Stylish Dress Book : Tunic ‘B’
nani IRO Neon Mountain View Double Gauze Cotton
I just realized it’s been a really long time since we’ve had nani IRO at the workroom. I’ll try not to let that happen again. This fabric just makes people happy.
It seems to be a tradition of mine to make this particular pattern from nani IRO. The very first version I made was exactly SIX years ago!
I love this simple top, it’s so easy to wear and incredibly comfortable. My favourite detail is definitely the sleeves. I love a puffy sleeve! I really like how this sleeve is two parts. If you’re making this pattern from the untranslated version of Stylish Dress Book, this can be the one tricky part. When you’re tracing out the pattern piece for the lower sleeve, you need to add in 10 cm to the width of the piece to add the fullness.
This collection has so many fun pops of neon, perfect for the coming winter months when things get very grey. I always find myself choosing brighter prints when the days get shorter. There is more nani IRO on the way for the new year, it’ll be a good mid winter pick me up!
I also made a pair of nani IRO pants using the 101 Trouser pant pattern. It’s already too cold to wear them, but I’ll try to get in some photos of them soon.
p.s. I ironed this top twice before taking these photos, but double gauze is wrinkly & comfy like that.
Drape Drape 2 : Dress 2
Shibori Indigo Over-Dyed Bamboo Jersey in Putty
Fabric dyed in the workroom’s Indigo class
Natural dyeing fabric is always exciting. Indigo dyeing is extra magical because it is done in a fermentation vat and the colour appears when the fibre is removed from the vat and oxygen hits it. You literally see the colour change and appear as it is exposed to the air. I was hoping that our Bamboo Knit Jersey would work with Indigo and I was super excited to find out that it takes the dye perfectly.
I had originally wanted to make some Indigo dyed leggings, but I couldn’t resist looking for a dress pattern when I saw how beautiful the large piece of Bamboo looked with the Indigo overdyed on it.
With the success of my Bamboo Jersey Moneta, I was feeling ready to tackle some of the more simple patterns from my Drape Drape 2 book. The second dress in the book couldn’t be more easy! The pattern is cut from just a single piece of fabric with only two seams to sew. I did those seams on my serger and used my Maxilock Stretch Thread. I’m addicted to using this thread on my knit projects. I finished the neck line and arm holes with bias jersey binding and used my twin needle to top stitch the binding down. The book recommends just folding and hemming the armholes, but I prefer a bound finish. I also used my twin needle to hem the dress. (Regular thread through the needles and Maxilock Stretch Thread in my bobbin)
This is such a fun dress to sew and to wear. It’s really comfortable and looks more advanced than it really is.
Now that the workroom has all the Drape Drape books in English, I’m scouting for my next pattern. I know the idea of sewing with knits is a bit daunting, but once you get started you won’t want to stop!
Mannish Style – available at the workroom
Dress 12 : silk shibori dyed in logwood
Oh boy, was I ever excited last week when I remembered that I had this piece of silk from my Advanced Natural Dyeing class. This pattern from Mannish Style is exactly what I had hoped to find to make a dress from this shibori fabric that I dyed in logwood. I love the drapey folds.
This pattern was also very easy! There are just 2 pieces (front & back), with the front being cut on the bias to give it that nice drape. The neck and arms are finished with bias trim. The pattern was intended for a knit fabric which you can see would have even more drape. Because of that, the dress is a bit snug around the hips and I would adjust the pattern next time to be a bit looser. I would also love to make this in a fun knit fabric.
This silk is my most favourite piece of fabric that I have dyed myself. The super dark, inky purple colour we got from this logwood bath is so amazing and so much deeper than any other colour I’ve done in the past. There is still some of this silk leftover and I want to try to use every bit of it. I’m trying to figure out what else I can make with it, perhaps a tank top or camisole?
Mannish Style – available at the workroom
This is my current favourite Japanese Dress book. Firstly, it has a fantastic title that makes me smile every time I read it. The full title on the book is ‘She has a mannish style’. I am feeling this mannish style right now!
What I love about this book is that it strays from the typical sweet tunics and dresses you find in most Japanese Dress books. It’s great to see some variation in the styling. There are some super cool drapey tops and vestlets that look like they will be fun to make. I’m looking through my stash to figure out what fabric will work for one of the dresses. It will be one of the 13 projects I hope to work on over the long weekend. I need more time to sew!
I don’t know what it is about this top, but I just love it. It’s so easy to wear, almost like a woven t-shirt of sorts. I made another version a few months ago from light blue gingham. I’m trying hard not to over use these tops in my rotation and I kind of want to make another one.
This version is made from a fabric I’ve had in my stash for over a year that has a vintage feeling and I especially love the little purple and blue accents. I changed up the sleeves this time and made them gathered with a bias trim. My goal was to make lots of tops and shorts this summer, but I haven’t been very motivated to sew shorts with the rainy weather we’ve been having. I am hoping the sun is going to make a strong appearance this week!
Stylish Dress Book (available at the workroom)
Dress ‘S’ : Navy Metal Blend Fabric with Liberty of London ‘Mirabelle’ detail
Finally! I’ve been wanting to share this dress with you for a while. When I first made it last year, I did something silly and made the scalloped hem detail with just 2″ of Liberty of London Mirabelle as the lining. This meant when I sat down or really even just walked, you could see past the lining. I finally re-did the hem with about 10″ of lining and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t just line the entire skirt. I’m not redoing it again, but next time I would make that modification. I had been wanting to try a scalloped hem for a while and it’s really not that hard at all. I used Liesl’s tutorial to guide me through. I like how she did the scallop detail on just the back of her skirt.
