I love Instagram challenges such as Sew Japanese in January as they really do spur me on to make all the things I’ve been planning from my Japanese sewing books. Having said that, it looks as though I will only have one make for the challenge this January, but I am motivated to get on and make a couple of the others.
I decided to use Pattern b from Asuka Hamada Sweet Clothes, as I bought the book last year in Sydney for this very pattern and then decided it might make me look enormous at the top.
However, every time I got the book out my eyes fell to those sleeves and I knew I was going to have to make it.
I used a lovely piece of 1970s rayon given to me by my daughter-in-law, which came from her grandmother’s stash, so I felt very privileged and new it would have to be used for something special.
It was a very relaxing make, in spite of all the instructions being in Japanese. Luckily the diagrams are really self-explanatory and I didn’t have to puzzle over a thing.
In my stash I had a single rectangular vintage button that was exactly right for this top, and, although I can’t see it, it makes me happy knowing it’s there.
It turns out that my worries about the top were ill-founded, I think it’s quite flattering. And, oh, how I adore those sleeves! This is me trying to hide the hose – it’s really hard taking photos sometimes as the shadows interfere. I need to lift my game, I think.
whilst I was making it I began to fret about what I could wear with it. I knew my black self-drafted trousers would be fine, but it’s a bit hot for them in the summer, so I auditioned a couple of things. I tried it with this wrap skirt, but then decided the skirt has seen better days – it’s a bit stretched out of shape. I have a plan for its reincarnation though!
My trusty denim skirt is the answer to all my prayers. I made this skirt in about 2013 and have worn it constantly since. Summer and winter. It goes with nearly everything, including this top!
I adore the sleeves, which I may have mentioned, but noticed a problem when driving with the window down. Yes, the air gets under them and they fly everywhere, to the point of being a bit of a nuisance, especially on a long drive.
Although the sleeves are long, it’s quite airy under there, so I don’t feel hot. However, I do feel as though the neck is too high, so I’m already planning my next one with a couple of simple tweaks.
This is a pattern I can definitely recommend. The only issue is the sizing – I made a medium-large grading to a small-medium at the hips. For reference, I have a 92cm bust and 89/90cm hips. There are only two sizes given. I don’t know how hard it would be to grade the pattern up or down, but I suspect there’s a similar pattern out there somewhere with more inclusive sizing.
This make also qualifies for a couple of other IG challenges: Make a Garment a Month, the theme for which is “Genuine January”. I was going to use a genuine vintage Japanese pattern, before my eyes lit on this book, but I’m using genuine vintage fabric, and I genuinely love the top! The other challenge is Sew Your Books, and although this is my first make from this particular book, it won’t be my last as there is a shirt I have my eye on!