Linnet Dress no.77

I feel like Linnet Dress no. 77 is an awesome secret I’m sharing with you! I stumbled upon this dress on Pinterest and have never seen any posts about it from the online sewing community anywhere on social media. And it’s stylishly adorable!

Before I share the dress, let me digress for a moment. This is my first blog post in over five months. I have been suffering from bloggers block. For those of you that know I had a bout with breast cancer last year, let me assure you I’m doing great. My last several posts featured “reconstruction” clothes. Since my last post in September, I have sewn at least fifteen projects, mostly tops and tunics for the seasons of fall and winter. I’ve had many successes and a few failures. Lots of stuff worth sharing. But I kept finding myself so anxious to start the next project, I didn’t want to take the time to do a blog post on something I just completed. Creating lots of new clothes was part of my renewal and recovery. Additionally, I’ve been asking myself for quite some time why I blog, other than to show off my sewing skills. My “reconstruction” theme gave me a temporary purpose, but I would like to move on now. So I’ve been feeling a little lost and am looking for a way to get back my blogging mojo. I figure if I can get this post out on this fantastic dress that deserves attention, maybe I’ll be revived.

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When I found Linnet Dress no. 77 on Pinterest, I was immediately taken by it as well as several other patterns by this Japanese company. The pattern came quickly from Japan via an Etsy site. I can’t remember how much I paid for it but I remember thinking it was pretty reasonable. No more than an indie pattern in the U.S..

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This is the cover sheet of the pattern that comes in a clear plastic envelope.

The pattern is printed on a substantial weight paper, and people who are more patient than me would probably trace off their size instead of cutting it up like I did. You need to add your own seam allowances.

The fabric I used is Geishas and Ginkgos Circles Cotton Mystique by Andover Fabrics. I purchased the fabric from Harts Fabric online store for $12.99 per yard. The dress requires about 3 yards. I love this fabric. It’s a two tone chambray printed with the circles.

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The instructions showed an invisible zipper. I choose to do a regular one in a contrasting color, just for fun. 

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The collar is cut on the bias and folded down.

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Half way up the collar back is a button with a thread loop button hole.

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Inside sneak peek.

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I used a machine blind hem for the sleeves and bottom.

LET’S BE HONEST:

1. The pattern comes in size Small to Extra Large. I cut a size Small and it fit perfect. I don’t remember why I chose a Small. I can’t find a size chart anywhere. It must have been on the thrown-away scraps from the pattern sheet. I usually cut a Medium in Japanese patterns.

2. You do have to add your own seam allowances. I added 5/8″ because that’s what I’m used to.

3. The pattern accommodates different cup sizes by giving a suggested range of 6 cm to 10 cm for the length that the front pleat is stitched closed from the neckline. The length of mine is 9 cm, and I can easily see how a larger bust can be accommodated with a shorter pleat.

4. I made no adjustments in this pattern. It’s one of those patterns that from the first try-on, you know it’s a great pattern with a flattering fit.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post! Cheers! Lori

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Japanese Smock Blouse B

Japanese patterns…I’ve become mildy obsessed. With each project I make, I become a bigger fan. My continuing quest for more interesting tops was a great reason to sew up my fourth Japanese pattern.

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The pattern I used is B: Smock Blouse with Garibaldi Sleeves from Stylish Dress Book, Wear With Freedom by Yoshiko Tsukiori. This is my second project from this book. My first was Japanese Dress Y. I chose pattern B because of it’s simplcity and design features that would lend well to a drapey fabric.

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This book has 26 adorable patterns to choose from.

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Contrary to my usual habits (I am actually not a fabric horder, and have very little stash), I already had the fabric before I choose this pattern. It was part of my online Black Friday sale purchase from Hawthorne Threads. The fabric is Anna Maria Horner, Pretty Potent Rayon, Eucalyptus in Ruby. I purchased about 2 yards for $9.95 per yard. This is a nice quality rayon which came through a machine prewash and line dry beautifully.

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The neckline is finished with bias tape which I first machine stitched to the front, then folded over, hand stitched on the inside and then top stitched on the front side. The pattern does not provide explict instructions on how to do this!

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Here’s a Garibaldi sleeve. It has a partially gathered bottom piece with an elastic casing hem.

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The back neckline does not have gathers.

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I did a machine blind hem. One of my favorite finishing techniques for hem that have little or no curve.

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Inside peek at the stitch.

LET’S BE HONEST:

1. The pattern sizes in this book range from 6 to 16. I cut a straight size 12, and was happy with the fit. I probably could have made a 10 and been just as satisfied since it’s very loose fitting.

