Dress 9

Dress 9
Stylish Dress Book (available at the workroom)
Dress ‘F’ : Kaffe Fassett ‘Red Lotus’

The Stylish Dress Book is definitely my favourite Japanese dress pattern book so far. Almost all of the dresses in this book are super sweet looking – all in that Japanese smock aesthetic that I’m not totally convinced translates into the real world. I’m game to try it out though and so far I like it. The cool thing is that these dresses never have zippers and the construction is super simple.

I started working on this dress a few months ago. Most of these books come with a sheet or two at the back where all the patterns (sometimes 20 or more) are printed over top of each other. It definitely takes a keen eye to locate your pattern pieces, but usually they are numbered or lettered. What’s interesting is that you begin to realize the all the dresses are based on just four main templates with slight variations in sleeves, necklines, and silhouettes. I traced out my chosen pattern and headed on to cutting out fabric, serging and sewing it all together. Everything was going swimmingly until I attached the sleeves. Suddenly the dress didn’t fit in the shoulders and the sleeves didn’t have the proper fullness and ease I would expect. I thought that I had chosen a size too small. I figured I would try to re-draft a new sleeve pattern to compensate and perhaps add some fabric to the shoulders.

Dress 9

The project was put aside until I read this posting on The Purl Bee about Japanese patterns. Guess what? Most Japanese dress patterns don’t include seam allowance! If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this is not my first seam allowance debacle. Once I read that, I knew exactly what went wrong with this dress. I re-examined the fit and tried to figure out if there was a was to fix the problem. I was heartbroken once again, but decided to abandon the sleeves. I got out my trusty bias tape maker and made some bias tape to finish the armholes and called it a day on dress 9.

I think I’ll try this pattern again one day because the sleeves are so incredibly cute. It actually is the perfect shift dress and that Lotus print is happy-making. All’s well that ends well.

I promise, no more accidental sleeveless dresses.

There’s a great on-going series at Label-Free on Japanese Craft Books. There are even translations of some of the common symbols that is very helpful. Thanks Anabela for the tip.

The Golden Yard has started a worldwide google map of fabric stores. It’s a collaborative project and anyone can add their favourite fabric stores to the map. It’s a great resource for when you’re traveling to new cities. {via True Up}

Dress 9, originally uploaded by the workroom.