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Japanese for Beginners...

Added Nov 25, 2010

by nessys

Adelaide, Australia






This is my first creation from my first (and very eagerly awaited) Japanese Pattern Book (the second one I think is waiting for me at the post office to be collected – which is also very exciting!!).

The book this comes from is http://i47.tinypic.com/29f5low.jpg

The title of this book translates to “One Day Sewing Dresses and Tunics” and I made “Dress E-1”. I chose this very simple dress to make first to see how I would manage with making a Japanese pattern and because I thought it looked kinda cool. The dress only has shoulder seams, no side seams and ties in the middle. Almost like a Japanese version of the interesting Butterick “Walk A-Way Dress”.

From browsing the web – there is a lot of information out there about sewing these Japanese dress patterns – I particularly recommend – Japanese Crafting with Mari: Drafting Japanese Sewing Patterns at http://www.purlbee.com and the wonderful http://movinghands.wordpress.com/japanese-sewing-and-pattern-terms/ (moving hands also provides a link to a French site which gives a little chart of translation of Japanese terms into both French and English – which rocks).

The very clear diagrams in the book itself are very helpful as well – so if you are thinking about getting one of these pattern books I say – go for it!!!

I used size large and had to add a inch or so to the length because I am a bit taller than a large Japanese woman (lol!) and because I like my dresses/skirts to cover my knees. The first time I wore this out, when I walked (and I do quite a bit of walking – or “waddling” as I like to call it) the front rode up quite a bit and I was worried about how much of my thighs the general public where being exposed to. So I added a strip of a nice quilting print (featuring birds – of course) to the front edge and after a girlfriend’s suggestion I added a length of strung curtain weights into the hem! Niffty eh? Works a treat! Plus I think the contrast really adds something to the dress.

I also made a little matching Flower Brooch by using The Eternal Magpie’s Tutorial. I made mine a bit smaller than the one she does.

Here is the link http://eternalmagpie.com/blog/tutorials/flower-brooch-tutorial/

Material Notes

Blue cotton drill, quilting cotton print, curtain weights (!)




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Bohemian, Casual, Ethnic
Cotton, Other


Shufunotomo (Publisher)
The Eternal Magpie

13 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • F366235f07e634ab3ab806346cd0d6b4fa020949_large

    Mar 17, 2011, 11.04 PMby saffroncee

    I like your projects. They are gorgeous. Loved the colours as well.

  • Dsc_0028_large

    Dec 8, 2010, 10.30 PMby Passiona Cottee

    You are as cute as a doll. Your red accessories are so cheery, too. This creation and your big smile have really brightened my day.

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Dec 9, 2010, 07.38 AMby nessys

      Thanks Honey – so sweet of you! I did really procrastinate over putting up that pic of me with the big goofy smile – but it just showed the dress off so well!! This is the sacrifice I make for my art!!

  • Missing

    Dec 4, 2010, 12.07 AMby Yvonne Hill

    Hi Nessy, What a fabulous outfit! The colour is really beautiful. You must be very chuffed with your new creation. x

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Dec 4, 2010, 12.30 AMby nessys

      Thanks Darl you are very sweet! Lovely to hear from you! Hope you are well xxxxx

  • Cali_large

    Dec 2, 2010, 05.49 PMby threadsquare

    So adorable! Those colors really pop on you, and I love the yo-yo-esque brooch! Curtain weights = genius. I was pulling down my dress the entire walk to work this morning. Thank you, tights, for keeping me decent :D

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Dec 2, 2010, 11.11 PMby nessys

      Thanks Darl – you’re a real sweetie. Along with garments “flopping”, garments riding-up are my own personal fashion torture! Should I be getting help for these obsessions or what? :)) xx

  • Kopie_van_pc040044_large

    Dec 1, 2010, 07.24 PMby carolinam

    You always make beautiful things! Great color too and love the details, the brooch and matching strip.

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Dec 2, 2010, 06.56 AMby nessys

      Thanks Honey – you always say the nicest things! xx

  • Avatar_large

    Nov 28, 2010, 07.00 PMby ellohdesign


    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 05.18 AMby nessys

      Thanks Lorena!

  • Pixeforburda_large

    Nov 28, 2010, 09.12 AMby pixelink

    This rocks Nessy! The mixture of colour with the trim blends superbly, looking gorgeous whilst lifting weights is impressive!! I gotta try that some time.

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 05.18 AMby nessys

      Thanks Pixe Honey – you’re a Darl. I really am impressed with how well those weights work – and they aren’t so heavy as to weigh me down as I waddle myself around Adelaide!

  • Img01_large

    Nov 27, 2010, 11.35 AMby nahoko

    Great job!! It looks fabulous on you! the strip you added makes the whole dress much more beautiful and lovely, I love the fabric. and information about japanese sewing terms is helpful for me too. thank you! I’m also looking forward to your second work with Japanese patterns :))

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 29, 2010, 05.16 AMby nessys

      Thank you so much!! This is high praise coming from such a talented Japanese seamstress as yourself! You are very kind xx

  • Missing

    Nov 26, 2010, 07.37 PMby Ivana Krejci

    this dress is lovely!

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 27, 2010, 04.10 AMby nessys

      Thank you – after looking at your wonderful creations I consider this high praise indeed! x

  • Pic_large

    Nov 26, 2010, 11.33 AMby Nessa *

    Another fantastic dress, and I am so glad that you added the quilting fabric to the hemline – the contrast is beautiful! I love the flower brooch too. Thanks for providing the tutorial link for it.

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 27, 2010, 04.09 AMby nessys

      Thanks Sweet Cheeks! xxx

  • 026_125_eves_a_singer_varrogep_preview_large

    Nov 26, 2010, 07.56 AMby hdk100

    What a great dress! And what a great explanation! I too am really on to getting a japanese pattern book, so thank you for the info.

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 26, 2010, 10.39 AMby nessys

      Thank you very much, you are very kind and I hope the information it helps! x :)

  • Maya_kuzman_large

    Nov 26, 2010, 07.34 AMby sewella

    Ooo Nessy this is fabulous! Love the whole ensemble – together with the brooch and the matching necklace! The dress is fantastic and that was so clever using curtain weights to the hem!! The edging quilt strip makes a fantastic border!

    1 Reply
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 26, 2010, 10.39 AMby nessys

      Thanks Honey! xxx

  • 3044175_l_large

    Nov 26, 2010, 01.35 AMby olystyrene

    Nessy, this is looooovely!!! It’s an adorable dress and the colour looks fab on you! Love the little flower and the strip at the bottom too!

    2 Replies
    • Me_pecks_large

      Nov 26, 2010, 10.40 AMby nessys

      Oh my dear “Oly” (!) thank you for your lovely comment!! xxx

    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 28, 2010, 11.03 AMby olystyrene

      You’re welcome, sweet pea!!! xoxoxxo

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