong machine so there was no difficulties at all. I’m not sure that a domestic sewing machine can be used for this.
Attaching the brim to the hat part was difficult. But the most difficult part was sewing the sweatband to the hat! In the video they used a special sewing machine that makes it quite easy. I found their old video where they still used a regular sewing machine that convinced me that it can be done. I stitched and unstitched and stitched and unstitched so many times! You can see above my wavy sewing lines around the brim part. Oh well, experience will make it perfect I guess.
Cap pattern pieces
There are several back closure options, I use plastic closure and nylon straps. The end of the strap can be inserted back into the hat so they don’t dangle around.
It is best to steam the cap after finished to shape the hat. In the video, they used a wooden form to place the hat for steaming. I just used my regular tailor’s ham. It was quite a maneuver to steam all the seam lines but it can be done!
I made the gold cap first and it was way too big for my head. My husband loves it though! For the purple one, I printed the pattern at 93% so it would fit my head. The circumference of my husband’s head is 58 cm while mine is 54 cm. 54 divided by 58 is 0.93 and that’s where 93% came from.
I found that I really love making these caps! I love how the small pattern pieces have quite strange shape and how they come together slowly to form a cap.
Here we are in Harajuku wearing my handmade obi caps!
Have you seen the Spring/Summer 2017 collection: The Playground, from Named Clothing? It is inspired by the practicality and simplicity of childrenwear. I’m all about practical and comfort so I was very excited about this collection.
It is launched two days ago and I immediately picked the simplest pattern to make, The Ninni culottes. It is a pattern for wide-legged cullotes with elastic waistband and in-seam side pockets. I made it in very stable black jersey.
To make my life easier, I keep a Google spreadheet for all alterations that I have to made for each pattern. For Named patterns, I use size 34 with these alterations: shortening 2 cm on the hipline, 5 cm above knee, and 5 cm below knee, at total 12 cm. Twelve centimetres might sound a lot, but it has worked very well for me. Named patterns are drafted for height 172 cm while my height is 150 cm.
I’m very happy with the result! My alterations has worked quite well, as you can see the length of the culottes is at the same proportion as the original pattern. These culottes are very basic, it means that it will have lots of wear in the future!
Linden sequin T-shirt
Now for the not-so-basic T-shirt, I used knit sequin fabric for the bodice and the leftover black jersey for the sleeves and neck binding. The pattern is Linden sweatshirt by Grainline studio that has became one of my favorite.
I use overlocker for all the seams except for finishing the sleeve and bodice hem. The sequin on the fabric is very soft and can be cut easily, so they didn’t need to be removed from the seamlines.
I like how the sequins are a bit muted and not glaringly reflecting lights all over the place. It is quite a nice detail to an otherwise very simple black T-shirt!
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