Hello! Celina here, I am back sharing once again my Sew Japan, this time for the month of April. When Mie showed me the dress she was making for Petit a Petit and Family, I knew I wanted to make one too- naturally it's from my favourite Japanese Pattern book! I thought it would be fun if we both shared the same dress on the same day, hers on my blog and mine on hers. I hope you will find it as amusing as we do. I think it's fun to see how we each interpreted the style and pattern, how we each made it our own and how we both totally did not follow all the instructions in the book. Not that we can read any Japanese anyways! haha. Funnily enough we did end up making some similar changes.
This dress is pattern G1 from Simple Chic Japanese Book. It's like a top and skirt in one. Fun right?
It has a beautiful yoke which curves at the back. I used some Liberty of London I got on my trip to England 2 summers ago. I did make a small change and doubled the yoke. While turning my fabric around I tore it at the center back notch, so I came up with a cover up patch with my main top fabric.
For the main top I used a stretch poplin I've had in my stash for like ever. Since my measurements were bigger than the biggest size in the book, the stretch came in handy. I also lengthened the top by 5cm, since I am taller than the suggested height.
For the skirt portion, I decided I didn't want as much volume as they suggest in the book. Since I made my dress low waisted I felt too many pleats at the hips wouldn't be very flattering. So I measured the width of the top and cut the skirt the same. I also knew I wanted a midi length, so I estimated how long I would need the skirt to be by draping the fabric on me beforehand.
I am not sure what the grey fabric is, I found it at my neighbourhood thrift shop. It feel a little silky but not really, it very airy and light weight. To the eye it looks a little like linen. It looks like it might be a blend of some kind, the black weft doesn't look very natural to me. I should maybe take out my school textiles notes and do a burnt test. I do know that it wrinkles quite quickly, but I am ok with that- I actually like the look.
Once I sewed and finished the dress, I tried it on for a final fit and kept wanting to put my hands in some pockets. I knew it would bother me and would probably not end up wearing the dress, so I went ahead and added some side pockets after the fact.
(Mie: Man, I totally regretted not putting in pockets. You rock!)
Another change I made was to the waistband. I omitted the waistband pattern pieces included with the pattern and simply made a casing from the shirt and skirt portion. I did this by sewing the top and skirt first with the wrong side together and then right sides together at 2.5cm from the edge, leaving a small hole for the elastic. I then added the elastic. Next, pulled up the grey fabric by 0.5cm and topstitched at the edge to give the look you see here. So the inside looks pretty too.
I really like how the dress turned out. Even my husband made a comment- trust me that is a big deal! hehe It's comfortable, easy to put on and not too much thinking involved. I can dress it up with some heels or wear it with sandals or sneakers for a more casual look. I have a feeling I will be wearing it a lot this summer. Now if only summer would come!
So I mentioned I wanted the dress to have a low waistband. Fun thing with this design is that I can also wear it with the waistband at my natural waist. The top then has a blouson effect which is cute too. Yay! I love it when things work out so nicely.
I find the back to be more flattering worn this way too.
I've taken a few detail photos for you as well. You can see the fabric more clearly and some of the sewing.
And since Mie is always smiling and looking amazing in her photos, I though I would add the only half decent one of me smiling too! I am loving sewing for myself, but the photos not so much.
So don't forget to check out Mie's version of the dress and her beautiful smiling photos. Come see the changes she made and how pretty her dress is- inside out too! We hope you will link up your Japanese inspired sewing projects to the Petit a Petit blog and use #sewjapan on Instagram.
Thanks for having me here Mie, it's always fun and a good challenge!
Celina, thank you SO much for playing along. Synchronized sewing should totally be a thing!! And your version is amazing. And once again I'm reminded how much choice of fabric can change the look of a style. Man, I love sewing!