Uming and ahing!
In my last post, I mentioned how I’d discovered Japanese sewing books. After much deliberation I chose to make a top from this book:
I chose the ruffled sleeveless blouse (pattern 7a). In the book, it is shown in crisp black linen.
The first thing you have to do with all these Japanese sewing books is to unfold the pattern page (in an envelope at the back) and trace the pieces required for your desired design in your size. I just needed a front and back. I traced them onto pattern paper, then cut them out in calico and made a toile. This fitted well, so I cut out the front, back, bias binding and ruffles from my fabric. The fabric is Asian Circles by Kaffe Fasset. It’s a cheerful design!
The instructions are quite straightforward, although I made a couple of alterations. Firstly I stay-stitched the neck and armholes (not mentioned in any of these books) to stop these edges from stretching. Secondly, I sewed the side seams and shoulder seams before finishing with bias binding because I think this is neater than including bias binding in a seam.
Finally those ruffles – they turn a plain top into something a bit special. There are two ruffles. I used a plain cotton fabric for the wider ruffle and a flowery material for the narrower one. They are cut on the bias (45 degrees to the selvedge). I did have a few problems with the ruffles. It was difficult to gather the ruffles where there were joining seams. Maybe the plain fabric was a bit too thick.
So here we are, the finished flowery top with ruffles!