Phew! This Halloween costume has been in the works for, what feels like, fooorever. It’s ridiculous when I start thinking about just how much time (and money) I’ve spent on this kid’s Halloween costume! But it was such a fun challenge for me – I really love making Halloween costumes!! I get a lot of enjoyment out of trying to figure out ways to translate a picture or a character into something tangible, an outfit, or a costume. So here’s the back story . . . Continue reading
Hello!! I’m here with a tutorial today that I’m really excited about! 3 years ago, I made a Totoro costume for Yuki and it was a huge hit with Totoro fans around the world. Since then I’ve been getting regular emails about custom orders for costumes or selling the pattern for it, but I don’t do either. I figured the least I can do is a tutorial for the costume so people can try their hand at making one themselves! Continue reading
So I have exactly one project coming out of this Kids Clothes Week, but I’m pretty damn excited about it! The (optional) theme for this season was Kid Art and while this dress was probably the last thing I needed to make, I got really excited by the idea of getting Yuki involved in creating a one-of-a-kind garment for herself. I had all sorts of ideas like fabric painting, stenciling, iron on transfers, etc. But I knew I didn’t have much time so I could only pick one thing. If you know me, you know that I looooove fabric painting (like this cardigan, this hat and bag, and this dress) and I thought Yuki should have a go at it since she loves painting too!
So I’ve got a new project for you today. But when I say new project, I mean it’s never been posted before, but it’s something I actually made a year ago. And then photographed a couple months ago. And I’m just finally getting around to blogging it now. Oops! Better late than never right?
I call it the Strawberry Edelweiss Dress because, well, the strawberry part should be obvious and you may recognize the pattern as the Edelweiss Dress by Hey June. This dress is actually a knock off of a dress I saw a little girl wearing in a picture. I’m pretty sure it was a store bought dress and I thought it was adorable and I immediately realized the Edelweiss pattern would be perfect to recreate it. Later on I saw a little girl wearing the same dress in blue at IKEA, so I’m thinking the original may be from a big company like Carter’s or something, but I don’t have a picture of the original.
This month I’m taking a bit of a blogging break and enjoying time away from the computer. I’ve done a lot of sewing recently though, so I’ll have a lot to catch up on when I’m back! Reposting this project, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series. Mmmm . . . triple gauze . . .
Ooooh, do I have some amazing fabric to share with you today!
TRIPLE GAUZE. Did you know it existed? I did not, until very recently, and I am now a huge fan! If you think single gauze is lovely and double gauze is dreamy, well, triple gauze is downright heavenly.
The triple gauze available in the Miss Matatabi Shop is reversible, which makes it even more awesome! Before I washed it, it was smooth and soft. When it came out of the wash, it was like a fluffy cloud! Double and triple gauzes are multiple layers of gauze fabric that are attached every couple of centimeters, essentially basting or quilting the fabric. After washing and drying, the fabric was already like a perfectly lightweight quilt. Continue reading
Bringing home this post from March, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series. This is the THIRD Washi Dress that I’ve made (see 1 and 2), not to mention, the wedding dress I made from a hacked version of the pattern! Can you tell I love it? By the way, this fabric is still available in the Miss Matatabi shop!
When looking through Frances’ fabulous shop, this gorgeous cotton voile caught my eye. It’s called Starry Night and comes in several beautiful colors. I knew immediately that this lightweight fabric would make something wonderful to wear for the upcoming warm weather months.
Head over to Elsie Marley for Day 2 of the Happy Homemade Sew-along!!
I’ll be back tomorrow with Day Three :)
It’s here! We are FINALLY starting the sew-along! Are you pumped? I know I am!
First of all, it was brought to my attention that in my original sew-along announcement, I said that the deadline to enter your pull-over pictures into the Flickr group was June 30, instead of June 23. Unfortunately, I listed the wrong date and I’m soooo sorry if this caused an inconvenience to anyone! :( The correct date is next Monday, June 23. Of course, you can enter pictures into the Flickr group anytime, even if you can’t finish it by next week! But if you’d like it included in the drawing for the prize or our round-ups, your pictures will need to be uploaded by next Monday. Sorry again!
