Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sewing from Japanese books - part 2

Following on from my last post, the next step is to trace and cut out the pattern on a new sheet of paper. It's really important to remember that the patterns in Japanese craft books do not include the seam allowance. The instructions show the suggested seam allowance which I always use, but if you want to do a different seam and so need a bigger or smaller allowance, you have the option to change it.

It's worth checking the instructions before doing this so that you leave enough space around the shape to add the seam allowance and make the adjustments to the pattern.

It is also really helpful to mark on the following things:
  • The centre back and front line
  • The grainline
  • The front and back
  • Which pattern you are cutting out (this may sound obvious, but I have gone back to books and found several patterns that I have cut out and not been sure which one they are!)
You can work out these from the translation sheet that I send out with all books, but 前 is front and 後 is back. Grainline is 布目線.

My pattern has a facing (見返し shown in purple) included in the main bodice, so I traced that off separately too. I have pattern cutting paper that is thin enough to see through to trace directly from the pattern sheet, but it this wasn't possible, I could use a tracing wheel to transfer the marks.

Looking at the book, I am doing size 120cm and measurements for this are shown in green. I have circled the adjustments with the bigger red circle. I need to extend the basic pattern shape down 21cm and flare it out so that the bottom is 24.1cm wide. This is why it's important to leave enough space on your paper so that you don't have to tape on another piece on the bottom.

Once this was done, I added on the seam allowance, this is usually 1.5cm or 0.5cm where bias binding is used on the neck or armholes. This is quicker to do than you would expect and I use my pattern master to help draw neat curves.

Some pieces of the pattern are drawn free-hand, these are usually bits that are rectangular, and simple enough not to be included on the pattern sheet.

There is on this diagram a diagonal strip on the top left corner, this is for the bias binding, I usually ignore this and buy mine as it's easier!

Here is my finished pattern, not following my own advice, I didn't leave enough space on the centre back so had to tape on an extra sheet of paper for the seam allowance. This is a simple pattern, sewing adult clothes can be more complicated from these books with more pattern pieces that oftern overlap on the sheet, however the process is the same.

Next time, I'll cover cutting the pattern out and sewing it together!

1 comment:

  1. These are great instructions. The question about the seam allowances has been keeping me back, so thank you!