Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm Sewing Japanese, Oh Yes I Think So

The other day I received a few books I ordered from Amazon.  One was for school, but the other two? Sewing of course!  The first is this:  Simple Modern Sewing

This book has a variety of tops, skirts, pants, and dresses.  It has 8 basic patterns, but the variations add up to 25 different garments.  Actually there are more.  For example, the blouse you see on the cover is shown as it is from cotton, a sleeveless version from wool gauze, and a longer, dress version with long sleeves from denim.  You could use any of the sleeves on any of the lengths, and that would give you 3 more options!
I decided to make the crop pants.  I had some perfect "aluminum" colored linen from  I love their linen and it's very reasonably priced.  This is 5.3 oz.  I just checked the website, and they don't have this color right now.  They change their colors often, but some are always available.
These are simple elastic waist pants, but I really like the belt, which I almost decided not to make.  I think the belt loops are a little detail that ups the RTW factor. Also, for some reason, I really like the shape of the legs.  The pants use 3/4" elastic.  The only 3/4" that I had was knit elastic, so it may be a bit soft and stretchy for these pants.  Next time I will probably use non-roll unless I am using a lighter weight fabric.  There is also a pocket on the back.
Speaking of the back, I must have a Japanese butt because these pants were made straight from the envelope and I didn't make any alterations to the crotch!  The only alteration I did make was to taper in a little from the hip to the waist.  The size small has a 40 inch hip and the same at the waist.  My hips are 38, so I tapered the waist in to 38 so that I could get them over my hips, but eliminate a bit of the bulk at the waist.
Overall, I'm really happy with these pants.  They were quick and easy to make.  Now that I know that they fit, it will be quicker to make additional pairs.

The book is a Japanese Sewing book and has all of the patterns included.  They are printed on sheets sort of like Burdastyle with many overlapping.  I have traced plenty of Burda patterns, but this one was really a challenge for some reason.  There were pants and a dress printed on one sheet, but I could not figure out where the pants line was.  I think the main reason for my confusion was that the side seam was different for the cropped pants compared to the long pants. It took me a while to figure this out.  It is also helpful to know that on these pattern sheets, one pattern will have the top at the opposite end of the other patterns.  Once I figured these things out, it made it a lot easier.

I really like several of the patterns in this book.  Usually my style is more fitted type garments, but I think I just want some easy comfortable style garments as well.

I also bought another book called Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom.  This is by a different author, but the garments have the same flavor.  This book has only dresses and tops.  Most of the patterns in the book are made with Liberty of London prints.  LoL is beautiful fabric, but usually out of my budget.  I am a huge fan of Lawn though, and love to sew with it and wear it. and Fabricmart fabrics usually both have a variety of lawn to choose from. also sells Liberty of London Tana Lawn.

There are quite a few things in this book that I would like to make.  I think you really have to be careful with these loose styles that you have a fabric that drapes well.  That is why I really like cotton lawn.  It is much finer than quilting cotton, has a smoother hand, and usually doesn't need much ironing.  I have found that there are some cottons available at quilting stores that do have really good drape.  The one I've found that I like most is Moda.  It has a silky hand and tends to look better in clothes than other quilting cottons.

All I really want to do today is do more sewing, but we have a lot of things on our "list" today, so I'm doubting that I will get to.  Maybe I'll at least get to trace another pattern!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Loes Hinse revisited

I haven't made much from Loes Hinse lately - well, truth be told, I haven't made much lately, period!  My job is really interfering with my sewing time!!  Anyway, my "job" is precisely why I need to be sewing!  I don't have anything to wear!!  We are having an interminable summer here.  Of course, this would be the year that our air conditioner died over a month ago and we chose NOT to spend $6,000 to replace it - OUCH!  Well, we finally broke down and bought two window units and are using those to hold us over until next summer.  At least we can sleep now - and my sewing room is cool since it is right off the master bedroom - yay!

I bought this rayon blend linen-look fabric several years ago, so I really don't even know what it is, but I'm sure it is mostly rayon just by the feel, drape, and shiny threads in the selvedges.  It's fairly heavy, but very drapey.  I originally bought it to make a skirt and top, but only bought 2 yards (what was I thinking?)  Well, I must have been thinking of this, because I had exactly what I needed.  Well, actually, I was a pinch short, so I pieced the flounce, but that worked out perfectly.

This is the Loes Hinse cap sleeve top.  There is this version, and then one with a lower neck.  I have made the lower neck version, but don't have any pictures of that one yet.  I paired it with the swing skirt in view B.  Both of these garments are super quick to make and easy.  The top has the neck and armhole edges just serged and turned under and stitched.  The skirt has an elastic waist (which I made too big and now have to go back and re-do it.) and the flounce is also serged, turned under, and stitched.  If you don't have a serger, you can get the same result by zigzagging and stitching.

I'm pleased with how this turned out and it is a nice neutral look that can change up with accessories. (Just like I have accessorized with this most perfectly darling grandchild!)  I definitely see more of these coming to my closet soon!