a liberty jinbei

jinbei-combinedwhen the Kid was first born, he received a beautiful jinbei and a pair of traditional japanese zori sandals (pictured above).  the jinbei, he eventually grew out of, but the zori sandals still fit (sort of).  i’ve been meaning to replace his now too small jinbei for a while now, and when i stumbled upon dans la lune’s jinbei pattern,  i decided it was a must do summer project!

necklinea jinbei can be thought of as traditional japanese loungewear.  it’s worn by both adults and children alike, and usually in the warmer summer months.  for children, a jinbei makes for great playwear or lightweight pajamas.  for adults and older children, the jinbei consists of two pieces.  a pair of loose fitting short pants and top.  the top, also loose-fitting, is tied on the inside and the outside.

tiethe Kid quite likes his jinbei! no doubt in part because the fabric I chose (Liberty’s Queue for the Zoo) contains flamingos, his favorite bird.  he liked it so much, that after our little photo shoot, he decided to wear the outfit to dinner . . . and then he slept in it later at night as well.  he also wanted his “friends” to hang-out in it, hence the photo below of pluto stuck in the jinbei‘s front pocket.

pluto-in-pocetthe pattern itself is quite a lot of fun to sew and a good way to learn about all sorts of seams: modified french seams, flat felled seams, clean finish edge, and serged.  i found yasuko’s pattern well-written and easy to follow.  the only modification i made was to change the serged seam on the sleeve to a french seam, so that all seams on the jinbei would be encased.

i would also note that the pattern is really designed for fabrics that are non-directional, i.e. all over prints or solids.  i used a directional print, and if you look very closely at the photos, you’ll notice that the animals are in a different direction on the left sleeve vs the right, and that the animals are running downwards on the back of the jinbei.  to use yasuko’s pattern with a directional print, you would have to make a modification to the body piece of the pattern and position the sleeves to be cut as vertical mirror images of each other.

the kid is wearing a size 5 in these photos.  he weighs about 40 lbs and is 42.5″ tall.

insta-shirtin’: dans la lune’s cotton shirt

frontThe Kid was in the studio the other day and since I had my sewing machines out, he decided that mom absolutely had to make something for him (it must be nice to have a personal wardrobe maker on command?!).  After a quick 15 minute websearch, we stumbled upon Dans La Lune’s Cotton Shirt pattern (she also has an etsy shop).   The pattern is designed specially for woven materials, and seemed easy enough to whip up.  Sewing with the Kid generally means straightforward, easy designs that don’t require too much fussing around.

close-up-frontDans La Lune patterns make things simple.  Unlike a lot of U.S. patterns, Dans La Lune patterns are sold by the size (she also offers special pricing for buying 3 sizes of the same pattern) and her patterns show both the sew line as well as the cut line (includes seam allowance) — a practice that is very much appreciated by yours truly, as seeing 16 different sizes all at once on one pattern has somewhat of a miasmic effect on me.

backBeing unfamiliar, with Yasuko’s patterns, I selected a 6, which is one size larger than what the Kid would typically wear.   It’s also the reason why you don’t see the Kid modeling said shirt.  It’s just a bit too big on  him.  Maybe next year.  Based on this, I’d say that Dans La Lune patterns are quite true to size — I can tell you more definitively, once I get around to sewing the size 5.

ventIn general, the pattern is very straightforward to sew, and her instructions are written clearly.  As a point of interest, her sleeves feature a European cut, where the back and front of the sleeves have a different slope.  More about these type sleeves here.

fabricOn the fabric front, the Kid is rather fond of double gauze.  We selected Kokka’s Boston Terrier design paired with Tiny Gingham (for the trim) in Nite.  I also found this water soluble glue pen quite handy — it held the two layers of double gauze fabric together in some tricky parts  better than pins.   With some supervision from the Kid, I was able to sew the pattern together in under an hour (after all the pieces had been cut).

Next on the docket, I’ve got her Jinbei pattern all cut and ready to sew . . .

