Thursday, May 15, 2014

Japanese Pattern Basics - A Special Peek At Mrs. Style Magazine



I have been working here and there, mostly testing out some of my new Japanese patterns. The above top, was actually a muslin. I was so confident that it would fit, that I cut right into this cotton boucle that I had slated for a Chanel-esque skirt...a piece I bought at Hart's Fabrics two Springs ago. It was already pre washed, and once I looked at it from the cross grain, its nubby texture reminded me a bit of Japanese-inspired prints. My husband agreed that it looked very Japanese indeed.

Here is the original picture from my pattern book:


We are going through a heat wave this week in Northern California. Not only are we in a terrible drought situation, but the scorching heat has compounded our fears of brush fires. I don't know if I mentioned this last Summer, but I don't have an air conditioner in my studio. I stepped in there today to steal 30 minutes of sewing, and tested out a new desk fan I bought on clearance this past Winter. One word: useless. It's back to seriously thinking about a swamp cooler, or moving some sewing machines into my main house.

The 30 minutes of sewing gave me time to finish a second muslin from one of my Japanese pattern books.  It's not a new or innovative design. It's the basic Kaftan cut into a blouse version. The interfacing for the collar did not lay well with the first muslin, which I made out of flannel I had set aside for a shirt this past Winter. It was not an ideal fabric to work with, even for a muslin.  The second muslin was made from a leftover piece from a McCall's dress I made a couple of years ago.



Here is the original dress from the second muslin.  I think they actually look very similar in style. The picture next to the dress is from the Japanese pattern book I used for the above two muslins.


Since coming back from my little vacation, and accumulating so much fabric, my sewing studio is overrun. I have to tell you that I'm getting really nervous about all this stash, especially since I had to get two plastic bins to hold the excess.  The studio also looked like a tornado hit it after working on my first muslin.  Does this look familiar?

Before and after photos of my cutting table:




If you've been peeking at my journal, you'll know that I recently took a trip to Kinokuniya bookstore for some craftbook hunting. I found a Mrs. Style magazine there, and thought you might be interested in seeing what's inside.  This is their March issue. The bookstore gets the new issues about a month after release. 



 









There are also patterns for accessories like these purses here:


This issue had an attached shirt pattern for ladies, men, and kids with step-by-step instructions on how to sew a shirt. 


 
The physical pattern for the shirt.
Designed for the Japanese housewife...it's hard to believe these stay-at-home moms can wrangle up a custom trench coat.  "I'm sorry that dinner's late dear, but I've been drafting my custom-made Burberry look-alike-trench."  

If you didn't know already, Mrs. Style magazine does not include patterns for all their clothes, only instructions how to draft the designs using their standard sloper.  Instructions on how to create a Mrs. Style sloper is in the magazine...except in Japanese.  I am considering getting it translated.  If I do, I'll share with you all.  Here's a terrible snapshot of what the sloper instructions look like.  Wouldn't it be great if these were all in English?  Happy sewing!