Category: sewing

Finished Project: Cropped Cat Scout Tee



I finished this cropped Scout tee a few weeks ago and only had a chance to write about it now. I’ve made the Scout tee many times, so adjusting this one didn’t go too badly. I cut a size 4, drafted pockets from a Uniqlo cropped tee that I owned, made the sleeves longer, and made it cropped. I used a stiff Alexander Henry quilting fabric because I loved the cat print.

I still haven’t worn this much since I have no idea how to style it, but it’s definitely comfortable.

Sewing + Life Updates

this is the wrong side so the fabric looks muted. #kawaii #かわいい #sewing #alexanderhenry

I have a backlog of late summer finished sewing projects that I still need to post and photograph. However, they are doing construction on the back yard of my building and finding a quiet isolated spot to take photographs in has been challenging.

My hands have healed up some (see below) and I’ve been working on this Scout cropped tee using this Alexander Henry cat print fabric. The multiple cats are very かわいい (kawaii!) and it’s a new style that I’ve learned to like. I do love wearing all black, all the time but I needed a break from wearing all black and this interesting print breaks up the monotony just a bit.

it's been a hellish week. doctor sent me home a few days ago with an as needed quarantine for hand, foot and mouth disease

I try not to post personal stuff on here when I can, however sometimes life can make legitimate delays in sewing. A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease. I worked from home for about a week or so and just returned to work last week. My hands and feet are still healing from the sores and blisters caused by this viral disease, so there hasn’t been much sewing as of late. I did fix my sewing machine problems related to bobbin tension last night, so hopefully I can get back to regular posting soon.

Finished Project: Cara Top





I finished this project a few weeks ago and only had a chance to blog about it now. This is my first time trying a Style Arc pattern and it did not disappoint. I used a really cheap $4/yard cotton/polyester with excellent drape that I got from Chic Fabrics in the Garment District. I made no changes and it turned out cropped, but mid-length for someone like me since I’m short. I’m wearing it with high waisted pants here, so the silhouette sort of works out. I still have no idea how to style this for our blazing hot 30C weather here. It definitely needs a high waist to balance it out so it’s not too cropped, but my usual jeans are way too heavy and warm for the summer.

(The pictures show a very wrinkly Cara top since I didn’t have my travel iron yet here and it got wrinkled by being in my duffel bag. More well-pressed projects next time!)

Pros: On trend, easy to sew.

Cons: Summer is nearly over but I still haven’t worn this anywhere! I’m still not sure how to style this for work or if the off the shoulder top will be too much, but I need to figure something out soon.

Project Details:

Pattern: Cara Top from Style Arc

Pattern Sizing: size 4 to 30.

Description: This on-trend top gives a gorgeous look with its flattering, gathered, off the shoulder neckline with a floaty raglan sleeve. The elastic at the back neck band keeps the shoulder line in shape. Wear it with jeans or dress it up with a fabulous print to wear to a special occasion.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton/polyester.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. There was a diagram included since one part was tricky, but that was really helpful.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really easy to make and on trend.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, it’s a very cute top and a fast and easy make.

Work in Progress: Nani Iro Tunic Dress, Pocket Inset

testing out the inset seam pocket for the #naniiro pattern, part 1. #sewing

Lately I’ve been working on deciphering the pocket inset for the Nani Iro Tunic Dress pattern. My hiragana isn’t advanced enough yet to be able to read what’s on the pattern, but a combination of Google translate and deciphering the illustrations together has helped. I made a partial muslin since the dress is so loose fitting that there is no fitting to be done but I wanted to try the construction first before I tried it on my good fabric.


This is an interesting design detail and I haven’t seen a pocket like this yet. The small pocket is embedded in the seam of the shoulder seam and the front right seam. The pocket doesn’t lie flat since that area has to move so the front pocket is not flush with the seam. The construction is also interesting — you sew in between the notches, then cut across the pocket seam, flip the pocket over, attach the back pocket and sew everything on to the shoulder seam. If everything is done properly then all of the raw edges are enclosed in the seam.

Here is the finished pocket inseam.


Work in Progress: Nani Iro Tunic Dress


Lately I’ve been working on this tunic dress pattern from Nani Iro. I need something with longer sleeves to wear for work and I was drawn by the interesting inseam pocket detail and the loose flowy cut of this pattern. The directions are entirely in Japanese but there are a lot of illustrations that demonstrate the techniques that should be done.

