Adventures in Sewing from Japanese Patterns
July 3rd, 2009 | Link
Recently I’ve been inspired to try sewing from Japanese pattern books. I purchased some books from Pomadour24’s Craft Café on Etsy and was very happy with the experiencethe books arrived from Japan in about a week. There are several stores on Etsy that sell them, and in most cases the sellers have photographed or scanned pages from the books so that you can see what the patterns look like. I’ve also been reading Japan Couture Addicts, a French blog by Japanese sewing fans who post their creations. It’s a little weird to be reading in French about Japanese patterns, and I only get about half of it (I studied French for 10 years at school, but haven’t had much occasion to use it in the 25-odd years since), but it’s interesting to see how the finished garments look on different body types, and to see how people have modified the patterns. A couple of times I’ve dismissed a pattern at first look, then seen how someone else had made it up and fallen in love with it.
If you’ve done basic garment sewing, it’s not hard to follow the patterns. The biggest challenge is usually finding and tracing all the pattern pieces from the giant piece of paper that accompanies the book. Once you’ve traced the pieces, you also have to add in the seam allowances, which I was struggling with a bitstraight lines are easy, but curves were a bit of a pain until I discovered this brilliant tip of using the sewing machine. I also found a lot of useful information from this series on sewing from Japanese craft books and from this list of translations.
So far I’ve made a couple of summer tops and a skirt (sorry, not the best photo of the skirtit was really windy that day), and the muslin for a dress that I might sew up with what’s left of this long weekend. There will probably be quite a few more postings on this subject in the weeks to come.