Dresses

The Komorebi Dress

I was on a sewing hiatus because I was going through a 90-day weight loss programme. Knowing that my body will be going through many changes, I didn’t want to re-draft my pattern block for each sewing project during this period. As part of my motivation, I made a resolution to make myself a dress for date night with le husband after graduating from the programme. I have yet to reach my target but I’m pleased with my progress so far. As a reward for pushing through the programme and with my wedding anniversary coming up, I made a new outfit!

For my first make of this season, I chose an Ogden Cami with square neckline and half-circle skirt ensemble. The initial plan is to make a dress but I thought a faux-dress two piece ensemble will give me more versatility for my me-made wardrobe.

With my new body measurements and shape, I also made some modification to the Ogden Cami pattern for a better fit:
– size 10 bust, graded to size 12 flare and length
– widen strap by another 1cm to hide bra strap

For this version, I excluded the lining due to insufficient fabric and had to finish the armhole and neckline with bias tape. I ran out of matching ones and am glad to make my own for a more cohesive look. Looks like this little mishap is a blessing in disguise because the cotton gauze remains lightweight sans lining and I might just make my next Ogden without it.

I chose to work with this beautiful piece of double gauze from one of my prized stash. It is from Nani Iro purchased at their HQ in 2017. With Japan’s borders reopened, you may like to consider visiting the cozy but beautiful atelier in Osaka. I really love the imagery of the Komorebi series from Nani Iro’s 2016 A/W collection. Komorebi translates to “sunlight filtering through trees”. And this is the translated description:

Komorebi is like a rainbow-coloured wind, or air with a scent. That nostalgic day. Feel the comfort of remembering. The lights dance and the flowers sing happily. It is a piece that conveys such a calm and quiet happiness.

Pattern (Top): Ogden Cami, with square neckline hack, from True Bias
Pattern (Bottom): Half-circle skirt, with a 3cm waist band, and inseam pockets, self drafted
Fabric: Komorebi B from Nani Iro

Fabric Finds · Travelogue

Fabric Shopping in Osaka – Atelier to Nani Iro

During my last trip to Japan in 2017, the only item on my fabric shopping agenda was to visit Atelier to Nani Iro. With two young children in tow, we wanted to minimise movement of luggage and decided to base ourselves in Kyoto after decending from Keihoku and take day trips out to Osaka (and other cities) instead. We bought tickets to catch a baseball match and had the morning free so I was glad that we manage to squeeze in fabric shopping before the match in another suburb.

How to get there?
To get to Atelier to Nani Iro, take the train to Higobashi Station (肥後橋) and take Exit 7.

Continue along the street and turn right into the street after Kyomachibori bus stop.


Keep walking straight until you see a park (Nishisemba Park 西船场公园) on your right.

The building where Nani Iro is located ( 壽会館ビル) is on your left.

Get in the building and head up the stairs to Level 2 where Atelier to Nani Iro is located!

Main door of Atelier to Nani Iro

Kudos to my husband for navigating especially on a hot sunny day with two little humans. I am quite hopeless with maps and directions. It’s rather straightforward to get to the Atelier from the train station. However it can be a little confusing due to the lack of landmarks.

The park was really a saving grace as my husband and my eldest hung out at the park while I speed-shopped with the littlest in the baby carrier.


Atelier Nani Iro, Osaka
1-12-28 Kyomachibori, Nishi-ku, Osaka 550-0003
2nd floor, Tokaikan Building
Opens on Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat 1100-1700

Dresses

Ogden Cami Hack

There are so many clothes I want to sew but time is limited so I decided to perfect the Ogden Cami hack. My previous make was full of accidental modifications which I grew to love and I want to be more precise in redrafting the pattern with exact measurements:
1. widen shoulder strap to hide bra straps
2. shorten the straps for a “higher” neckline
3. length for bodice and solve the problem of awkward long-short waistline
4. take in at the waist

This is the Ogden dress I made without making a muslin first. Not sure if you can see it but the waistline is raised by the bust.


Here’s what I did and the measurements that worked for me:
1. To widen the shoulder strap to hide bra straps,
I added 3.5cm to the width of strap. This gives me a 2cm wide strap.

