Saturday, 28 November 2015

Basic Black Japanese Pattern book - Dress U

This is the dress on the cover of 'Basic Black' by Sato Watanabe and is the reason I bought this book. I had hoped to make the dress with my Japanese, indigo-dyed linen, but unfortunately didn't have enough for this pattern. The linen went back on the shelf, but I discovered this black cotton in my stash that I had bought at a sale by local designer 'Breathless' for about $15. For black cotton, it's quite pretty with a pattern in the weave. I had plenty of it, so the decision was made.

Basic Black
The pattern is 'U - the Asymmetric Jumper Dress'. The neckline, waistline, front pleat and side seams are asymmetrical, with the most obvious design feature being the extension at the side of the skirt. This just folds itself over and drapes at the side. I like it, but my sister advises that I need to secure it down to prevent unsightly flapping. So far I have rebelled and allowed it to catch the breeze at will. This is partly because I sewed it into a pocket, rather than just sewing across the top as per the instructions. The pocket wouldn't fit my phone anymore if I tacked it down, so for now it's staying.

The asymmetrical neckline was another design feature that my sister wasn't keen on. She always gives an honest and thorough evaluation, my sister. In this case I may be inclined to agree. I wonder whether it looks like squiffy sewing. It would be simple to lower one side and even it up and I may do this in the near, or possibly not so near, future.

I used a black and brown patterned fabric for the facing, which peeks out and adds a bit of interest to the black. It's not easy to see in these pictures.

I fussed about with the sizing of this pattern, which is most unlike me. According to my measurements I should have been a medium and I made a toile of the bodice to check the fit (only because I had originally planned to use my special linen). The toile was actually quite ill-fitting and I fiddled and added bits for ages before I was happy. In retrospect, I should just have cut a large and added a bit to the length and it would have probably been fine. In short, I would recommend going one size up for this pattern.

I also got into a muddle with the pattern pieces. Because they are asymmetrical they need to be cut on a single layer. Despite being super careful, some pieces were cut the wrong way up and I had to use the wrong side of the fabric to get all the pieces to fit together. Gasp! Luckily this hardly showed in the black.

The details of the skirt and the fabric can be seen better in this picture.

I love this dress. The length, which is way longer than anything else I have, feels elegant. The simple, quirky design is fun and the cotton is lovely to wear. Despite my silly mistakes, this was not a difficult pattern to sew, although I mostly did my own thing, rather than following the instructions. I would recommend the book too. There are definitely a few other patterns in this book that I have my eye on.


Valerie said...

This dress looks lovely on you. Now I've got to go look at this book on Amazon!

SewJillian said...

It's lovely! You're not the only one who has had issues with sizing and fit with patterns in this book. I made a peplum top based off a similar one in the book. It was a complete disaster! I've got very narrow shoulders and had to do a wide shoulder adjustment (!!) when the sleeve head seam ended up closer to my neck than shoulder edge. There were other issues too and I won't be using the book again. Someone else (so sorry can't remember who) mentioned serious drafting issues too. It's a shame - some lovely designs. But every other Japanese sewing book I've used has been fine, so I'll happily use those.

Funkbunny said...

I really like this interesting silhouette - looks great!

Megan O said...

Thank you. I love Japanese patterns.

Megan O said...

Oh that is really interesting. Thank you for the comment. I was a bit haphazard with my adjustments so wasn't sure how much I'd changed it in the end. I will take more care if I make anything else from the book.

Megan O said...

Thank you. It's nice to have some subtle interest in a simple dress.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

I agree, elegant and interesting. great summer dress.

Sew, Jean Margaret said...

Something a little different and quirky, but it looks great.

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