Sunday, October 25, 2009

Big in Japan

This week, I received my first Japanese sewing book. When I realized many people sewed from such books and talked about it on their blogs, I thought that was a bit mad but kinda cool. Like they belonged to a special club. I also thought many of the clothes they made looked like oversized bags with sleeves, he he. That was until I saw Melissa's dress on tiny happy. I thought it was so pretty and stylish, in a simple way. The beautiful fabric certainly helped.

 Stylish Dress Book -vol. 1

I wanted that dress, it's the one on the cover, dress E. I wasn't sure I'd actually manage to finish it because a) except for a few words of English, everything was in Japanese, and b) not being an expert seamstress, I didn't know if I could follow all the steps without botching anything. Turns out it wasn't that difficult, which also explains why so many people sew with these Japanese books. The patterns are simple, most have no zippers. I haven't tried sewing a zipper yet. I am avoiding them for the time being.

I can't tell you how happy the book has made me, in an armchair traveller way. It is small and light, half way between a book and a magazine. The pictures are simple and minimalistic, like the dresses. There is something so delicate about them, like the dainty doilies that are scattered all over the pages. There's even a recipe for what looks like Breton sablés. I spent much time looking at them, choosing a dress to make, trying to understand the different steps to follow and mulling over the right fabric. It helped that I was stuck at home for most of the week with a sick baby and no fabric, helped me fantasize about it all, itching to get sewing, wishing I was learning more about Japan and exploring its cities -and fabric stores. I found the post stamp on the package very pretty too. What is it about daintiness in that country?

I finally managed to buy the fabric on Saturday. I was inspired by this and this, to find something darkish with a small lighter print on it. People are often fooled and praise your work if the fabric is pretty. It redeems all the little flaws that require a closer inspection because the overall impression is neat. I love all those Tilda fabrics, such pretty stuff. The little wheels and flowers are light pink.

It does look a bit like a granny apron, albeit a very "stylish" one, ha ha. I am very pleased with the result, in spite of the tiny flaws due to my impatience. There is at least one other dress I want to make from the book -before I can justify buying the second book.

For help on deciphering Japanese craft books, look here, it's very helpful : label-free.

1 comment:

Norm said...

Just catching up on your blog Julie - and I LOVE this dress! I too adore these slightly 'baggy' style dresses. It's nice to know they are quite simple to make... when I finally get my act together to start making clothes (one day!) I'll try one. Well done!