2. how much to shorten the straps for a “higher” neckline
I didn’t exactly shorten the straps but silly me forgot to widen the shoulder joint to accommodate the wider strap and ended up with a higher neckline which I really love. For a 2.5cm wide strap, I sewed it at 0.5″ below the dot, which fits the width comfortably, plus an accidental higher neckline.

3. and 4. length for bodice, solve the problem of the awkward long-short waistline, take in at the waist
For my previous make based on the tutorial by True Bias, I fit the dress on and made alterations based on how it fits on my body with chalk markings and extremely careful pinning. I really want to find out the exact measurements of how much to chop off for the bodice from the original pattern. While fitting, I also noticed the droopy, uneven waistline (back longer than the front) which I really dislike. This is especially obvious when you need more room for the bust. I also preferred if the dress is taken in a little more at the waist. The key measurements for the alteration for the bodice of Ogden cami dress hack:

  • 16cm down center back
  • take in 1.5cm (total of 6cm) at waist (the amount to take in depends on your waist measurements and ease)
  • 24cm down center front, curved up to side seam which needs to align to that form the back piece

(All measurements of my Ogden Cami hack are inclusive of seam allowance.)

Tadah, bodice of cami hack figured all out! Then I decided to brave myself and attempt a tiered dress which I have never made before. I shall save the details for another post when I made it properly. Due to insufficient yardage, the end result is a very height-friendly dress, but not so mom-duty friendly. Initially I was a little worried that tiered dresses may make me look chunky but hey, I’m quite loving it. I will make sure I have enough yardage for a slightly longer dress the next time.

Fabric is a much treasured piece of Nani Iro purchased in Kyoto during our first trip to Japan 6 years ago. As it is a little dull and see-through, I lined the fabric with white cotton (instead of blush which matches better) to brighten it up.

Fully lined and french seamed

This beautiful piece of double gauze is from the Sen Ritsu series, which means melody  (旋律), and I really love the imagery painted by the designer:

𝘉𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘸𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘴.
𝘈 𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴, 𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘧 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢 𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘦.

Fabric Finds · Travelogue

Fabric Shopping in Mallorca – Teixits Es Tren

During the family holiday to Spain in 2018, I bookmarked a few fabric shops to visit in Barcelona and Mallorca and see which we can fit into the day’s itinerary depending on the flow of the day. After a beautiful morning at an orange farm in Sóller, we had time to kill and needed to fit in a nap before our next stop, so the husband managed to fit a drive down to Teixits Es Tren in Palma while the kids napped in the car. I had a good 30mins to myself before the shop closed for siesta.

I was a little overwhelmed when I entered Teixits Es Tren. Bolts and bolts of fabric were neatly stacked all over the store. I didn’t quite know where to shop. The sales assistant was very helpful and directed me to the ikat when I told her that I was looking for Spanish fabric as a souvenir.

Eventually I picked up a piece of green ikat and a floral print canvas. A quick but fruitful shopping trip. My Spanish trip is complete!

Teixits Es Tren
Carrer de la Volta de la Mercè, 5,
07002 Palma de Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain
Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm.

Fabric Finds · Travelogue

Fabric Shopping in Paris – Atelier Brunette

One of the things I miss about this season of not travelling is definitely fabric shopping overseas.  Since I picked up dressmaking, fabrics are one of my favourite souvenirs to bring back from every holiday. Naturally, shopping at Atelier Brunette was one of the highlight of my trip to Paris in 2019. I nearly didn’t make it as they were closed on the day I planned to visit, to take part in a makers exhibition. I had to make some changes to my itinerary and was so glad that I made it! I was also especially excited to visit the Bastille area again which brings back lots of memories. It was the very first stop during my first time in Paris. In fact the hotel I was staying at is just right along Avenue Ledru Rollin. If you are visiting the area, don’t forget to drop by La Boulangerie de Jeanne to pick up bread and sandwiches and Pause Détente for chocolates and desserts.

