I'd been hanging by the letter box, day after day, from about 7 days after I ordered this gorgeous book...
Three and a half weeks later it arrived and I fell in instant love/lust with all it's gorgeous glossy pics of adorable girls wearing super simplistic styles whilst looking fabulously stylish (yes, I am gushing).
Yes, the book is in Japanese (save for a few titles) and no, I do not speak, read or understand Japanese... but everything I'd read on other lovely blogs raving about these books and the need to not be able to read the instructions inspired me.
I am not disappointed... although basic, the diagrams will be more than sufficient (says, I whom have not yet put scissors to fabric nor thread to machine on this project) to work it out.
After much to and fro I finally settled on the blouse pictured above left... partly because I've always had a thing for square necklines and also because it's perfect for this time of year here in Oz... Autumn is now upon us and the weather will soon start to cool... how adorable is this bit of loveliness going to look teamed with some leggings (or when my next Japanese pattern book arrives - yes, I've already ordered another - there are some beautiful pants in it that will work wonderfully).
So, first things first, check out the pattern sheet... this awesome book comes with 23 full size patterns, in 5 sizes for each.... and guess what?
They are all printed, front and back, on one large sheet (big enough to almost cover my dining table), and overlaying one another... oh, I feel a glass of red would go nicely in hand whilst I absorb this one!
Okay, glass of red on standby along with a few tools...
Here's how I began:
Normally, with PDF patterns, I'd print them out on regular paper then use a serrated tracing wheel to trace the indents onto a large newspaper end roll sheet. But I couldn't bear to mark any of this book, including the pattern sheet... and even if I wanted to there was just far too many patterns overlaying one another to ever be able to do it this way without utterly destroying the pattern sheet.
So, I used one cheap, generic roll of baking paper - the generic stuff came on a roll about 30m long and is not at all waxy (or non-stick mind you... I never use it for baking but it's perfect for patterns) and is stronger than tissue paper, cheaper than lightweight interfacing and still translucent enough to trace through without a light box or the need to sticky tape it to a large window!
And, then I simply got tracing the old school way... easy really, the hardest part of this step was finding the right pieces amongst the bazillion on the page!
(They are referenced with a letter to correspond to the design so it's not that hard - just a little tiring on the eyes... nothing a nice slow sip of a good red doesn't fix or soothe!)
So, I got to tracing... it pretty much took the better part of a whole afternoon (with the expected kiddy interruptions, queries and curiosity).
I went a bit OCD and decided to colour code the pattern pieces according to size... the prettiness of it all makes me happy.
I used BIC branded fine permanent markers in a rainbow of colours... they are fab - they don't bleed through or smudge and the colours are just so darn pretty!
This pile of cuttings above... not so pretty LOL!
Ooh... look, all pieces finally cut, sorted, and now labelled - kind of like a guessing game reliant on only a little sewing knowledge... mainly to be able to guess front to back pieces but the diagrams in the book do help... If you love jigsaw puzzles you'll breeze these!
Me, I'm not one for ever having followed sewing instructions or set traditional store bought patterns... give me a finished picture and just a few pointers and I'm much more happier!
(One day I'll tell you about my first sewing project done in secondary school at the mandatory sewing lessons we had back then... It was not good... I believe I scraped a 'D' mark and the pant's I made were beyond hideous!)
Let me know if you've used any Japanese pattern books... better yet tell me of your favourite all time foreign pattern book (yes, help me feed my new found penchant for this)... and pop back soon to see how I go with this one!
So, cross your fingers for me, wish me luck... it's time to put scissors to fabric and thread to machine and see what little bit of loveliness can be churned from my machine!