I had just given my Japanese sewing books a good working over for Kid's Clothes Week (here, here and here) when the call went out to join a Japanese Sewing Week. Never one to let life get in the way of sewing I was IN!
If you're new to my blog then hello. I use this space to document what I've made - hopefully in order to prevent ever making the same mistakes twice (you can guess how well that works). You may choose to skip to the giveaway at the end, just look at the pictures or read every word. Mostly I stick to sewing talk but sometimes get distracted by native Australian fowl, or some such....
My daughter has been wanting a "real, proper nightie" for some time now. I have a strong pyjama making history (this being my 18th pair) but never yet, a nightie. And still, I haven't sewn a nightie, as these are, you guessed correctly, pyjamas. :)
But they're white and lacy and she adores them. (to the point of constantly rolling around or prancing and generally making any decent photography almost impossible!)
The pattern is pattern 19 from Girl's Life by Mayumi Yamagata (ebay link) published by Bunka Books. I picked up my copy in a local secondhand bookshop when it was closing down.
The patterns are for girls from size 100cm to 150cm but each pattern only covers the smaller or larger half of the size range. There are quite a few patterns that would make fantastic school uniform dresses, a couple of pretty dresses, a pair of shorts, some overall shorts and a jacket. And, of course, the nightie and pyjamas. The nightie was in the larger size range, so the pyjamas were chosen instead. I've made size 110cm for my 4&3/4 year old.
This pattern sheet caused me to pause... It's organised by size rather than pattern. So first, you work out which are the markings for the size you want to make. Then you find the mass of those type of lines. This is the size you want, but every pattern in the book is there, one on top of the other. The individual patterns are numbered along each line, so you need to do a sort of dot-to-dot to trace off the correct pattern. Of course don't forget to add seam allowances.
The pintucks are created on the fabric first and then the front of the blouse is cut from the pintucked fabric. I misread the diagrams and didn't add the required 1cm seam allowance to the front neckline. Oops. It's not entirely clear from the cutting diagram, but you DO need to add a seam allowance to the front neckline.
My other gaff was in not realising that the notions called for 1cm lace all around, EXCEPT for those bits at each side of the pintucks. They should have been a smaller, half centimetre lace. That meant I ran out of 1cm lace just shy of the second trouser leg. As the law of Blog Tour Sewing would have it, the extra lace I bought doesn't quite match the original. You wouldn't have noticed, but like I said, I confess in order to try not to make the same mistakes twice!
The pyjama pants have a nice, comfy waistband incorporating two channels for 5mm (1/4inch) elastic. No idea why that feels much nicer but it does.
Now you can reach out to try and win some fabulous prizes through the Rafflecopter widget below. Three lucky winners will receive either 2 japanese sewing books from Tuttle Publishing or a $40 fabric voucher from Urban Sew. Great sewing books and gorgeous fabrics! Go for it.
This should be the point where I stop, and direct you to another participating blog. However, just as I was sewing the last hem of these pyjamas there was an announcement that blog participants who sewed from a Tuttle publishing book could be in the running for a prize for themselves.
Ok life, step aside again, there's more sewing to be done!
In almost no time, this darling little skirt sewed itself together. It's pattern C (double layered skirt) from Sew Sweet - Handmade Clothes for Girls by Yuki Araki. I'm a huge fan of Yuki Araki's clothes designs for girls, having a few of her other books. They are always such lovely designs and very nicely fitted. This is the only book of hers that I have in English (thank you Tuttle!) and I enjoy reading the notes about fit, styling and her own daughters that are scattered throughout the book.
It's a simple skirt, being two rectangles gathered to a waistband. My original intention had been to put the patterned skirt under the plain skirt, but when I'm trying to sew and ignore demands (like kindy pick up time) I am prone to errors. Still, we both like it better this way!
I created my "ribbon" using some satin turned into a narrow tube. By using lightweight fabrics for the skirt I could do french seams for the side seams and fully enclose the waistband seams so it's nice and clean on the insides.
She wasn't drawing on my pattern books, but writing me teeny, tiny notes in her fairy sized notebook.
That must be enough from me! Check out today's other Japanese Sewing Week participants:
If you sew anything from a Japanese Sewing book then join in the party by using the hashtag #japanesesewingweek. And don't forget to check the Japanese Sewing Week roll call over at Made by Sara for each day's links.
Pyjamas: pattern 19 Girl's Life, size 110cm, polycotton and cotton lace trim from Spotlight
Skirt: pattern "c" Sew Sweet, size 110cm, Cotton print from The Fabric Store, mystery pink polycotton from the stash, satin bias trim for ribbon.