Today we are going to be locating our pattern pieces, tracing and adding seam allowance. Honestly, these first few steps are often the most confusing and intimidating for me when I use a Japanese sewing book – even more than the actual sewing steps! Using the English version helps A TON here, but it can still be a little confusing since it’s so different from using a PDF pattern, for example. So I’m going to walk you through the steps and the great news is, this will help you with not only this book and pattern, but you can apply these tricks and skills to any Japanese sewing book since they basically follow the same format!
Anyways, let’s get started.
On the directions page for the pull-over parka, it’ll list all the pattern pieces you’ll need. For this pattern there is the back, front, sleeve and hood and the pattern label is “s.” That letter is going to help us locate everything we need for this pattern. First I’m going to go through all the steps using the English version of the book since I think that’s what most people are using. But if you’re using the Japanese version of the book, I’ll help you locate the pattern for that book at the end of this post.
Pull out your pattern sheets. There will be two double-sided sheets labeled Pattern Sheet 1, 2, 3 and 4. Each has a table of contents, if you will. And you’ll see that the pattern pieces for “S” are scattered, one piece per sheet. The back piece is on sheet 1, the front piece is on sheet 2, the hood is on sheet 3 and the sleeve is on sheet 4.
I’m going to show you the front piece as an example. That is located on Pattern Sheet 2.
Unfold the sheet and you should be able to find the “S FRONT” pattern right next to the table of contents. The lines are burgundy and all the S pattern pieces will be in that same color, which will make it easier to find and distinguish from the other overlapping patterns. Congrats! You’ve completed step one – finding your pattern piece!
Now before you begin tracing, take a look at this diagram that is on the directions page of your book (below). This little picture has a ton of important information and you’ll find yourself referring to it quite a lot.
Super crucial note – Japanese patterns DO NOT INCLUDE SEAM ALLOWANCE. You must add it yourself!
Even though I know this and have known this forever, I still forget sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve traced my pattern pieces super close together or close to the edge of the paper only to realize that I need to add seam allowance and have no room. LEAVE ROOM FOR SEAM ALLOWANCE!
Take a look at “front” pattern piece on the diagram. It’s on the bottom right corner and you can see that it is placed on the fold. The other edges will need seam allowance added. The standard seam allowance is 3/8 in or 1 cm. If there is no number specified in the diagram, you can assume that the seam allowance is 3/8 in (1cm). Looking at the front piece, the only edge that has a different seam allowance is the bottom edge where it says 1 1/4 in (3cm). Be sure to leave room for seam allowance when you trace your pattern piece.
There are several ways you can add seam allowance to your pattern. Some people like to do it while tracing. Meg shared a SUPER awesome and simple tip on one way to do that in her post during the Japanese Sewing Book Series. There are also some tools that add seam allowance as you’re cutting. I just do it the old fashioned way of tracing the pattern first, then measuring the seam allowance and drawing those lines separately.
Trace your pattern! I lined up the edge of my tracing paper with the edge of my front pattern piece that is on the fold, since that side does not need added seam allowance. Making sure I had room on the other sides for adding SA, I traced the lines for size 2. Be sure to trace any markings from the pattern as well.
Use a ruler to measure 3/8 in (1cm) from the side seam and draw a line.
For curved edges, I measure and mark the seam allowance every centimeter or so and then connect the dots.
Woohoo! One pattern piece down, three more to go! Follow these steps for the rest of your pieces.
The other night, I got an email from Gail asking specifically about the sleeve pattern piece. At the bottom of the sleeve, it tells you to add 1 1/4 in (3cm), but the seam allowance flares out at an angle. The pattern doesn’t give you any information about how to determine that angle or why you’re doing it that way. Since I was pretty stumped, I consulted my Japanese pattern gurus, Sanae and Frances to find out more. Frances located this helpful link and like a light bulb, it suddenly all made sense. That site is in Japanese, so I decided to make my own little diagram to help explain . . .
If you add seam allowance to your pattern piece and it continues to angle inwards at the bottom, when you fold it up to hem, you won’t have enough width. Your hem will be narrower than the sleeve and you’ll have trouble sewing that hem down without stretching or some pleating of fabric. No good!