I started taking Japanese lessons recently, with my aim to be able to read some of my cookbooks that are not bilingual and some of my sewing patterns that have not been translated. However, I am only a few weeks in and I only know maybe 40-50 hiragana, no katakana, and definitely no kanji, so I can read at best one syllable of one word that’s in the pattern.

I have a few other finished projects but haven’t had the time to process the photos in Lightroom yet or write posts properly, so definitely more content forthcoming as soon as I get to it.

Finished Project: Box Dress with Boat Neck, #2





This is my second version of Box Dress with Boat Neck from Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I’ve worn this to work a few times already. Our QA said that it looked very “Japanese fusion”, which is a fitting description for this dress.

I’d made my first version out of some drapey cotton that I had in my stash. I removed around one inch from the bottom underarm seam once it was finished since it just looked and felt too boxy but I think I removed too much. I really liked the huge oversized sleeves from the black and white version and I think this dress lost that design detail since my alteration. I really should have gone down a size instead of trimming from the underarm seam. There’s at least one more version of this that needs to be made — I need to lower the boat neck collar since it rides up when I sit down and feels way too high but otherwise that’s about it.

Otherwise the dress is a successful make — comfortable, easy to wear, instantly presentable.

Project Revisited: The Really Voluminous Swan Blouse





It’s still really hot here, and I’ve ended up wearing this blouse around once a week since I finished it. The huge amounts of billowy cotton voile though were really bothering me, so I removed 2 inches from the bottom underside of the kimono sleeve / side seam, basted in the new seam, tried it on, and serged the sides again. It’s much more wearable now. It still has that oversized look but less pronounced.

(By the way, this blouse has a lot of wrinkles since I had to stuff it in my duffel bag to go to Montreal and my husband doesn’t have an iron.)

Finished Project: The Really Voluminous Front Tuck Swan Blouse




I’ve been trying to keep up with sewing while traveling constantly, which is both good and bad. Although I’m not home working on sewing, it’s good to get out of the city for a change of pace, and all of this traveling has led me to discover a new photo location — the courtyard of the Montreal home.


I finished the Front Tuck Blouse from Stylish Dress Book a few weeks ago. It came together quickly and was a pretty fast make, however I haven’t worn it out yet since I am really wary of wearing color — I love wearing black and grey yet hate sewing in black — but I will probably wear it soon.

Pros: Easy to sew. Comfy. Uses an average amount of fabric. Has floaty sleeves. Great feminine design details. No closures, no facings.

Cons: I didn’t realize until seeing these pictures how voluminous and oversized this blouse is. Maybe the cotton voile is too light and floaty for the pattern, since when I stand to the side the sides stick out in an unflattering bell-shaped way, but I do plan to try this again and I plan to size down severely.

Project Details:

Pattern: Front Tuck Blouse from Stylish Dress Book.

Pattern Sizing: extra small – large (Japanese sizing though).

Description: n/a

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really easy to make and comfortable.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None! I made a medium according to my measurements, however, I need to go down a size or two. I didn’t realize how large and voluminous this blouse was until these photos were taken. I serged the side seams and used pre-made seam binding for the neckline.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but in a much smaller size.

Finished Project: Japanese Pencil Case




I recently finished this pencil case that I made for my dojomate. I had about half a meter of Wagara fabric from Miss Matatabi that was more than enough for a pencil case. Wagara means a Japanese pattern or design, and has gotten popular recently by being turned into bags, pouches and clothes. The Wagara fabric is really gorgeous — it has a black background with a lighter black on top with a subtle pattern to give it some depth, with some temari balls, fans and peonies on top. I lined the inside with some yellow cotton that I had from stash. A quick and easy project and a great stashbuster — I really should make one of these too for myself.

Swan Print and Abstract Print Fabrics


I decided to hit Mood Fabrics during my lunch break last week to find some cotton voile for another Box Dress with Boat Neck. I already finished (but have yet to photograph and blog) the one I made last week and already wore it to work.

I’m making an effort to sew and wear more colors this season. My wardrobe consists mainly of grey, dark grey and black, but sewing with dark colors can be very drab.

The red abstract print has flashes of navy, dark pink, light grey over a red background with abstract line drawings of flowers on it. The swan print is deep navy with mostly white swans and a few gold swans.

I ended up cutting the red abstract print for a Box Dress and am saving the swan print pattern for a future blouse. Hopefully making dresses that don’t need to be coordinated will lead to wearing more color.


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