Monday, March 2, 2009
My bosom friend gave me (along with other beautiful things) a gorgeous pattern book last June, called Girls Style Book. I was in love at first page, but in an unrequited longing sort of way, since all the instructions and pattern notations are in Japanese. I thought they might as well be in Martian.
A few months ago, with the help of Purl's timely post about Japanese patterns, I traced and cut out my favorite girls shirt pattern in the book, the one featured on the cover. I just now got around to making one from it, and I'm real sorry about that because it was really a lot easier than I thought it would be.
The illustrations included were all I had to go on for sewing instructions, but I managed to put it together with no mistakes made, after poring over each diagram. The illustrations really are a triumph of clarity and brevity. It occurred to me that many American patterns I've purchased were much less clear even with copious instructions in English to go along with the illustrations.
For instance, just from two tiny diagrams I unlocked for myself the mystery of how to get perfect rounded curves on the little pockets (gathering stitch on edge, cardstock template inside, pull thread to tighten and iron). Bear with me, y'all probably already knew this, but I never took Home Ec in high school. I was too busy sitting in my art classes with my black floor-length coat on.
I just love the little smock, so simple and sweet, and could be easily lengthened into a dress. And no sleeves to set in! I required myself to use some fabric from my stash, so I chose a cute little print that had been on the clearance table at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough for the whole thing (why why why do I ever only get a yard of fabric?), so I decided to make the yoke and pockets from a contrasting thrifted pillowcase. I cut it so close on the fabric that I didn't have enough left to cut the needed bias binding for a tie closure in the back, so I just added a single button. Which I like better anyway.
Now that I have figured it out, I have plans (well, you know how that goes in Larissa World) to make several more for spring and summer. And maybe to try another pattern from the book, now that my confidence level is rising.
If you want to attempt to find the book (I'm not sure how available it is), here is the ISBN number: 978-4-579-11181-7