Wearing my cheongsam in Atelier Brunette at Atelier Brunette

How to get there?
The nearest métro stations are Ledru-Rollin (Line 8) and Voltaire (Line 9). If you are going to Atelier Brunette from Ledru-Rollin like me, cross the road over to Monoprix after you exit the station, and continue walking along Avenue Ledru Rollin.

You will walk pass Passager Café and La Boulangerie de Jeanne and come to a cross junction with Le Bistrot du Peintre on your right on the other side of the road.

Turn left and cross the road over the Rue Keller. You will see Pause Cafe on your left.

Continue along Rue Keller, you will walk pass a school on your right,

and soon you will reach Atelier Brunette on the same side.

Initially I was a little worried that my husband would be bored while I shopped. Hey, look who made himself comfortable at the cozy corner while waiting for me. This is certainly a plus point!

Fabric samples were displayed neatly by colour along the wall. I love it that the sample pieces are large enough for shoppers to have a feel of the drape, texture and compare against your own skin tone to see if it complements!

There are also zips, threads and other haberdashery in matching colours so you do not have to hunt them down separately.

Once you have decided what to buy, the sales assistant picks out the fabric from the bolt and cuts it for you.

I couldn’t resist one of these end of bolt bundles too, especially after seeing a pleated skirt hanging on the rack.


Here’s what I bought. I love it that my purchase is packaged in a drawstring bag made from their very own fabric.

Colour palette of my purchase reflects the season

(Street images taken from Google Maps)

Atelier Brunette
16 Rue Keller
75011 Paris, France

Dresses

Ogden Cami Modified

It has been a long long time since I last posted and about a year since I picked up my fabric and sew again. It feels really good to be able to add more me-made pieces to my wardrobe! I have since tried sewing with commercial sewing patterns and am pleased with what I’ve tried so far. Let’s not jinx myself. One of my favourite to sew with is the highly raved Ogden Cami by True Bias. It requires about 1m of fabric (which makes it an excellent stash buster), and has a rather straight forward construction. On days when I want to sew something quick and beautiful, Ogden is definitely it!

Ogden Cami in Dobby Blush from Atelier Bruette

Though I LOVE the look of Ogden, it took me 2 muslins and 2 more makes, to get the right fit. Here’s what works for me, so far:

  • Size 12 bodice, with Size 10 straps
  • Sew the shoulder straps with 1/8″-1/4″ seam allowance instead (which gives at least a 1.5cm strap that is wide enough to hide the bra strap)
  • Take in 1/8″ at side seams on both front and back pieces (total of 1/2″)
  • Add 12cm down center front of lining so that it doesn’t cut mid-bust
First Ogden Cami, a wearable muslin in chiffon georgette

Now that I figured out the cami, it’s time to tackle the bodice for the Ogden cami hack dresses. It’s such a versatile base pattern, with lots of design variations. Check out The Cut One Pair List of Nine Hacks!

Dresses

The 旺得福 Cheongsam

Hello everybody! It has been a year since I last sewed and blogged. Sewing plans didn’t quite materialise in 2017 and my wardrobe crisis still remains. Since I have been sewing a cheongsam for myself every Chinese New Year since I started dressmaking, I can’t possibly break this tradition this year.

I bought 2m of Daily Like’ poddle print fabric last year for our outfits this CNY. The plan was to sew something for the family: 1 cheongsam for myself, 1 cheongsam/dress for C, 1 shirt for J and 1 pocket patch for the husband (the print is a little too cute for him to wear it). I also plan to use fabric from my current stash so I cannot buy any other matching fabric too. I started working on the outfits really late: a week before CNY. The shirt for J didn’t turn out well. The pattern was way too big for him (at 22mo) though it’s stated for 2-3yo. I’ll save the experience for another post. So I only had time to complete C’s and my dress. It was familiar ground!

For both our dresses, I matched the poodle bodice with a satin blend of some sort that I bought years ago (yes I hoard fabrics). It’s very soft and drapes well. Best of all, it doesn’t leave behind water marks! For my dress, I used the same pattern that I drafted last year (phew! still can fit into it) for the bodice and a rectangle skirt for the bottom. To save time, I folded the waist darts instead. I also added frog buttons on the imaginary curve of the cheongsam to create the same the illusion.