Soleil: prototype #1

blueprintfrontyou could say that i’ve been sewing quite a lot of tops of late (most of them can be seen on the instagram feed, and yes, uploading more detailed photos on the blog is very much a to do).  and while all of them are well designed, a joy to sew and lovely . . . none of them were exactly my style, which my husband has worked out to be “flowy top and jeans.”

somewhere in the middle of all this top making, i got around to scribbling out a pattern for a summer top in line with my tastes.  i’m calling it “soleil” and here’s the first prototype (made out of liberty tana lawn bamboo garden b ):

bodicea gathered bodice for volume and “flowiness”

Buttons-on-Backbutton closure in the back

Pockettwo pockets in the front!

and now to test drive it tonight . . . as it is a friday night after all!


wip: julie hoover’s daphne!

row-2row 2

i’ve been a terrible knitter of late — mostly due to having developed a bad case of bursitis (ouch!) a few months back.  after laying off the needles for almost a good nine months, my wrists have finally healed. . . which means i can finally take-on julie hoover’s daphne.  here we go!

row-55row 55

i decided to knit dafne using lustrous linen in capri with two strands held together.  it’s steamy hot in nyc and i’m looking forward to the crispness of linen to keep me cool.  using US 9 needles, it’s been a fair fast knit so far.  after knitting for a bit last night, i’m on row 55 of the back piece (about 11-12 inches eyeballing it).

should-shaping-frontalmost done with armholes (julie’s armhole shaping is beautifully written/constructed!)

shouldersand we have shoulders! now onto the back piece . . .

updates will post on this blog and on instagram #myjhdaphne

flamingo boy

Flamingo-boyevery so often the Kid makes it known what fabrics he thinks we should be stocking . . . and he happens to be a huge fan of flamingos!  so when he came across this lovely hokkoh heavy weight gauze featuring a flamingo print, he demanded that we carry it!

Flamingo-boy2oddly enough, flamingo themed apparel for preschool sized boys is near impossible to find.  i’ve searched with very little success.  it seems that preschool girls have the monopoly on the motif.

Flamingo-boy3when meredith very generously offered to work her magic and transform that flamingo fabric into a sketchbook shirt, we were thrilled!  this is, as the Kid says, “my very most favorite shirt in the world!” i’m pretty certain he’d wear it every day if he could with a smile from ear to ear.

Flamingo-boy4THANK YOU MEREDITH FOR SHARING YOUR TALENT WITH US!!!  we are so grateful!!

l’indispensable in sevenberry

sevenberry1after a short hiatus, we’re back to bloggin’!  [if you must know what happened . . . first, we discovered instagram, then it became time to get our books over to our accountants, and then . . .  well you get the turn of events . . . onto more interesting endeavours!]

sevenberry2sometime back in december, we came across delphine et morissette’s charming patterns.  delphine has a simple but whimsical style — filled with these delightful little details that make stitching her patterns so much fun!

sevenberry3this particular pattern, l’indispensable,  is only available in french. the format isn’t as fancy as some of the more established pattern companies out there, i.e. there’s no cutting layout or fabric requirements chart (you’ll have to figure that out once you’ve cut your pieces out — but it’s not hard).  that said, if you’ve put together a few blouses before, you’ll be able to piece together the pattern even if you don’t read french.

and there are other snazzy perks too!  delphine’s patterns feature an asymmetrical european sloped sleeve, where  sleeve cap is unevenly divided with the back measurement longer than the front — resulting in a better fit and slimmer look.  mary of cloning couture has a great discussion of this on her blog.

this was my quick and dirt trial version of l’indispensable. (yes, i went a bit wonky on the hem) i made it in a size 38 — and found that it was quite an easy fit.  i used 1.75 yards of sevenberry lawn and 1.5 yards of a silver star bias binding tape.

love it! and can’t wait to make another version in liberty!

nani iro, charlie tunic + twins!

duoi had been extolling the virtues of double gauze to my friend A for a while now.  she doesn’t sew, but she’s my partner in crime in digging out cute clothes for kids and hunting down the latest and greatest exquisite pastry shop to open in nyc.  she’s also the proud mother of two adorable fraternal twins!

