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Sewing and textiles with Ann

Japanese Style Top – From Stitch to Style

This is the first make from the new GBSB book, From Stitch to Style.

I was looking at Girl Charlee’s great range of jersey again, and this wasn’t my first choice of fabric – however, with a bit of consideration, I decided that cherry blossom was highly appropriate for a Japanese style top, so went with the fabric above. More blue…….

I’m not a fast stitcher, but from laying out the washed fabric to completing the top took less than 4 hours, and I was watching tennis in between! Before I started I wanted to check the length, but as paper doesn’t drape at all, it was pretty much impossible to check what it was going to look like – but you don’t need to…………… There is negative ease at the hips, I noted when checking the measurements, so the garment will sit on the hips regardless, so its really a matter of how much drape there is. The cuffs have negative ease as well, but again, that is necessary to hold up the drape of the sleeve / body.

I have three things to say about the pattern / instructions:

  1. The instructions say to use 1.5m of fabric. I had to buy 2m, and I have less than 30cm left. OK, I lost a little bit when I was placing the pattern pieces on the design, but 1.5m would have been very tight to cut and not allowed for any placement issues.
  2. “Fold the seam allowance at the centre front neckline to the wrong side in line with the back shoulder point.” It took me ages to work out what that was supposed to mean. I looked at the pictures on the end and decided that I had to fold so that the front was level with the back neckline. Maybe its obvious now, but it wasn’t at the time.
  3. And then there is a mistake – to attach the cuffs you pin the wider end of the cuffs to the sleeves, not the narrower end as stated. That’s fairly obvious when you try to do it – the narrower end doesn’t fit and the wider end does.

I note that Jane blogged garments made from the same fabric only hours after I had finished this. As jersey goes, its perhaps slightly more solid than I was expecting, but it does follow the book’s guidelines, and it needs the right balance between drape and having enough body to hold onto the body at the hips and wrists. It works OK.

On a design note, I generally chose not to make garments with large dolman type sleeves, because I have very few / no coats and jackets that will go over the sleeves, so I hope this gets worn.

And finally, based on a brief discussion at the Simplicity workshop on Saturday, I have stabilised the should section of the top sleeves, something I would always to on a shoulder seam with set in sleeves, but have not done previously when the shoulder extends beyond the shoulder blade.

4 comments on “Japanese Style Top – From Stitch to Style

  1. Sew Ruthie
    August 4, 2016

    Great top, how do you find it to wear?

    • ann hebden
      August 7, 2016

      Hello Ruth. Thank you for looking at my blog. I haven’t worn it much yet as it is a mid season garment. The sleeves are such that I wont be able to wear a coat over it – hence mid season rather than winter. Ann

  2. Angela Spen er
    January 7, 2017

    Hi Ann
    We met at Sew Up North. I’m just about to cut this top with the fabric I bought in Leeds market at B and M. I have 3 meters so plenty to go at and spare to practice with my new overlocker (not out of the box yet – too scared to tackle it!).
    The book states you can sew up most of it with an overlocker. Did you use one?


    • ann hebden
      January 9, 2017

      Angela – good to hear from you. Yes, I used my overlocker for the seams. It didn’t take long to sew. And I have been pleasantly surprised how much I have worn this top. I thought it might not fit well under coats, but the excess fabric scrunches up and it can be worn with coats OK. Ann

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