dimanche 9 janvier 2011

Japanese sewing: a step by step demonstration

Hello friends, I hope you're having a nice weekend! Mine's been quite busy but I managed to save a little time for this post which may be, well, long and picture heavy so proceed with caution^^. So, if you've followed this blog you've noticed my passion for sewing from Japanese magazines or books. I often get asked how this is possible since I can't read Japanese. Well, I've said it before and I'll repeat it here, you really don't need to read this language to be able to make the garments, and I'll prove it with today's project: my New Year's eve party top.

Obviously you must possess a Japanese sewing magazine or book to start with, the one I used here is:

My top is derived from the cover dress, I had already made a version -with the bow this time- out of chambray (click on the tag "Japanese patterns" on the right and you'll find it) and I had liked it a lot so I wanted to sew it again. Once you have chosen your design, unfold the pattern sheet at the end of the book, find the pieces you need (here they are named after the model) and trace them in your size. To chose the correct size use this board in the book:

In the left column you can see "bust", "waist", "hips" and "height" and the corresponding measures in the other columns, from sizes S to LL.
Now go to the page with the instructions to sew your top. There you'll find a diagram with numbers that correspond to the order in which you should sew the garment:

1. Make the front and back pleats:

2. Skipped because I didn't want the front bow.
3. Sew the side seams:

4. Make the sleeves' pleats...:

...and sew the sleeves' side seams:

5. Attach the sleeves to the bodice:

6. Prepare the neck facing and attach it to the top:

You're done! Now you will hem the bottom and the sleeves -I finished the latter with self-made bias to encase an elastic.
There are written instructions at the top of the page but I didn't even look at them, the diagrams are efficient enough :) Of course it's easier if you can recognize a few kanjis to make the difference between the front and the back or the right and wrong sides of the fabric so here's a link to a summary of useful Japanese sewing terms translated.
I hope this will encourage you to try Japanese patterns! See you!

11 commentaires:

  1. Hi Cecili, i like very much these Japanese projekt and the colour is fabulous... your look is great!

    where can I buy books with patterns in Japanese, are the instructions in english?

    Regards :o)

  2. This was great, they are so simple! I will have to try for myself now :-)

  3. Oh wow, it doesn't look that difficult after all! Where is a good place of getting the magazines? Do they always have at least a bit of English to help you find the right pattern pieces?

  4. Are there any seam allowances on the pattern pieces? Beautiful work, have been following your blog for awhile. Thanks

  5. Your top turned out great! :)
    I'm currently working on my Japanese shirt/dress and the instructions are soooo easy to follow, don't need to know the language at all :))

  6. Thanks so much for this post! I can't count how many times I've stared at Japanese pattern books wanting to take the leap. This post has made the decision for me. I'm going to make something from a Japanese pattern book if it kills me! Oh and I adore both the fabric colour and the end result of what you made!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial - I came across your blog when I was up to attaching the sleeves on top C2 from this same book, and it confirmed what I'd guessed, hooray! I hope you don't mind but I'd like to point others to your tutorial...

  8. I just bought this book and it will be my first experience with japanese patterns. Many thanks for the useful tips !

  9. cecili, how did you know how big the pleats were supposed to be? Or what the standard seam size is for japanese patterns?

  10. The pleats are marked on the pattern, you have 2 lines that you simply have to trace and unite by folding the fabric and then sew along to have your pleats :) I use 1 cm seam allowances but it's up to you, you can add the usual 5/8"

  11. Hi.. Nice dress. I am planning to make this dress. Did the size fit you perfectly. I feel the patterns are a little more loose than the measurements given . What do you think ? By the way this is my first visit to your blog :) - Diya TheHobbyHarbor . Please let me know by email.