This pattern is from Stylish Dress Book. What’s unusual about this pattern is that it actually has a zipper in the back! Most Japanese Dress Book dresses just slip over your head. What’s great about having a zipper is that the pattern is actually more fitted than most of the loose tunics I usually make. The main fabric of the dress is a navy metal blend fabric that I got at the Liday Baday Designer Fabric Showroom. This is the second metal blend fabric that I’ve sewn with and it’s interesting to see the different properties that metal brings to fabric. What attracts me is the shimmer, but the fabric also has more memory and hold creases quite tightly, similar to the look of linen. I’d like to try this pattern again in a softer fabric, perhaps even a Liberty of London print.
I added side seam pockets, of course. I used the same Mirabelle print for the pockets that I used on the hem detail.
Without a doubt, Stylish Dress Book has been my favourite book to sew from. Taking a look through the pages, I’m thinking that Tunic G is going to be next!
Alright, it’s time to get some garment sewing back into the mix here! Whenever I teach a Japanese Dress Books class, I try to work on a new pattern from one of my books at the same time. This is the one that I started during my January session.
I combined the pattern for Dress A1 and A2 together. I wanted to make a tunic top, with the bias neck detail of A2 and the pleated sleeve detail of A1. The fabric I chose is something I’ve been holding onto since last summer. It was one of the French General silky cottons. The yarn dyed wovens that French General does with their collections are very special and super soft. They are perfect for making clothing with.
I love how this top turned out. It makes me feel spring-y and happy. I’ve pulled out fabric for a second version. I am starting to plan my spring wardrobe and it’s going to include lots of cute tops and adorable shorts.
It’s taken me a heck of a long time to finish this project. I started this last year and had a bunch of ideas to make it more complicated than it needed to be (binding all the seams and hems with a contrasting fabric). It got abandoned and then put on my finishing list a few months ago. (still have work to do on that list!)
Since the cool weather has come around again. I got it out of the pile and finally hand hemmed the sleeves and bottom. For the neckline I made a bias tape trim from the scraps of my Stylish Dress Book ‘O’ Tunic. Rather than have the ties loose, I make buttonholes and added buttons so that it would fasten in the back to cinch it in a bit. This pattern is really simple and it’s very satisfying to make a cardigan, especially if you don’t knit!
The fabric for the cardigan is a lovely Virgin wool/metal blend, so there’s a bit of shimmer to it. I purchased the fabric at the Lida Baday Fabric Showroom last year. I’ve been meaning to tell you about this place for ages. This is an incredible local source for designer fabrics that we normally would not have access to. Lida Baday is a Canadian fashion designer who produces a beautiful line of women’s clothing. After each collection is produced the remainder of the fabric (all European) is organized and swatched into a small showroom. If you’d like to visit the fabric showroom, you simply need to get in touch to make an appointment. The experience is very different from shopping in a regular fabric store. When you arrive for your appointment, you are brought into a small sunny room which is lined with rolling racks of swatched fabric organized by type (knits, wools, cottons, linens, metal blends, silks). When you find a swatch you like, you look at the tag to read what type of fabric it is, where it is from (France! Italy!), and what pieces are available. The fabric is sold by the piece, so you must take the entire piece that is available. The pieces range from 1 metre to 30 metres. When I was there I found lots of amazing fabrics that were in the 1 metre to 3 metre range. As you find fabrics you like, you cut a small swatch of it and attach it to the fabric request form, writing in the fabric number, colour and price. I spent over an hour there, leisurely looking through the fabrics and feeling like an actual fashion designer shopping for fabric for my ‘collection’. When you’re done, you give your sheet to Cara (who runs the showroom) and leave. Cara will email you later on with the complete pricing details (the pricing is incredible, a fraction of what you would expect to pay). You respond with your final fabric selections and when your fabrics are ready for you a few days later, you can go and pick them up. I’m probably due for another visit to stock up. My first t-shirt was made from a jersey that I got from the showroom and I’ll be posting up a dress made with another one of these special fabrics shortly too.
I’ve been wearing my cardigan with an embroidered button I bought from Leah at last year’s City of Craft. It perfectly matches the purple floral bias binding and works like a charm to button the front closed.
Stylish Girl’s Clothes
available at the workroom
When I first caught sight of this adorable book, I knew I had to have it. The incredible outfits and styling just melt your heart instantly. It’s crazy but I’d love to wear pretty much any of these clothes, especially the pink dress on the cover!
Now that we’re carrying these books in the shop, I’m excited to carry all my favourites and to discover new favourites for you. I’m going to have to try very hard not to go overboard. (unless you encourage me to go overboard!)
I have to thank Kimberly for first showing me this book. It’s hard to keep up with them all, so I love when you give me suggestions and show me the books you’re buying. As soon as I flipped through her copy, I knew I had to order it. It’s filled with super cute dresses and tops that seemed different from all the other Japanese dress books I’ve got already. I love the huge bows that they show with several of the pieces. I’ll definitely be making one of those.
I hope you’re having a great long weekend. I’m going to try to catch up on blogging some of my recent projects. I seem to have a bunch that I haven’t told you about yet!