I had no idea about what kind of fabric that I should use, so I picked this black soft ponte knit at the store. The content is 73% polyester, 21% rayon, and 6% polyurethane. Sounds good I suppose. I read in several blogs that the waist is quite high on this pattern, so I shortened the hip about 1 cm. Other alteration is shortening the hem for my petite figure as usual. I cut the knee-length version in size XS.
When started making it, I got the idea of inserting a red band for details on the hip seam on the side. The band is just a strip of folded red lycra fabric inserted between the seams. I think I kinda like the effect! Sorry for the pictures of my butt.
You might recognize the fabric for the top from my previous post. This time I used another Burdastyle pattern, Chill dress that I cut as top. It is a very easy pattern with only two pattern pieces plus neck bindings. The sleeves are finished by folding the hem inside.
The armholes are quite big and I see that some people modified the pattern so the armholes are smaller. In my personal opinion, the big armholes are part of the charm. I just wear a sports bra underneath and I think they look fine. In fact I really like this pattern that I made another top in orange jersey. Next time I’ll make the dress version.
I really, really like the leggings! I feared that they might ripped apart but they have survived several visits to my yoga class. They hug the body quite well, and the seamlines add some interesting details. The knee-length are perfect for warmer weather!
I made a new pair of jeans! Actually they were made a couple of weeks ago, and I have been wearing them a lot ever since.
The pattern is Sandra narrow leg jeans by Style Arc, a classic narrow legs jeans with contoured waistband slightly below waist. I love this pattern since I made them last year, the first one that I made get lots of wear. The fabric is dark denim, it has less stretch than the previous jeans so the fit is a bit different.
I find it funny that you can see a dachshund in these pictures, similar to the one in my first Sandra jeans post. They are different dachshund though, the first one is Shake who has got adopted a long time ago. This one is Miggy, a 12 year old female dachshund who had to go to the shelter because her owner has a baby with allergy. Such a sad thing to happen to a senior dog.
Now, about the jeans. My alterations are the same, a bit of swayback and lots of leg shortening. I cut the waistband a bit wider because I want to use two buttons. As a result, the waist sits a bit higher. On my first Sandra jeans, I used elastic as waistband interfacing, this time I don’t use interfacing on the waistband. In fact, I didn’t use any interfacing at all on this jeans.
After installing the buttons, I realized that the placement of the buttons was a bit off. So I removed the buttons with pliers and installed a couple of new ones a bit further. The holes from the old buttons were darned closed with sewing machine. It doesn’t look too bad in my opinion, but the whole thing was such a nuisance to do. So please mark carefully before installing jeans buttons!
But no worries about the buttons! They are fixed and nobody can see them anyway now.
The top that I’m wearing is also a new one that I made. The pattern is Burdastyle Basic tank, and as usual for me, in size 38 printed at 92%. Aside from the shrinking the pattern, the only alteration I made was using knit band to finish the neckline and armholes.
I have begun to exercise regularly since several months ago and actually made this top to wear to my yoga class. So far, this is the only exercise that I keep doing daily for more than a month. I was a total couch potato for forty years so this is quite surprising for me. The fatigue and back pain that were always with me are slowly decreasing now. Who knows, daily exercise can make you healthier?! Duh.
Recently I noticed that all my clothes, especially dresses, don’t fit me the way they used to be. It feels like they are tighter in one part and looser in another part. My body still looks the same though, it is as if that all those clothes that are changing. Maybe it is because of the exercise, or maybe I’m just aging. Either way, this is a new thing for me and I’m trying to get used to it. It also leaves me with an empty wardrobe because almost my clothes are dresses. So maybe it’s time to create a new wardrobe!
As summer is approaching, I’m reminded that my husband has been asking for a new pair of cropped pants since… several summers ago. His favorite pair were made four years ago, and were actually muslin for his jeans so it’s about time for a new pair.
Instead of using his much-tweaked jeans pattern, this time I’m using Jedediah pants pattern from Thread Theory, I got it as a part of Parkland Wardrobe Builder package that I bought sometime ago. Jedediah pants are described as “Chino-style trousers updated with a slim, casual fit, back yoke and stylish slash front pockets. These pants include two length options – knee length shorts with rolled cuff and full length trousers. They will wear well in a denim, corduroy or twill with the extra durability of flat fell seams. They could also be made in a lighter cotton or linen when sewn as summer shorts.”
When I made jeans for my husband, I made muslin and altered the pattern a lot to fit him. With this one, I just cut straigt size 32 and surprisingly they fit him quite well. I should have just used this pattern for all his pants!
