Japanese sewing book series: A sunny spot

JSBS_button500Hello and welcome! I had the honor of guest posting over at you & mie today, and gave a rundown on how to construct a garment using the instructions in Japanese pattern books. If you haven’t already, be sure to go check out the full week’s worth of posts. There is quite a bit of useful information that will help you navigate your way through these books. It’s been so much fun to work on this post with Cherie (and Sanae, who provides invaluable translating help)!

My most sewn-from Japanese pattern book to date has been the first version of A Sunny Spot (2010), which (eta) has an assortment of girls clothes in sizes 90-130 cm.

20130328-_DSC0166It’s always fun to see what patterns are in these books, and since I think this is a good basic book of girls patterns, I thought I show you what’s inside. I’ve added a few pics of the garments I’ve sewn from this book, too.  Ready for some eye candy?

Pattern A: High waist dress

One of the great things about this book (and many Japanese pattern books) is that it’s relatively easy to interchange some of the pattern pieces for different looks. You can swap sleeves, skirts, bodices, etc. This book provides more than one version of each pattern.

  • Type 1: back button dress20130328-_DSC0213
  • Type 2: Dot tunic blouse 20130328-20130328-_DSC0186 Here’s my version (more here)
  • 20130328-DSC_2655Type 3: Coat style dress20130328-20130328-_DSC0188My version (more here)20130328-_DSC0174
  • Type 4: puffed sleeve dress

20130328-20130328-_DSC0189 Pattern B: A-line dress

  • Type 1: Dangaree dress (and bolero)20130328-20130328-_DSC0190
  • Type 2: Lovely dress20130328-20130328-_DSC0192
  • Type 3: V-neck blouse 20130328-20130328-_DSC0193

Pattern D: Skirt

  • Gathered skirt20130328-20130328-_DSC0196
  • Tucked skirt20130328-20130328-_DSC0197My version (more here)20130328-DSC_2663 20130328-_DSC0172

Pattern D: Camisole

  • Camisole with lace (spring & summer version)20130328-20130328-_DSC0198
  • Camisole with wide straps (autumn & winter version)   20130328-20130328-_DSC0199This is one of my favorites… I’ve sewn a couple of these, and fully intend to make more. It’s such a great shape and so versatile! Here’s one of the ones I’ve made:20130328-DSC_2658

Pattern E: Knit tunic

  • Back ribbon tunic (this is awesome- perfect solution to the knit shirt minus the fiddly knit neckband!)20130328-20130328-_DSC0200
  • Layered style dress (love this!)20130328-20130328-_DSC0201

Pattern F: Cardigan dress

  • Short cardigan20130328-20130328-_DSC0203
  • Long cardigan20130328-20130328-_DSC0204My version (more here)20130328-20130328-_DSC0184

Pattern G: Coat

  • Linen spring coat20130328-20130328-_DSC0206
  • Quilted coat with round collar20130328-20130328-_DSC0207

So? What are you waiting for? Get your hands on one of these awesome books and give it a go. Worst case scenario? They’re absolutely lovely to look at and will provide great inspiration.

Want some more inspiration? Check out this site. (You’re forewarned, this is a French site about Japanese sewing patterns. Just click on the picture of the book you’re interested in on the left, and all the garments people have posted from that book will come up.) Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend. :-)

for the birthday girl

happy tuesday! i hope everyone had a fantastic memorial day weekend. i wish i could say i spent it sewing, but in reality i’ve been super busy for the last week or so. i was in chicago for a few days for work, and even though i got to stay at a super fancy hotel (ritz-carlton, baby!), i was so busy with work that i barely got to spend any time in my luxurious suite. it was amazing though, how easy it was to fly when traveling sans child! as i’m sure all you moms out there know, this is a luxury in and of itself. ;) i got to read up on photography a bit on one of my flights… now that i’m blogging, i hope to improve my photography skills. and maybe even brave my husband’s super intimidating dslr. soon!

