Japanese Recovery Clothes

I am having some surgery in a short time and need some comfy clothes to wear during my recooperation. I figured why not try to be a bit stylish! My range of motion in my arms will be limited for a while, so I wanted to make some button-front garments to avoid to need to raise my arms overhead. I looked through my stash of patterns and two designs in my Japanese pattern books fit the bill the best. Cute, loose, and button-front.




I wasn’t going to use this photo because I didn’t think this view looked flattering. I didn’t want to torture my husband to do a retake. But more importantly, I realized that this garment for me is about comfort and cover-up, and it is both of those things. So forget the perfectly staged photo!




If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve become quite a fan of the Japanese patterns in the past year or so. Now I’m even more entrenched! The first one is Tunic with Tie Belt – 8b from Simple Modern Sewing by Shufu to Seikatsu Sha.


The second one is Button-up Blouse D from Stylish Dress Book, Wear With Freedom by Yoshiko Tsukiori.


The fabric I used for the Tunic is from Mood in Los Angeles. I purchased it for another project a few months ago, but felt it lent itself well to this pattern. It is a light weight cotton and was $10 per yard. I paid for three yards, but really ended up with nearly four! They’re always generous. Thank you Mood!


This tunic has 15 buttons! 13 down the front and one on each cuff.



The cuff opening is made with a slash, covered with a narrow binding.



The back has this cool loop detail. I think this garment was originally designed as a work shirt/cover up and the loop allowed the wearer to hang it on a hook in the studio.

Fabric I used for the Blouse is from The Fabric Store, also in Los Angeles, only five blocks from Mood. How lucky am I? This fabric, also intended for another project, was $10 per yard, but I hit a 30% sale. And like Mood, The Fabric Store is always generous. I paid for 1.5 yards, but ended up with close to two yards, and this fabric was nearly 60″ wide. Plenty for this blouse. I recently noticed from the print on the selvage, that this fabric is from Japan.




For the cuff and the neck binding, I first sewed the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the fabric. Then I folded it in and top stitched it to the right side. You can avoid hand sewing with this technique.



Tunic from Simple Modern Sewing:

1. This is my third project from this book, and continue to be impressed with the well drafted patterns.

2. The sizes in this book range from XS to L, bust 32 1/4″ t0 37.” I made a Medium and because of the loose fit of this pattern, I probably could have made a Small or even Extra Small and it wouldn’t have made much difference. I think it would be safe that if you fall  somewhat outside the Large measurements, you could still wear this pattern.

3. I was actually aiming to make a 7/8 length sleeve (just above the wrist) so I cut off about 2 inches before adding the cuff. It wasn’t quite enough, so I would probably take off another inch to acheive this style.

4. Here are the instructions. Typical for these Japanese patterns books. Sufficient if you have a background in the required techniques. Otherwise they are insufficient for a beginner as stand alone instructions.


Button-up Blouse from Stylish Dress Book, Wear with Freedom:

1. This is also my third project from this book, and same as above, am continue impressed with the drafting.

2. The sizes in this book range from 6 to 16, bust 30 3/4″ to 40 1/4.” I made a size 10, and same as the tunic, I could have made a smaller size because of the very loose fit. So same conclusion, with this pattern, if you are larger than a size 16, you could probably still wear this pattern.

3. I did not make any changes to this pattern, and sewed it exactly as shown. (Actually, I did add a 1/4″ to the width of the bias binding. I was afraid it could fray or stretch and end up too narrow. I am of the philosophy that you can always trim off, but you can’t add on.)

4. If I were to make another one, I would probably use a lighter cotton weight with a softer hand.

5. Here are the instructions. Same comments as above. You are directed to another page for cuffs and buttonholes.


I really like both of these garments, and I know I will continue to wear them after my recovery is complete. What about you, have you made garments to help you or someone else through a physical limitation?



My pants are the Owyn Pants from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style.






15 thoughts on “Japanese Recovery Clothes

  1. Thank you for admitting that you used a photo that you thought was not perfect. I appreciate your openness. And good luck with the surgery! I’ve had shoulder surgery and needed button-front tops, slip-on pants and slip-on shoes also.

  2. Very nice! Why not be comfortable as well as stylish, you can be when you sew. Isn’t it funny how hard husbnds find the photography, I’m trying to work out a way to do my own without imposing on the husband. All,the best with the surgery and a quick recovery.

    • My husband is willingly my photographer, but there is often a bit of tension between us over the compostion and intention of each shot. It would be good to be self-sufficient with the photos!

  3. both look nice and will be comfortable and easy to wear during your recovery. Hope it all goes well. What other patterns have you made from SMS? I bought the book about 3-4 years ago but for some reason have only made the cover blouse. Lucky you to have access to a bricks and mortar store with Japanese cottons/fabrics. My long ago experience with Japanese cottons is that they are such good quality.

  4. Your wrap around dress and drop waist skirt look very nice. It’s an incentive to try more patterns from the book, but I have more than enough summer dresses.

  5. Your tunic is beautiful. Wow that’s a lot of button holes to make but I love how it looks. Best wishes for your surgery.

  6. I can really empathize with you. I underwent a hysterectomy for a serious medical reason a couple of years ago (I created my blog during my long recovery period) and made some elastic trousers/pants as I could not wear zips! I hope and pray your surgery goes well.

  7. I just found your blog this morning researching pattern Simplicity 2416, the Khaliah Ali swirl skirt. I saw a similar sore bought skirt on my friend’s blog, for a lot of money. I have wanted to make this pattern for awhile, and your review helps a lot. This garment will stretch my abilities, but that’s how we grow.
    As I’m looking over your past entries, I’m amazed at how many of the same patterns we both have.
    I too buy up patterns when they are on sale. I’m starting to have a hoard.
    I don’t have any Japenese pattern books (yet!) but I’m loving the garments you’ve made from them. These two pieces will serve you well as you recover. They look comfy, and if you are like me, as you wear them you will remember that you’ve sewed them, and that always gives me a “punch” of confidence and enjoyment.
    Best wishes on your upcoming surgery, and a speedy recovery.

  8. I love the short-sleeved top – it really does look cute! I wonder if you could have made the dress in a smaller size? Many years ago (when I was much much younger) I used to have a dress that buttoned down the front and I used it as a sort of apron! It was great for cooking, then when I finished, I could take it off and my clothes looked ‘immaculate’ underneath and were not crushed by any apron ties! My mother found it quite amusing. All the best with your surgery and a speedy recovery.

    • I think the tunic is designed with a very loose fit. Even a smaller size would have the same sillouette. Not necessarily that flattering! Thanks for the best wishes!

  9. Pingback: The Kiomi Top | Sewing Myself Stylish

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