2. This pattern is well drafted and true to the picture. I have developed a trust in the Japanese patterns.

3. However, as with the other Japanese patterns I’ve made, the instructions are minimal. If you are a beginner, do not attempt one of these patterns unless you have some in-person support. Here’s Blouse B in it’s one page entirety:

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4. The instructions showed the bias tape cut at 1 3/8″ wide. I cut it at 1 5/8″ because I was afraid any stretching or fraying might leave it too narrow in places.

5. I think one reason I like these patterns is they are friendly/flattering to the pear shaped, small busted woman.

I only sewed with Big 4 patterns (plus Burda) for 40 years. I trust them and know how to work with them. Since starting this blog, 2 years ago, I have ventured to other resources for patterns. (Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.) I have discovered that well drafted patterns can come from just about anywhere. Still, I choose patterns from alternate sources because I find an appealing and unique design, and not because I want to jump on the social media bandwagon with the latest indie pattern.

What about you? How do you choose patterns?

Thanks for visiting and reading this post! Cheers, Lori

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It’s been such a warm February, our trees think it’s spring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Dress Y

I have now become a big fan of Japanese pattern books. I bought my first book, Simple Modern Sewing, on sale, with a gift card, and as a skeptic. After two big wins from that book, I was compelled to buy another one, Stylish Dress Book, Wear with Freedom by Yoshiko Tsukiori. For Fresh Make #27 I chose a loose fitting, easy wear dress. Perfect for the hot summer that’s just around the corner.
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While the decision wasn’t easy from the 26 patterns, I chose Dress Y. Mainly because I wanted a pattern that combined two fabrics, and also the construction didn’t look to fussy.

This book has 26 adorable patterns to choose from.

This book has 26 adorable patterns to choose from.

Here's Dress Y. Those are the complete instructions! More on that later.

Here’s Dress Y. Those are the complete instructions! More on that later.

The fabrics I used are from Amy Butler’s Glow Collection, Maze Voile in Grass and Jolie Voile in Grass. I purchased them online at Hawthorne Threads for $13.50 per yard. I needed a total of three yards. I have been coveting the cotton voiles that have recently become a part of designer collections that traditionally have only included quilting weight fabrics. There’s no turning back once you start making blouses and dress with voiles and lawn cottons – so light weight and luxurious.
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The neck trim is attached by sewing right and wrong side together at the neck edge so the seam allowances are tucked inside, and there is no need for a facing.

The neck trim is attached by sewing right and wrong side together at the neck edge so the seam allowances are enclosed inside when you fold the trim over to the front, and there is no need for a facing.

The pattern called for a single layer yoke with a bias tape trim at the top. I  made a double layer for a facing instead.

Here’s the inside. The pattern called for a single layer yoke with a bias tape trim at the top. I made a double layer for a facing instead.

The hem band is a single layer. I did a 1 1/4

The hem band is a single layer. I did a 1 1/4″ machine blind hem.

LET’S BE HONEST:
1. The pattern size range is from 6 to 16. Obiviously this is a very loose fitting design and the bust is the main measurement needed to gage your size. I cut a 12 with no alterations.

2. The width throughout the bodice and where it meets the skirt is wider than it appears in the photograph on the very skinny model in the book. It almost A-lines from the armhole. I am considering this a surprise design feature (I didn’t study the pattern pieces), rather than a misfit, because the shoulders and neckline are perfect. I feel it might not be the most flattering thing, especially from a side view, for me to have all that width floating around me.

3. Ok, after making three Japanese patterns, there is no denying they are well drafted. And also fit well, at least for a relatively narrow size range. BUT, the instructions are inadequate. (Enlarge the photo of the book above.) Beginner beware! Stay away. I because of my sewing experience, I can make a basic dress without instructions, but I try to look at what is presented from a beginner standpoint. I definitely would not attempt one of these patterns without a body of sewing knowledge.

4. I would like to question one method in the instructions. They show laying the garment out flat and sewing the sleeve in before the side seams. I usually save this technique for knits and/or sleeve caps with a straighter curve. The sleeve cap in Dress Y has a fairly high curve and I think would ease in better insetting it after the side seams are sewn. At least that’s what I did, and it work well.

Overall, despite the slightly tent-like sillouette, I love this dress. The fabric is soft, smooth and lighter than air. Dress Y like a pair of shoes that are super comfortable the first time you try them on – I know I’ll reach for it over and over again.

Have you tried any Japanese patterns? Which ones? Are you a skeptic or fan?
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