the past couple of days have been spent back here in cool and rainy portand with extended family. my niece is turning 2 this week, and i was miraculously able to make her a couple of quick things since i got home-

i started with the super-quick lazy days skirt from oliver + s (awesome free pattern) using a japanese print i’ve had in my stash for a couple of years. (i love this print for a 2-year old!) the plan was to get her a white tee-shirt and applique a red “2” on it… but i didn’t plan ahead. (i’m always doing things at the last minute. that’s just how i roll). rather than drive over to target this morning and get a shirt (and wash/dry it and then applique it) it really seemed easier just to sew something else up. you know, cause this makes perfect sense. i also really wanted to use this dog print i had in my stash (from fabric depot but i bought it a year or more ago).

so, i made another jumper “d” from the japanese pattern book a sunny spot, like the one i made here. i seriously love the one i made for c (who likes to walk around with her hands in the awesome side pockets). it is a perfect year-round jumper (especially if you live in a mild climate like portland or japan), and can be worn over a tee or tank and leggings in the summer or over long sleeves and jeans in the winter. it’s also nice, as the style leaves a lot of room for growth.

unfortunately, the birthday girl missed her nap in order to make her party today, so i wasn’t going to even ask for her to model it for me. so, no action shots today! ;)

see those pockets? stuffed full of rocks. she could barely keep her skirt up.

i succumbed and ordered a couple more citronille patterns! once again, they arrived super speedy style. i hope to get another one sewn up soon, maybe even this week. see you then!

sewing japanese no. 2

over the weekend i sewed up dress “d” from the japanese pattern book “a sunny spot” (isbn 978-4-529-04894-1).

here’s a pic from the book of the one i made. isn’t it adorable? there’s a summer version, too, with spaghetti straps and side panels that go higher up on the arm, but i thought the boxiness of this “fall/winter” version was even cuter. i freakin’ love those side panels and pockets. love ’em.

anyways, i made it up in one of the denyse schmidt prints from joann’s… these small solids are awesome to use for garments because from a distance, they read as prints but provide more interest up close.

i went for size 100 again, this time it was a perfect fit. i had no trouble with the pattern at all, except for messing up the binding at the armholes- this as a result of not paying attention to whether i was supposed to sew the binding to the front or the back. i did the opposite, and ended up with slightly wider front panels than the pattern intended. ah well. next time.

the family and i had a fabulous lunch at pine state biscuits on saturday (go on, click on the link to see what i ate. so good. so not healthy). afterwards we headed over to cool cottons where the hubby snapped this picture-

i even found a couple of pics of the fabric stacks on his camera. hilarious.

sewing japanese…

i had a big kcwc fail last week. i did a little more sewing, but got frustrated with a top i was working on and had to walk away. that coupled with a stressful week at work/ big deadline and a sick kiddo turned into very little to show for the kcwc challenge. hopefully i’ll do better in the fall.

i’ve been wanting to sew dress #4 from the japanese pattern book everyday girls’ clothes (isbn 9784529047005) for um… a year? more? too long. i even found some gorgeous purple linen at my local fabric store and have had it stashed away in waiting. why do i do this, this stashing away of things to sew at some later date? silliness. anyways, yes, i basically sewed a copy of the original. i don’t usually do this, but i loved the pics in the book so much i couldn’t help myself.

i sewed up a size 100, which should be the right size based on c’s height and chest measurements. alas, that doesn’t factor in her head measurements- the neck is a tiny bit of a squeeze, even with the two buttons in the back. i think she is going through a bit of an anime stage right now. the fit was otherwise spot on, but io don’t think it will give her as much growing room as i had anticipated. (it might not matter… she might never wear it because the neck is tight going on.) the facing around the neck is some gorgeous liberty.

this was super easy to sew. sewing from japanese pattern books isn’t hard at all as long as you know a few basics (this awesome new blog is a fantastic resource). the diagrams are extremely helpful and if you have experience sewing clothes then you should have no trouble finding your way through. i’m lucky enough to have a kinokuniya locally, which is where I buy all my japanese pattern books.

i find myself really drawn to these simple beautiful garments, popular in japan and france. too bad they seem so out of place in america. i also love linen; it’s so light and comfortable in the summer, and looks good (to me) even without ironing. but it just seems so… fancy! what do you think? what are you sewing these days?