The pattern is drafted very well with good instructions. But I have made several pants, so I didn’t really rely on the instructions. I noticed that the slash front pockets add a bit of bulk around the hip, so next time I’m going to change them to curved jeans-style pockets. This is my personal preference though. Other than that, there is nothing to complain about this pattern and I’m very satisfied with the result.
This is the second pattern from Thread Theory that I have made with satisfying result. The first one is this Stratchcona Henley T-shirt. Looks like I have found the perfect pattern company that makes basic menswear for my husband!
Making these pants was an exercise for me in making basic, wearable clothing. The fabric is black, the topstitching is black, the button and rivets are black, sooo boring. I was tempted several times to add some red label or other interesting detail but I was perseverant! So glad that I did, now my husband has a perfect basic shorts that he can wear with anything. Maybe I should make a pair of plain black pants for myself too.
That’s his face asking me, ‘Are you taking a picture of me holding this poop bag?’
I like to wear a slip under my unlined dress to keep them from clinging. So when I found this very soft white jersey in a sale box, I immediately got to work and turned it into a slip dress! The jersey is very soft and stretchy, very comfortable against the skin.
The pattern is Merckwaerdigh O2, described as: “Pattern O2 from Dutch design Merckwaerdigh with a lovely underwired bra-shirt and a close fitted slipdress. Comes in sizes S till XXL for the slipdress and for the bra-shirt”. I’ve used this pattern before to make this nude and black underwired bra slip dress. This time I made the close-fitted slip dress so I can wear it over my bra.
The close-fitted slip pattern has princess seam lines and gently shaped curves over the breast. I lengthened the pattern a bit so it reaches mid-thigh and omitted the lace on the hem.
The pattern actually has lace straps that look very sweet, but the lace showed when I tried wearing the slip under a dress. So I made a simple strap by wrapping the fabric over some elastic and triple zig-zag stitched over them.
Although the pattern has no particular construction for the breast, the shaped seams actually gives some sort of light support. I don’t usually go bra-less, but in this slip I might be able to do it. Maybe for lounging around the house. Although why would I wear such a pretty slip just for lounging around the house?
I still have some leftover fabric for a couple of panties, using my most -used pattern Merckwaerdigh MIX30. Anyway, photographing white fabric and white lace is so difficult! I hope you can still see the details.
This is my favorite jacket in the last couple of months. You have probably seen me wearing it to Sidra’s elementary school graduation here.
The pattern is Wide Sleeve Lapel Jacket 02/2015 #122 from Burdastyle. The jacket has boxy shape with wide straight sleeves, wide lapel, and wide back pleats. It is an unlined jacket with no closure so it’s perfect for when the weather is not too cold. The jacket reminds me of my old jacket that I made in 2010. I lost it during a visit to IKEA! So sad.
The fabric is wool in this undescribable color. Recently I have been trying to use more fabric in solid colors instead of print so they can be mixed and matched more easily. But I’m still trying to find out which colors work best for me.
I also made a simple top with another Burdastyle pattern, Retro Top 07/2013 #130. It is a very simple top with bust dart and loop closure in the back. Not my favorite top though. When I wore it, the neckline was a bit too high so I decided to cut it lower. The new neckline is a bit wavy, maybe because the fabric is already stretched out. The fabric is double gauze cotton.
As usual for Burdastyle patterns, I printed them at 92% and cut size 38. This is my favorite way now because the result is quite perfect for my petite body and I don’t have to make any alterations.
It is getting warmer everyday so it looks like I can’t wear my favorite little jacket anymore!
Sidra has started junior high school this week! Yesterday was the entrance ceremony at his school.
The junior high school is actually right across his elementary school, and most of his friends go there, so there is not much difference than the elementary school days. But still, he looked so different and mature in uniform than he was before.
Several elementary school kids stopped by to watch us taking pictures with tripod and timer under the light rain. Everyone else took pictures in front of the school gate but we went to this spot beside the street, these kids probably thought about how weird these foreigners were.
I asked Sidra once, “Everytime Papa and I go to school, why are the kids staring at us and whispering to each other?
Sidra said, “Because you are foreigners!”
“But you are a foreigner too!”
“Yeah, but they see me as a Japanese now.”
Apparently, Sidra is a Japanese kid with foreigner parents (^_^”)
Thank you for all the replies on my previous post about Japanese school uniform. I’m happy that many people also find it interesting. Several people asked me about the care and cost of the uniform, so I will break it down here witn approximation in USD.
– School pants for winter – 50% wool, 50% polyester: ¥10,150 / USD85
– School pants for summer – 95% polyester, 5% cotton: ¥5,620 / USD47.