Instead, you want the excess fabric at the bottom of the sleeve to angle outwards so that when it’s folded up, it is at the same angle as the sleeve. That way you’ll have enough width to reach the edges of the sleeve and hemming will be a breeze!
Does that make sense?
Still, it doesn’t tell you exactly how to create these lines and honestly, I just eyeballed it. You could fold the paper at the bottom of the sleeve to trace the sides (the bottom edge is slightly curved, but I think you could ignore that and it’d still be fine. Either way, I wouldn’t stress about it too much, just do your best :)
If you’re using the Japanese version of the book, all the steps are exactly the same, the only difference is that the pattern sheets are a little crazier and finding the pattern pieces you need is more difficult.
Up at the top of the directions, it tells you where you can find your pattern pieces. In this case it’s on “side A.”
Side A of the pattern sheet lists the four “S” pieces you’ll need – back, front, sleeve and hood.
This is what that crazy mess of a pattern sheet looks like. Look for the letter “s” and you’ll notice that all the S pattern pieces are green. Others are black and some are shaded in green – this will help you tell the patterns apart. Dig around – you’ll find all your pieces!
Yay, there they are!
Then follow the rest of the steps above.
Once you’ve traced your 4 pattern pieces, added your seam allowance and labeled the pieces, go ahead and cut them out and lay them aside for Day TWO! Also, if you haven’t yet, be sure to wash, dry and iron your fabric so you’ll be all ready to cut and prep for sewing tomorrow.
Be sure to share any in progress photos on Instagram (#happyhomemadesewalong) or the Flickr group and if you have any questions, leave a comment! Can’t wait to see yours as it comes together!
Tomorrow’s post will be up on Meg’s blog. See you there!
See the rest of the sew-along posts here:
Thanks to everyone for entering the Happy Homemade Sew-Along Giveaway! The three lucky winners are:
Now if you didn’t win the giveaway, but still want to participate in the sew-along, but don’t yet have the book . . . well, you better get moving! If you’re ordering online, you’ll need some time for shipping. So where can you get one? I’m here to help!
But before we get to that, I just wanted to talk to anyone who might be on the fence about getting this book . . .
GET OFF THE FENCE.
This is definitely one of THE most popular Japanese sewing books and for good reason! It’s packed cover to cover with really great, classic styles that you can use over and over again. See more pictures in my book review and Meg’s (she has a ton of photos of all of the amazing things she’s made from the book). And it’s not even expensive! The book has 20 patterns. I’ve seen the book priced between $13-17 and even with shipping costs, we’re talking maybe $1-2 MAX PER PATTERN! That’s an amazing deal.
Now that you’re ready to buy it, where should you start? Well I find online shopping super convenient, but sometimes I don’t like paying for shipping and handling if I can avoid it. If you’re interested in the English version, Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids, I’d call your local bookstores. Larger chains might carry it or maybe your local sewing/fabric shop.
If you’re interested in buying online, I’ve found a few places you can try:
If you are up for a challenge, and want to buy the Japanese version, Happy Homemade Vol.2, the best bet to buy it locally is at a Japanese bookstore like Kinokuniya. Some Japanese supermarkets have book sections, so you can always try those as well.
As for online sources, here are some links:
Ok, it’s time to get shopping! You gotta make sure you can get the book in your hands by Monday, June 16th when the sew-along begins!
*Edited to add: a couple of people commented that they found the book at their local LIBRARY! That’s brilliant! What a great way to check out the book and see if it’s worth buying. So definitely check there first if you’re still on the fence about buying the book*
Do you know of any stores, local or online that sell either version of the book? If so, leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the list!
I’m posting over at Miss Matatabi today with my May Miss Matatabi Makers project. Errr . . . let’s pretend it’s still May, ok?
I made a MINI Sidekick Mini Suitcase with this adorable Nesshome Cheater Patch fabric. It was no small feat and I thought I might never finish, but a few nights worth of hard work and I’m reeeally quite happy with how it came out. The inside of the case is lined with some super soft double gauze too. Go and check out all the details and plenty more pics at Miss Matatabi!
And did you catch my Happy Homemade Sew-Along announcement?? Be sure to get all the details there AND today is the last day to enter the giveaway for a copy of the book! Go now and enter!