Japanese pattern books are making me brave. They really are. I've always been one totally afraid of deviating from the pattern as is. Branching out and trying different ways to construct a garment... that wasn't for me.
I'd slavishly follow directions even when a little voice would be whispering in my ear there's a better way of doing this...
Or what about changing a pattern - creating a neckline that is more flattering to me, adding a feature, subtracting something that wasn't quite me. Nup, not for me.
I wasn't always that way. During Bimble and Pimble's Sewvember I showed my best make ever. My formal (prom for North Americans) dress created when I was 15 (yeah, you enjoy clicking on that one), with the tagline Fearless, fearsome 15yr old me. And I was, fearsome that is. Go on click the link, I know you want to. We're talking largely self-drafted, couture techniques including fully boned bodice. I was the bomb! And I can barely remember how I did it...
I decided to take part in the Japanese Sewalong over on www.tanoshii-schneirdern.blogspot.com
being hosted by Catrin. (In fact the Pineapple Dress of Happiness was my first sewn item for the Sewalong. I just got so excited I forgot to mention it).
Anyone can join in and really, it was a no-brainer for me. It's no secret I have a burgeoning love affair with Japanese pattern books (see Dandelion Drift, the Siesta Dress, The Traffic Stopper Dress, the Sunshine on a Rainy Day Dress, and the Pineapple Dress of Happiness).
Dudes I found my groove.. and good god I like it.
And they fit me! Me! Right out of the packet, so to speak. No SBAs in sight! Clearly they are made for people with no boobs. Me!
This is the Giant Bow-Tie Tunic using pattern A, version 2, from Jinto Matsumoto's Feminine Wardrobe.
Obviously sans bow. In all it's trapeze gloriousness.
I made it up in a divine printed cotton sateen remnant I picked up on my first foray to Pitt Trading in Sydney. I'd never been before. It's close to my home, but I had the impression from their website that they specialised in very special occasion (ie wedding) fabrics and trims. Let me tell you it's a trove of fabulousness, and they are currently redeveloping their website to truly reflect their stock.
This fabric has a lushness to it that makes me want to sew expensive fabrics all the time. Unfortunately my budget is small all the time. But remnants... now those I can afford.
It needed to be made up... now. I was willing to forgo the bow on this make to just make it up!!!
And I am a happy little camper.
But what about this bravery I mentioned?? Not only did I not have enough fabric for a bow, I didn't have enough fabric for the facings included in the pattern. I drafted my own small facing to encase the back neckline slit. I know, it's such a small thing, but it's having done something similar on a Japanese pattern before that filled me with the confidence to just get on with it. Lord knows where teen Jillian went. I used to know this shit!
I now also tend to look at the line drawings for the patterns rather than the stylised photos of the pieces and I find myself figuring out how I could make it just a little bit different, use a pattern as a base for something entirely different. It's very cool.
Suffice to say I have another woohoo make! I love it like I love my Roxanne top. It makes me feel a million bucks.