– Long sleeved white shirt: ¥1940 / USD 16
– Short sleeved white shirt for summer: ¥1830 / USD15
– Belt: ¥1580 / USD13
– White socks (3 pairs): ¥1080 / USD9
– Inside slippers – to be used all day inside school: about ¥1080 / USD9
– Inside sports shoes – to be used during sports class in the hall: about ¥2,800 / USD23
– Sports uniform – this includes short sleeved T-shirt and shorts, long sleeved top and track pants: about ¥14,000 / USD117
TOTAL: ¥61,680 / USD515
The cost for uniform jacket for girls is slightly lower than the boys, but the skirt costs higher than the pants, so the total cost is more or less the same. I don’t know much about second hand uniform, although I’m sure people can find one to buy. When my husband and I went to the junior high school for the school explanation, there was a hanging rack with several second hand uniform in sale with very cheap price.
The uniform is washable, and actually they are pretty durable. I’ve asked a friend about it, and she said that she washes the uniform by putting them into laundry net bag and use the soft setting on the washing machine. She washes the uniform only on weekends. Sometimes the uniform gets too dirty on weekdays, then it can be washed at night and it will be dry in the morning. She said that she doesn’t have to be extra careful about taking care of the uniform. Her son also uses the same pair of pants for both winter and summer. I’ve seen that his son has spent the entire three years using the same uniform, so I think Sidra’s uniform will be fine.
In addition to the uniform and all the regulated items above, we still have to buy a school bag and a pair of sneakers to be worn during the walk to and from school and outside sports class. The bag and sneakers can be in any color, but we bought both in black for Sidra because well… it looks good with his uniform, isn’t it?
I guess that’s about all that a Japanese high school student needs, besides books and stationery items. Hopefully Sidra will experience a happy three years in these uniform!
Sidra is entering junior high school next month, and this is the uniform that he will be wearing for the next three years. No, I didn’t make this, but it is a very interesting uniform so I want to post about it.
I think every parent with a growing child understand how difficult it is to find a good fitting clothes for their child. A good fitting outfit is nice to look at, but sadly can only be worn for several months or maybe a year.
Then people usually buy or make clothes that several sizes too big to prolong the wearing life, which unfortunately don’t look too good on the child. That is why so many children are wearing either too big or too small clothes.
This set of uniform is not too cheap, so people want them to last for the three years of school life. Not many people want to buy a new set of new uniform each time the child grows up.
But uniform in several sizes too big won’t look too good, not to mention uncomfortable for daily school life. This is where the Japanese engineering comes in. The uniform is designed in such a way that they can be altered to several sizes up!
This is the user’s manual that comes with the uniform. It says something like, “Thank you for purchasing this product. This is the manual to ensure long time wearing.”
First, the usual care information.
The jacket has metal buttons with metal shank on the other side, connected through small buttonhole. In this way, the buttons can be removed and installed back easily. I guess it will create much stronger buttons than the ones attached with thread. As you can see, the buttons on Sidra’s jacket are type A.
The steps for lengthening the sleeves.
Remove the buttons.
Unpick the stitches connecting the lining to the sleeves hem, indicated by yellow thread.
Once the yellow stitches are removed, the hem can be folded out.
Press to remove the fold mark.
Mark the buttons placement.
Attach the buttons back.
I think the sleeves have two levels of hemmed edge. The first level is attached the ordinary way at the edge of the sleeves. Then moving up several cm, the hem and lining are stitched together again using the yellow thread to shorten the sleeves. To lengthen the sleeves, the yellow thread is removed. You can see the tiny yellow stitches in the picture.
The manual shows two types of jacket, one with partial lining and the other with full lining. Sidra’s jacket has full lining. The jacket can be lengthened the same way as the sleeves, by removing the yellow stitches thread along the hem.
The little hands on the manual points the position of the stitches that need to be removed. To keep the hem from falling open, there are several yellow bartacks on the lower part of seamlines. The bartacks are removed as well when lengthening the jacket.
The jacket can be enlarged simply by opening the darts on the underarm of the jacket and the pleats on the lining.
The center back of the pants has two seam lines, one in blue and the other in black. The pants can be enlarged by removing the blue stitches as indicated in the manual.
And here is some more details on the uniform, if you’re interested.
The pants has a name label attached on the lining of the back pocket. The cuffs have snap-on buttons so they can be lengthened as well. Sidra’s pants are actually too long but they have been altered by the store where we bought the uniform.
The inside part of the jacket. The name label is on the inside of the left side upper pocket. The pocket on other side of jacket has zipper.