For C’s dress, bodice is drafted from the same pattern book that I have (I’m using a 4yo size which fits perfectly!). The skirt portion is a rectangle skirt too! It’s probably the easiest to make in a short time. I ditched the mandarin collar but attached frog button to the neckline to achieve the chinoise style. 

Dresses · Sew Cute

A Tartan Cheongsam

Hello fellow sewing comrades, I am back in action after the longest hiatus! 2016 was spent being pregnant, caring for the new born and shifting to our current place. Fabrics were left on the work station and eventually packed and stored in the cupboard. New outfit for Chinese New Year was the largest motivator this time round.

Since daddy has a tartan-plaid kind of shirt, I thought we could all be matchy matchy. The fabric which I bought from Nomura Tailor in Kyoto came in useful!  And apparently it is very difficult to find nice tartan. I know because I ran out of fabric (for J’s pants) and combed through spotlight and Chinatown to no avail! I started a little too late on our outfits this year so I didn’t have time to finish up J’s pants. I hope to make J something real soon!

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Back to the dress, my dress is modified from the nursing dress pattern that I drafted, which I realized that I never got to share the pattern tutorial. I am tidying up the post and will be sharing real soon! I extended 5cm at the hem which I joined to the end of the dart on the bodice for a little flare.

Besides the tartan print, my favourite part of the dress is the black lace trim, which I was trying to destash. I think I got it from Troyes.

 

 

C’s dress is drafted from a pattern book that I photocopied from my sewing teacher and I added the mandarin collar for the occasion. She also had matching cotton crotchet trim for a softer look.

 

 

Now that I have overcame the inertia, I hope to continue to sew this year. For the obvious reasons: wardrobe crisis! I still have clothes, just that I need a little more variety because I have retired many while I was packing for the move. I hope to be able to sew 3 dresses (1 down, 2 more to go), 3 tops and 3 bottoms for myself this coming year. If time permits, I hope to squeeze in some clothes for my little humans too! And of course, destash!

Dresses · Me Made May

Me Made May 16: Week 4

I must admit that the final  week of MMMay 16 was difficult. What I could wear in week 1 can fit me no more! Some repeats of staple and new additions. 

Day 22: Another 3-hole dress in a beautiful fabric from Berlin. I wore this to a wedding dinner.
Day 23: Peplum blouse in Nani Iro

Day 24: V-neck tank in Atelier Brunette  and maternity pencil skirt 

Day 25: Refashioned maternity pants

Day 27: Perfect for lacey days blouse and elastic waist band skirt 

Day 28: Aprils in Paris skirt. This is another favourite combination, basically anything with stripes. Haha. I didn’t thought I could still fit into this and wished that I had worn this earlier!

So what about Day 29-31? I did wear me-made but accessories. Photo evidence? Too tired from work, too busy with work to snap photos of my earrings. I will try harder next year!!!

Dresses · Me Made May

Me Made May 16: Week 3

Now that we have moved back from my in-laws, I have returned to the convenience of having everything in my own home. However, we are also slowly preparing for the move to our new place! It’s a really exciting phase and we can’t wait to finally have our own space. With that said, I will be starting to pack up some of my sewing supplies. I don’t foresee myself sewing big projects with a baby, toddler and the house to handle. However I will be definitely sewing little projects for the new home. Stay tuned for that!

Here’s my update for MMMay’16 Week 3:

Day 15: V-neck tank in Atelier Brunette. Another favourite breathable fabric!
Day 16: Curtain shift dress, which is also the last time I could fit into this. I should have brought this out a little earlier.

Day 17: Navy lace cheongsam blouse. I love this is so luxe and roomy as well, perfect for a formal event. I wore this for my school’s photoshoot. 
Day 18: Refashioned maternity pants

Day 19: Happy Birthday Dress as a dress. Shift dresses are definitely a favourite to wear pre-, during, post-baby!

Day 20: Jakob from Burdstyle. Yes, wearing men’s wear.

Day 21: Patternless smocked coverup as tube top