One of the things I've been talking a lot about is this Japanese top, as part of Cecili’s Sew-Along. I was supposed to make one of my "Tees, Tunics & Blouses" out of this:
And here's my version.
Part of the fun, to me, is adapting patterns, though I more often than not do this to my detriment and that was the case with this one. I wasn't quite sure how the top would fit me and I was dubious the sleeves would flatter me (why can't I have a giraffe-like figure where everything looks good?). I used stash-fabric, so in my head I started imagining my version would look something like this Built by Wendy dress:
Anyway, even though I had wonderful examples on how to use this pattern, including Cecili's black and white tunic, Zoe's groovy version, Minnado's brown version and Alison's dress, I kept altering and re-altering it. It was longer, it was shorter. It had an elastic waist, it didn't. Dress. Tunic. Dress. Tunic. Ah! It never looked wrong, but it never looked right, either. The v-band took forever (because I kept screwing it up), and it's not perfect, but I do like the shape. Basting became my BFF.
And, in regard to my essential criteria:
- Does it meet the rule of three? I'm still lukewarm on whether I like this, but I'll definitely wear it three times. I think it's classic enough to pull off, perhaps with cigarette pants. I'm also considering chopping it to make it more blouse-y.
- Does the pattern have remake potential? I couldn't recreate this if I tried given all the altering, so no. But I had a ton of fun tracing the Japanese pattern and would totally do that again. In fact, the experience is making me consider a store-bought pattern embargo. I've got enough to last me awhile and I can start experimenting with tracing and fitting.
- Did you use fabric from your stash? Yes!
- Will this be able to replace something you love less? That's unclear yet, since I'm not sure of it's usefulness. But I always find that it's the things I'm lukewarm with at first that I end up clinging to the most long-term. I'm like that with people, too. :0
In other news...
Thanks for your amazing comments on cutting/space! I'll have you know I'm already taking your advice. Look! Ziplock bags, projects ready to go.
I even put aside a designated sewing space by giving up my desk for the summer. I've never considered doing this, but as someone who largely works from home, this will actually force me do some of my work from libraries and cafes, where I can focus rather than veering off into blog-land while I'm on deadline (or spending all day languishing in my pajamas! I need an excuse to dress up and leave the house! :).
A few plugs to my fellow Japanese top sew-alongers
- If you missed out on the fun, Alison is hosting July's sew-along, click here for the deets. I may pass on July, since I'm behind on my essentials, but the pattern looks lovely
- Cecili, our host of Japanese top sew-along part 1, is a Japanese-pattern queen and now she's on a Dior kick. Where did this woman learn how to sew, and can I live there?
- Zoe wrote a beautiful and eloquent post on forgiveness in regard to your handmade wardrobe. I keep thinking about it. Every home sewer should read it, in my opinion. Find it here.
Finally, two great posts on summer sewing. Jessica shows us how to line a sleeveless dress and Gertie's got great tips on summer sewing (the lazy gal in me may just try some sew-in interfacing)!