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Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Japanese Obsession and Bruce the chipmunk

A few years ago (actually it was nearly 10 years ago - whoa) I went to Japan. First trip overseas. Middle of winter. Lots of sake and waving cats.


In Kyoto I bought a lot of chiyogami - mulberry paper screen printed with beautiful designs - and also discovered that they make similar patterns on fabric. Of course I had to buy a lot! When I got home mum and I made this quilt.  


(When I say 'mum and I' this means that I sewed the pink and blue strips together...and then gave it to mum and she did everything else because I am rubbish at quilt making. Thanks mum!)

Not long after this trip I moved to Sydney and discovered Tessutis and their stocks of Japanese cottons.  My favourites are the ones that look like chiyogami - flowers, patterns, outrageous colours. I have made a few dresses over the years with these fabrics. The first was this one:



It's Simplicity 3559, and I made view B (the pink one on the right). Unfortunately I think it might be out of print now? Which is a shame, but I suppose we have moved on to obsessing about fashions from a different decade now thanks to Mad Men and Gatsby.



It's a really flattering pattern. It has French darts on the front bodice - unlike the usual everyday dart that runs from under the arm to the bust, French darts run from the waist upwards. It also has a high Mandarin-esque collar. 



How much do I love the material? It's seersucker! However note that I did not even think to match up the flowers either side of the zip. Bad Mez.


The pattern calls for facings, but the material was too light and a bit see-through so I lined the entire thing instead. The inside looks very ordinary! My skills in zigzag stitch left a lot to be desired. Lucky I have an overlocker and can cheat now.

The pattern is very easy to make. I was happy with the fit around my shoulders but nipped in the side seams in for a more flattering fit. As drafted it's a wee bit frumpy and straight-up-and-down. As a 60's go-go dress it should be a bit sassy!



I have a few other dresses made out of Japanese fabric that will be posted on the blog too once I get organised.

In other news, poor Bruce woke up this morning looking like he had stashed a golf ball in his cheek. After an emergency and very expensive Sunday morning trip to the vet he has been diagnosed with a prefrontal molar abscess. He is all lopsided.

Bruce is pretending to be a chipmunk, but only with his left cheek
Once the infection is gone he will have an operation to remove the tooth. He had the other prefrontal molar cut out a few years ago. Poor Bruce! However he seems to be getting along OK with lots of hugs and cuddles.

6 comments:

  1. Poor Bruce, big pats. I do like your japanese fabric (dress and quilt) - its a really cute dress and suits you. I agree that retro style can look a bit frumpy - okay if you are young, but even then I think making it a bit more fun and flippy is a good idea.

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    1. Thanks Sarah Liz. Frumpy is the challenge I am facing for the Gatsby dress...those flapper dresses just seem so sack-like! Bruce says thanks for the pats too.

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  2. Aww poor puppy face!! Hope he's doing better now. Tooth problems are the worst :(

    p.s. love the dress!

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    1. He is much improved today thanks Rochelle but is going to hate me when he gets the tooth pulled!

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  3. Perfect fabric to pattern match! Looks fab with the boots as well. Big hug for poor Bruce, get well soon.

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    1. Thanks Amy. The boots are outrageous but I love them. Bruce says thanks for the hug!

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