For me, the most impressive thing is the fact that all these alterations can be done even by someone who has no experience in sewing. No sewing machine needed, and the only hand sewing required is for attaching the buttons on the sleeves – which most people can do.
The shoulders are still a tad too long for Sidra, but I guess altering jacket shoulders with pads is quite a difficult thing to do. The jacket and pants are made with washable wool with a bit of stretch in it so they are quite comfortable to wear.
Now that I don’t have to worry about the uniform becoming too small, I hope they can withstand all the activities that a junior high school boy will do for the whole three years!
The trousers have thigh-length partial lining. I connected the seam allowance at the inseam using chain stitched thread.
Sidra had a blast at the graduation day yesterday, laughing and taking pictures with his friends. Some of the girls from his class were crying as if they will never meet again, but actually most of them will go to the same junior high school.
This is a picture of us in front of our old apartment before going to Sidra’s elementary school entrance ceremony. And the second picture is us in front of the house after the graduation ceremony. Everyone’s getting older now. How time flies by!
Sidra is graduating from elementary school this week! It seemed that not a long time ago he was entering first grade. Time flies so fast. It seems that not a long time ago I made him an entrance ceremony suit.
I asked Sidra to pick the color of the suit he’s going to wear to his graduation ceremony. He said, “I want a white suit!”
I don’t have anything against white suit, really. There must be a right occasion for that, but this is an important event for all the graduating children. It won’t be fair if everyone has their attention caught on this one kid wearing sparkling white suit amidst the sea of greys and blacks.
After several back and forth, fortunately we were able to settle on grey or brown. I bought this grey tweed fabric in Okadaya, Shinjuku. Before I started a project, I love to put the fabrics and all the notions in one plastic bag to make it easier later to find something.
Since Sidra is a bit skinny, I use pattern size 134 cm although his height is 137 cm. The muslin was a bit short, so I lengthened the body about 2.5 cm.
I was considering using proper hair canvas for the interfacing but decided to just use the fusible ones. I’ve never used hair canvas before so I am curious! Maybe for a future project.
I cut the undercollar on bias so it would roll better. Here it is being pinned on the dressmaker’s ham after being steamed into shape. The jacket also has a back stay cut from muslin and a couple of thin shoulder pads. The shoulder pads help to shape the shoulder and upper sleeves.
After stitching the facing, I basted them into place and pressed them.
My husband ordered an adjustable tie from an online store but it turned out to be in adult size. I cut it open, shortened it, and put it back together.
The book is Making Trousers by David Page Coffin, it is a great book with lots of information on construction techniques that couture seamstress might use. I don’t usually use this book for making ordinary pants, but this is a special occasion that deserves special treatment.
Sidra said the fabric is itchy, so I added lining to the pants. The pants has back welt pocket, zipper fly, and grosgrain ribbon waist facing. I added a waistcoat to the outfit, which has a couple of welt pockets on the front. I think by this time I have had enough exercise on making welt pockets!
His comment? “The pockets are not big enough.” LOL. I might change the pockets later after the graduation ceremony. More pictures later!
I haven’t sewed for quite a while because it was too cold so I’m happy that it is now getting warmer everyday! This cropped top is part of Burdastyle February Flagship kit that contains about 40 patterns.
I printed the pattern at 92% as I usually do for Burdastyle patterns, not realizing that it is already a petite pattern! So I have to add the length back to the pattern. I should have used size 17 in normal printed size (100%). If you’re not a petite, this top might be too short as it is already the perfect length for a petite person.
The fabric is some medium-weight cotton with Japanese style pattern. I think I bought it about 5 years ago to make a shirt for Sidra but then he didn’t like the fabric…. Anyway, the top is very simple with only three pattern pieces. The neckline and underarm were finished with bias binding. The original pattern has the back completely open, only connected by a button and loop, I changed it so it is closed with an opening at the top.
I also made a pair of culottes with this Burda pattern, as usual in size 38 printed at 92%. The culottes has two front big pleats, back darts, zipper fly, and a couple of side seam pockets. I hemmed the culottes at midi length.
At first I wasn’t so sure about wearing culottes as this is a new silhouette for me, both culottes and the midi length. I like them, they are more comfortable than a skirt or a pair of pants. My husband said that they look like silat (lndonesian martial arts) pants though!
Since I was already at the sewing machine, I also whipped up a quick T-shirt with some striped jersey. The pattern is based on Ensis tee by Papercut patterns. The top parts are connected back to the bottom parts so it becomes a regular T-shirt pattern. Then I cut a curved form on the front part to make the stripes get distorted a bit at the seamlines.
It is still too cold to wear these tops without a jacket or coat now but I’m ready for spring!