Facebook, Friends and the World Made Smaller

So, I posted to facebook my pure joy at finding a Japanese Pattern Book and wanting to sew from it. Cricket piped up that Masako might be able to help me interpret the pattern book! Um, excitement. Masako speaks and I presume writes in Japanese. I have lots of questions and we have made a date! And just so you have it, and if you want to purchase it and sew…along…with me, here is the link to the pattern. You will also need the magazine, which gives full illustrations of how to approach sewing the garment together. You can just purchase the magazine, though. It has a full sized pattern tucked into the back (mashed up with all the other patterns in the magazine). You will just need to trace it off, add seam allowances and then start cutting.

To say that I have obsessive compulsive tendencies does not quite cover the scope of my ability to focus. It is more like I have an inner hound, a scent, a trail and I am doing my primordial job. Last night I began tracing the pattern off. I need to discern what seam allowances should go where, for instance, I think this blouse has a 1/4″ clean finished hem, but the illustration says 1.7 cm in one place (with a drawing of a turned hem) and a reference to 2.5 centimeters in another. So. Hmmm…

What I love about the illustrations are that if you know anything about clothing construction and pattern making you can figure out how to draft your own version of the pattern, the illustrations give that much detail. I sure wish the U.S. would make the switch to centimeters.

Today I will wash the cloth and finish tracing the pieces and adding seam allowances. I like having the ability to decide what my seam allowances should be. I think that American patterns generally cater to an odd mindset. I don’t understand using a 5/8th” seam just to fussily cut it down to a 1/4″. Shouldn’t you just learn to sew a 1/4″ seam? Beside which, when I was a sample cutter and learning to sew, the professionals used a 1/4″ seam in almost every instance, except for special instances, like sleeves, where a 1/2″ was used.

And because stretching is my part time job, and we mentioned OCD tendencies, I show you my stretch log and my helpful stretching sticks.

So, what do you say? Would you like to do a sew along with me? You don’t need to make this blouse, you can make any blouse you would like. Or  dress, or…??

If you would like to do this, I will create a Flickr group so we can share our photos in a single place. Leave a comment if you are interested.

6 thoughts on “Facebook, Friends and the World Made Smaller

  1. I love the idea of working along with you, it may be just the kickstart I need to get some of the ideas in my head to become reality. Not sure what I will make yet though 🙂


  2. Hi Melly giving this posting a comment thing another try. Love your new website and blog and I’m so glad you are back blogging. I am following your adventures in garment construction with a side of japanese translation with keen interest even though I no longer sew clothing, I used to make lots of cute clothes for my three children when they were little, but now quilting has taken over my life, and it seems there is no time for much else. I am attending a two day workshop with Jeanette de Nicolis Meyer this weekend so am very excited about that, and need to get onto finding some silk organza to paint and dye on, heaven! Can’t wait to see your new book too, congratulations on its publication!


  3. I will be watching as you work your way through the pattern. I purchased a Japanese pattern magazine a year ago and have wanted to make one of the tops in it but just can’t seem to find the time. One of these days. I found too, that so many of the Japanese clothing styles would look marvelous in some cloth with wonderful surface design.


  4. Hello there! I found you while searching for others who have used this magazine – I just ordered my copy from Japan. I would love to join you in a sew-along! I have used Japanese patterns before but without really understanding what I was doing. Ooh – exciting!


  5. Love the “new you” website and blog! Very professional, and I can’t wait for my book to come either! I saw this very neat kimono style jacket in a store the other day and since I’ve been toying with making one for ages, I might just get out the supplies I know I have and make that along with you, with my crappy American, not metric, pattern and my usual “argue with the instructions” construction style. I am so interested to see how your blouse will turn out! Spring is sprunging!!


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