Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Japanese Cotton Sewing - Kwik Sew 3026 and Knipmode May 2012.

I added sleeve tabs so I can the wear the top with sleeves up or down. 

Last year my eldest daughter took a gap year after finishing secondary school  and travelled to Japan for several months , came home for 4 days and then took off again to Peru ( talk about how to cause your mother a heart attack  ! )
Anyway three years prior to that she spent three months in Tokyo on a school exchange and I muttered something about Japanese cottons . Her host mother took her shopping and  she  came home with the most lovely softest piece with a divine pattern. My DD told me how hard it was to choose because the cboices were overwhelming but I think she did a fantastic  job. This fabric went into my very special fabrics section . I wanted to sew the perfect garment that I would have for years and years  and not waste it.
Three years later and my daughter is about to go to Japan again and she mutters something about  me not having sewn up this fabric and how she wouldn`t get anymore for me . Umm was that a threat ?
 Quicker than you can say Japanese fabric I pulled it out and cut out Kwik Sew 3026 view B -a  pullover  basic shirt pattern with collar and stand, back yoke and front tab. I have made this pattern four times now so I knew it was a winner and being a basic style I would have it for the years and years that I wanted.

Obviously all went well with my daughters travels overseas and she did buy me more Japanese cotton - quite a lot actually .

Wanting to show my appreciation I sewed up one the fabrics straight away ( although eldest DD had already left at this point so she couldnt see it !) As a compromise I chose my least favourite and used a knipmode pattern from May 2012 to sew a simple yoked tunic with tabs on the lower sleeves and body .

Then while our daughter was in Peru ( Cusco and Manu National Park in the amazon ) her host brothers from Japan whom she stayed with in 2010 came to visit for one week  and they brought some more Japanese cotton for me ! That was a very interesting week because one of the brothers did not speak English and the other was learning ( and doing a great and very fast job ) and we do not speak Japanese ! Our eldest daughter is quite fluent but we got by without her and had lots of fun.

I have since used some of my Japanese cotton stash to make the lace and floral top for eldest DD which is only fair!
So I am very lucky to have a small stash of lovely Japanese fabrics  which I have again put away in my mind to be used only for the perfect project.

PS - I actually sewed this shirt last year just to clear up any confusion on time lines.
PPS - My youngest daughter is thinking about going to Japan on a school exchange so I may have to start muttering again about how lovely and special Japanese fabric is and how much I treasure it.


  1. Some lovely tops there Janine. Very nice indeed.

  2. Japanese cottons are so good to sew with. You have made two very pretty tops.

  3. Thankyou! I consider myself very fortunate that I've been able to have these . Spotlight sell very nice japanese lawns as well and I would like to buy some of those.

  4. They are beautiful fabrics - such a well trained daughter ;). I like both your lovely tops, and hope the other fabrics are not tooooo precious for sewing. I have a few of those and they are quite burdensome really. You need some room in your fabric collection for the new fabrics from your international travelers!

  5. Janine, if you're going to head to Tessuti in Flinders Lane, you should also drop into Kimono House which is on the second level of the Nicholas Building (corner of Flinders Lane and Swanson Street). It has beautiful Japanese fabrics, mostly for quilting or for other Japanese crafts. I go there for my sashiko supplies. And while you're on the second level of the Nicholas Building visit Button Mania and L'Ucello (vintage haberdashery and Liberty fabrics)

  6. oh Janine, you are so lucky! Those are gorgeous gifts. The Japanese students who we hosted over the years were so wonderful in their appreciation.

  7. Gorgeous fabrics Janine - you've trained your daughter well! The fabrics are beautiful and your shirt and vlouse look lovely. I've got a couple pieces of Japanese lawn that i've bought from Spotlight in traralgon - travelled very far to get them!! ( that's supposes to be blouse - mi ipad doesn't like bloggernd i keeps freezing if i go back to correct spelling/typing mistakes!)

  8. Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article.
    Thanks diy back to School gifts For friends providing this information.


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