tuniconce after i put together the charlie tunic for the kid, i decided to make two more versions for A’s twins out of nani iro’s 2015 mountain view double gauze in two different colors.  suzumi (mostly blue) for the boy and  happy free (pinks, reds and light green) for the girl.

tunic-facingi did make some modifications on the tunic in this version. i wanted to incorporate fabric from the sister’s garment as a reminder of their twin togetherness.  to maintain a cleaner look (the fabric has got a lot going on already!), i tucked the bib facing on the interior of the garment.

dress-detailsfor the girl, i incorporated her brother’s blue fabric as a sleeve facing.  i did let the facing show on the exterior because i thought it made the dress look more rainbow-hued.

both the tunic and the dress are a 3T. i hope the twins like their first foray into double gauze attire!

Made by Rae’s Charlie Tunic + Dress pattern can be found here.

ihme chamber, charlie tunic + the kid

frontmade by rae‘s ever versatile charlie tunic sew in IHME Chamber double gauze and worn by the kid.  to put it mildly, i’ve been obsessed with this particular IHME Chamber’s print since i first laid eyes on it a few months back. 

backif you look really really closely, you can spot all these mischievous mystical woodland creatures that seem to resonate so well with the mischievous personality of the kid (don’t let those plump rosy cheeks and tiny hands fool ya. . . he’s MISCHIEF embodied).

sidei made a 4T, which gives the kid a bit of space to grow into it.  maybe . . . just maybe . . . the shirt will last him till the end of spring.  the bib facing  in double gauze can be a bit tricky with its 1/4″ seam allowance.  this nifty little gadget, however, got things under control.

standinglooks great with a pair of dark cords, no?

gallery tunic in ffion


j.crew’s liberty shirts.  a few years back, you could say that it was a sort of uniform of mine.  the trouble is that while i had a closet full of said shirts, i could never quite find one that fit me properly.  it was either too big in some parts or too tight in others. i probably should have purchased 3 shirts in the same pattern and frankenstein-ed them together.  enter liesl+co’s gallery tunic . . . a wonderful and easily customizable pattern for realising all my liberty shirt dreams!

ffion-2easy to wear (with plenty of ease) and no buttons!

backi made no changes to the pattern as written in this version. that darling blue floral print you see in the photos is liberty’s tana lawn classic ffion print. (i wondered myself about the meaning of ffion.  turns out that it’s a popular welsh female name, meaning foxglove).  hemi’ve already got fabric set aside for the next version.  it’s this cheerful liberty nina taylor print — so appropriate for all seasons!  i think i’ll try out the mandarin collar option included with the pattern, and also lengthen the sleeves an inch or so (they landed at my elbow joint . . . but then, i think i have longer than average arms).

liveand here it is on me! excuse the awkward pose. . . still haven’t gotten around to getting a tripod or selfie stick.

[and yes! i’m most definitely on a bit of a liesl+co roll (their patterns really are extremely well-written and a pleasure to sew)! ]

cinema dress in peony pavilion

IMG_5868i’ve been happily stitching our way through liberty’s AW15 collection.  this is liesl+co’s cinema dress . . . made for a dear friend of mine who is a huge fan of all things chinoiserie!  this particular print is called peony pavilion, designed by fashion designer anna sui for liberty! (and oh yes . . . i should have pressed those seams before taking the photos!)

IMG_5867 mid-length and flowy featuring delicate buttons up the back and ever so handy pockets in the front too!

pocketi made the size six in the pattern which happens to be the size of my friend and the dress form.  of course, i couldn’t resist but to try it on myself too!  it does fit me, but i would make a modification to the waist portion of the dress for myself.  i have a rather large rib cage and i found that it fell sort of too high on my torso.  cinema-side-by-sidethe cinema dress is a wonderfully written pattern that i found super easy to follow and filled with useful tips and tricks.  the only addendum i would make is that if you’re using a directional print, like peony pavilion, one of the cutting patterns will not work (i believe it’s cutting layout “c” but will confirm when i relocate my pattern).